Book Review: The Cowboy Tutor by Linda Ford

The Cowboy Tutor by Linda Ford is a Christian, historical romance. I saw the cover and a short description and decided I needed to request it from NetGalley. I am glad I did not read the longer description, which would have made me more aware of the Christian aspect of the story, which I am not always fond. However, in Linda Ford's case, she make the character's religion so much a part of their lives that it does not come across as forced or instructional, which is often the case in Christian fiction that I have read. The story description and character that hooked me is Madge Morgan. She is the oldest daughter, the one her family counts on to find a way to make mortgage payments and keep the family together since her father died. She takes in laundry and whatever respectable jobs that she can find in a town hit hard by the depression. One day she literally runs into Judd Kirk, a detraction that she does not need in these desperate times. Little does she know that Judd has a mission of his own, and is trying to avoid becoming sidetracked himself. Subterfuge complicates matters; but hard work, trust in God, and forgiveness might bring everyone the peace and love that they deserve.

I think that The Cowboy Tutor is a relatable story. The Depression era is a time full of struggles that many of us are now dealing with again, trying to make ends met and avoid becoming without basic necessities. While we might not be taking in laundry to pay the mortgage, many people are doing everything in their power to stay afloat, just like Madge and her family. Family dynamics, strong characters, and conflicts keep the story moving and the reader enthralled.

I think that The Cowboy Tutor is a well done romance, with or without the Christian element. However, readers that simply do not enjoy any book with religious tones will want to skip the book. While the faith found here is woven seamlessly into the lives of the characters, there are those that simply do not like romance blended with scripture. I typically do not enjoy Christian romance, mainly because many of the books I have read that try to merge romance and Christian themes seem to either tack in religion to fill the dialogue gaps, make it sound forced and unnatural, or go too far and leave the reader feeling preached to or judged rather than entertained by the book. Christian readers that enjoy romance but a leery of reading books with a Christian theme for the same reasons I am will want to take the leap and pick this one up.
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