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Monday, November 12, 2012

"Courting Cate" by Leslie Gould

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor-until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

Book 1 in The Courtships of Lancaster County series. 

Courting Cate is an provocative, Amish twist on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and it was every bit as forceful as I imagine the original to be.  I must admit, I was frustrated by the beginning of the story because it seemed obvious that Cate's prickly attitude was a result of pain and fear, not a mean spirit, and her father's edict and sister's decision to take advantage of Cate's love for her seemed too much - and then I kept reading.

Reading this story went from frustrating to difficult - because Gould wrote it that well.  She painted Cate into an impossible situation and turns the mirror back on the reader, and I didn't like what I saw.  Would I have reacted with Cate's prickliness in the beginning?  For sure.  Would I have reacted as Cate did during her most difficult time in New YorK?  Could I have treated the immature Betsy as Cate did later in the story?  That's a tough one.  While Gould follows the basic Shakespearean story, she adds her own faith-filled twists and turns that up both the suspense and emotional factor.  

I may have been a prickly reader in the beginning, but it wasn't long before I refused to put Courting Cate down. The transformation from Shakespeare to Lancaster Amish is a fascinating one - and Gould does it with exceptional grace.  Each modern element keeps you guessing while the basic plot line causes the reader to bleed a little more for Cate.  

This is definitely not your average Amish story.

I can't wait for the next one.

To purchase your own copy of Courting Cate, visit here.

Leslie Gould is the co-author, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife andThe Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels, including Garden of Dreams, Beyond the Blue (winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006), and Scrap Everything. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregon. 
Learn more at

I received a free copy of Courting Cate from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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