Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.
When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.
When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?
I had a blast reading Karen Witemeyer's first book earlier this year. Therefore I approached her newest book with loads of optimism and in hopes of another good read. I was granted my wish. The book combines all elements of historical romances that I do love as well as mixing in humor and a bit of suspense. This all makes for an excellent afternoon read.
The characters are what really make this story stand out for me. Adelaide is wonderful, smart and spunky female lead. Even though she starts off the book with heartbreak, she doesn't wallow too long in sorrow. She uses her skills to move ahead and does her best not to look behind her. She's very resourceful and I love how she uses bright colors to brighten up her day. I love how Gideon is British. Immediately then I picture him as Darcy because that's who I dream the perfect 1800s British man to represent. In fact, Darcy is also who Adelaide fancies along with Mr. Rochester so this made it even more doubly fun. I really liked his character. While he may not be Isabella's biological father, it is very obvious that he loves his daughter and that she loves him. Even though he feels attraction to Adelaide from the beginning, he puts his daughter first.
Regarding Adelaide's and Gideon's relationship, I thought it was perfect. They both feel immediate attraction towards each other as soon as they meet. However they both focus more on Isabella first. Because of this, both are able to see each other in a different light as opposed to if they had started on each other first. The two begin to grow to trust each other and this is especially evident after the scary incident involving Adelaide. When they do start allowing their romantic feelings to show, it feels natural and you can't help but wait for them to finally get together.
Between this book and Jody Hedlund's The Preacher's Wife, these are exactly the type of historical romances that I love to read. Historical detail that does focus more on the romance, but with an excellent storyline where the romance is convincing and is all around extremely well written. As with the first book, faith references are sprinkled in but never feel preachy. There are touches of humor throughout the book as well. Witemeyer's books have given me characters that I've grown to love and plots that I wish never had to end. I cannot wait until her next book to see where she takes me next.
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer is published by Bethany House (2010)
This review copy was provided for a blog tour with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance