Book Review: "Love On the Line" by Deeanne Gist

Summary from In 1904 Texas Ranger Luke Palmer arrives in Brenham, Texas, with one goal--to capture the gang of outlaws led by Frank Comer. Undercover as a telephone repairman, he uses his days on the range to search, not realizing there's another pair of eyes watching him.

Georgie Gail, switchboard operator and birder, heads out on a birding expedition, but instead of sighting a painted bunting, her opera glasses capture her telephone man, armed and far away from telephone lines. Palmer is forced to take this alluring troublemaker into his confidence and unwittingly puts her in harm's way. The closer he comes to the gang, the further she works her way into his heart--and into trouble. Soon it's more than just love that's on the line.

It's always funny how something can happen in real life and then you pick up a book and then find the same thing happening in the book. Over the past weekend, I had gone to see the movie The Big Year, which is a movie about extreme bird watching. I found the movie fascinating because I didn't really know that much about birds and never realized the deep interest people have in them. Then lo and behold the very next day, I started reading this book and find that our heroine has a huge interest in birds and saving them. It was like my real (well movie) life and my book life had somehow collided.

Georgie is a telephone operator right around the time period when telephones were starting to become popular in houses. It was really interesting reading about how the operator was the one completely in charge at the time as she had the power to transfer news, request help and hear all the gossip in town. It was a job that was in demand for women and I liked seeing them take control of the career. I was very impressed with Georgie's zeal for protecting birds from being needlessly killed for the sake of fashion. I had no idea that birds were being used in that way and I have no idea why in the world someone would want a decapitated bird on their dress or hat.

There were a few scenes when I got a bit annoyed with the characters. Luke laughs at Georgie. I just can't stand scenes where the female is doing her job and gets frustrated at the male and all he can do is stand there and laugh at her. She usually then just gets more frustrated but doesn't do anything to stop his laughing. There is also a scene that disturbed me quite a bit as a character allows others to hurt another character even though they care deeply for the other person. It's supposed to done because they are trying to save an even bigger issue but I was rather disgusted that it even took place to begin with.

I found this book to be a lot tamer than other books by Gist that I have read. There seemed to be none of the sexual tension or undercurrent that I've come to know with her books. Yes, Georgie and Luke had a lot of chemistry together but compared to other of Gist's couples, this was practically chaste.

Overall, I have to say that this wasn't my favorite book from Gist. It's a good story and filled with a lot of adventure, action, spunk and romance. I just personally thought that her previous books were a lot better. I still think fans of her books and of historical romances will enjoy this read. It might not be the best one to start off with but it's still fun and romantic.

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist is published by Bethany House (2011)

This review copy was provided for a tour with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


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