A Sweet Misfortune

Written by Maggie Brendan
Review by B. J. Sedlock

In Paradise Valley, Montana Territory, 1862, John McIntyre receives a request from a friend asking him to rescue his sister from a dance hall. Rachel Matthews doesn’t want to be rescued, thank you very much, as she is earning her own living. She sees John as the bad guy, since he now owns her family’s property after they lost it due to unpaid taxes. At John’s ranch, Rachel meets his kindly grandmother, Estelle, and agrees to help in her millinery shop. Will Rachel overcome frontier society’s prejudices about “soiled dove” dance hall girls? And will the affection she feels for Estelle lead her to feel less resentful towards John?

As hinted at in the title, this is a sweet Christian romance. The religious content is woven in naturally, though the preacher quotes a Bible passage that sounds more 21st-century-translation than a period one. There is not a lot of suspense, mainly some mild threats to the couple’s relationship. If you cherish suspense in your stories, look elsewhere, but if you like a good comfort read set in pioneer times, this volume from the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series will satisfy.