It’s 1916, and Idaho rancher Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. So when charged with transforming English aristocrat Sherwood Statham from playboy into cowboy, she’s totally disconcerted. So is Statham, who’s never encountered a woman succeeding in a “man’s world”. Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.
©1997 Bill Hybels & Lynne Hybels (P)2009 Zondervan
I started "Fit to Be Tied" almost as soon as I finished "A Vote of Confidence," but I found I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first book in the series. It's a cute story, but the character development made it feel a little implausible to me.
While I liked Cleo, I had a harder time identifying with her than I did with Gwen. I think it was what seemed to me to be her conflicting character traits. On one hand, she's a tomboy most at home wrangling horses and herding cattle who can't stand being in a dress. At the same time, however, she really wants to find a husband and have children. While I don't believe that it's impossible for those two desires to exist in the same person, I didn't feel that Robin Lee Hatcher did a great job of reconciling the two.
I think the thing that keeps Robin Lee Hatcher from being one of my favorite authors is the way that she glosses over what seem to me to be major parts of the story. This was especially true in Sherwood's case. Without giving too much away, supposedly he underwent a major transformation in the book, but we never really saw that happen. We just saw him one way, and then suddenly he was different. I felt the same way about the relationship between Cleo and Sherwood. Because of that, I still have a hard time really picturing them as a couple.
One advantage that "Fit to Be Tied" had over "A Vote of Confidence," however, was the narration. I think Kathy Garver had an easier time distinguishing between the male and female voices in this book without going too overboard. Some of the characters still had the creepy, vocal fry type voice from the first book, but at least she didn't have to do that with Sherwood, since she could set him apart with an English accent.
Overall, I thought "Fit to Be Tied" was a pleasant read to continue the series, but only because I was already acquainted with the characters and the town. If this had been the first book in the trilogy, I'm not sure that I would have continued with the rest of them.
I thought Cleo's personality and tom boy behavior was the most interesting. I thought Sherwood's change seemed a little quick.
I loved the way the narrator used different accents and tonality for different characters. After a few chapters, I was easily able to recognize each character by the tone of her voice.
While very entertaining, I felt the story line became very predictable by the middle of the book. But, I was glad I finished through to the end. It was a sweet romance, worth the time.
This follow-up to A Vote of Confidence is not quite as good as the last, but actually made me love book one even more. I realized just how much I enjoyed the sister connection between Gwen and Cleo and missed it just a bit now that Gwen is married and expecting. Perhaps that was a bit of what Cleo was feeling too, the natural separation that happens when sisters grow up into their own lives and families. There are no huge surprises in Fit to Be Tied's plot line, but then again, who says there has to be? It is an easy, sweet read that transports you back in time to early 1900's, small-town, Western community life and throws in a romance into the bargain. I look forward to book three.
I wouldn't recommend this book, the plot is OK but the narrator didn't differentiate among the characters and I often had trouble knowing who was talking. I don't wish to be preached to or receive religious instruction in my recreational reading so the religious messages were not welcome. If an author wants to push their religious beliefs then they should label a book honestly and clearly as christian fiction - so I know to stay away.
This is a terrible book. I would not recommend it to anyone. Also, the narration is woeful - really irritating. Don't waste yout time on this.
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