Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Courting Misfortune Marries Suspense and Fun

After meeting Miss Calista York in Intrigue a la Mode, I was delighted to find she gets her own story in Courting Misfortune. This is book 1 in Ms. Jennings new Joplin Chronicles series. 

Calista has been commissioned by her boss Mr. Robert Pinkerton with finding a missing girl. The clock is ticking. She has 30 days to complete her mission or else a fellow Pinkerton associate will be called in to complete said mission. If she successfully closes this case, then she will no longer be on probation with the agency, but a full-fledged agent. If she fails, then she loses this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Failure in Calista's mind means going back to Kansas City as a debutante. Failure is not an option. She feels called to be a Pinkerton agent.  

Adding to the stress of her operation, is her nosy, well-meaning extended family and the fact that she's developing feelings for Matthew Cook, a missionary in Joplin trying to make a difference and fight against the corruption in the town. 

Calista is trying to find her identity. She knows who she is in Christ, but she has a hard time reconciling the deceptive aspects of her vocation with what God's Word says. "She was weary. While she believed she was doing good, she wondered at the sacrifice." (Jennings, 99). 

Matthew Cook is trying to figure out Calista York. He can't decide if she needs saving or if she's a felon with her suspicious behavior. One lesson he learned from his grandfather is "the sweetest moments come from the most offensive fertilizer." (Jennings, 24) and he's bound and determined to help rid the Joplin of their exploitation. A trait that I really liked about Matthew was that he genuinely  tries to befriend people in the town and help them, but he is also concerned for their souls.  This confusion about which side of the law she is on leads to a lot of fun while they are getting to know each other. I also really liked how respectful and thoughtful his character was. Between the fun and chemistry built between Calista and Matthew, along with cheering for the success of the mission, this book is a must read. 

I really liked the humorous dynamics between Calista and her extended family. It reminded me of growing up with my cousins and the bonds you form. As family they can drive you nuts because they do know you so well ,but at the end of the day you love them because they are family.

When Matthew makes his intention knowns to Calista I may have audibly sighed. "I am not your responsibility she said with a smile on her face although her voice growled. "You're my something," he said. Her throat caught as he captured her gaze. She couldn't look away. She'd seen his fierceness directed at others, but this was different. It wasn't anger, it was resolve. He was making a resolution and it was about her...He was making a claim on her personally, and to her surprise Calista welcomed it." (Jennings, 169-170). 

If you were like me and really needed a enjoyable, lighthearted, and engaging story that you didn't feel like was trying to make a political point or preach at you when we are already getting that in everyday life in droves, then this is the book for you!

I liked how dramatic and mysterious the cover art on the front, spine and back of the book are. It really paints a picture and has you wanting to read and figure out what the heroine is up to. 

Get ready to laugh out loud & cheer for these two characters. It was just what my 2021 needed and I cannot recommend this delightful read enough. 

~~ Courting Misfortune was provided to me by the author and Bethany House in return for my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own, I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own.~~