Karen Witemeyer’s debut novel A Tailor-Made Bride is a delightful romantic tale of the prickly relationship between Hannah Richards and Jericho “J.T.” Tucker. Hannah is the new seamstress in Coventry, Texas and liveryman J.T. believes that any woman devoted to fashion is shallow and vain. He is looking for a woman who understands that “true beauty” has nothing to do with what one wears. I admit to absolutely loving the premise being a seamstress myself and the cover art alone had me drooling.
J.T. thinks that vanity = sin and has no issue living in a “grey” world. In Hannah’s way of thinking, beauty is God’s gift to us full of color and whimsy. Witemeyer’s exploration of this main conflict is powerfully written and well thought out digging deeply into the heart of each character revealing how they came to feel the way they do. Their individual spiritual journey’s are fully explored using humor and an external conflict that moves them toward one another throughout this work of fiction.
The unlikely love story between these two very strong personalities was completely believable and so wonderful to watch unfold. Hannah is no wallflower and holds her own against the gruffness of J.T.’s character. Witemeyer draws you in with witty dialogue and some fabulous physical comedy that you can see translating beautifully on screen some day. The secondary characters were charming and engaging, supporting the main characters in their individual quests to free themselves from their past misunderstandings and fears while leading them to see God’s purpose in their meeting. The setting of Coventry actually becomes another character on the canvas drawing the reader back through the years with stagecoaches and petticoats. Witemeyer’s descriptions of the fashions are spectacular once again supporting her characters throughout.
I absolutely loved the ending when J.T. finally declares his intentions to Hannah. Without giving it all away, it was incredibly sweet, touching and completely in character. One of my favorite scenes in the entire book. Karen Witemeyer provides a new and incredibly fresh voice in today’s inspirational romance market. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I am really looking forward to her second novel Head in the Clouds due out in October 2010.
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