"A charming historical romance with a brave young schoolteacher"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted December 8, 2015
Keeping a status as a prospective school teacher isn't
easy. Alexandrina Fosgrave has come to Seattle but she must
be of excellent character and sophistication. When she gets
the offer of a job in a country community, she suspects
she's being set up as an arranged bride. In this charming
historical romance FRONTIER ENGAGEMENT, we discover if
very far from the truth.
James Wallin has been sent to employ a teacher, and the
terms are certainly interesting. Towns are small at this
time but expect to grow, and schoolhouses are built with
this in mind. The wages have to be better than Eastern ones
to attract teachers, and Alexandrina can expect her own
house with food and firewood. How could she refuse?
Actually, it's James' beautiful and well cared for team of
horses that makes the difference.
Shortening her name to Rina, the new teacher gets to grips
with her task. The class is all young adults, some
grudgingly present, and who knows what feral beasts lurk in
the woods? But she's determined to face up to the
challenge. Unfortunately the pupils are the least of her
problems. Rina and James undertake a long journey, and to
preserve propriety they are obliged to agree to an
engagement. Strictly temporary.
There's a lot to like in this adventurous tale of fledgling
communities and courageous people. Rina is a more complex
character than it appears, hiding a past with unscrupulous
parents. Her skills extend far beyond parsing sentences.
We initially expect that she will succeed, and only when
she appears to fail do we really start to want her to win.
With few marriageable women coming to the frontier, it's
natural that James should be a prospective husband - and
with his horses, this tale reminds me of Laura Ingalls
Wilder's biography. We see teaching as a way for a young
woman to gain independence and respect, to carry a valuable
trade. We also learn that the teacher must not smoke, wear
bright clothes or sit in ice-cream parlors.
With amusement and danger, FRONTIER ENGAGEMENT is a
splendid read, third in the Frontier Bachelor series
I hope a foretaste of more good stories. Regina Scott
writes historical romances populated by a wide array of
characters who seem as real as the people on the street.
FRONTIER ENGAGEMENT would be an ideal gift for a lady who
deserves a good book and some reading time over Christmas.
School Bells and Wedding Bells
James Wallin's family is depending on him to find a
schoolteacher for their frontier town. Alexandrina Fosgrave
seems to be exactly what he needs to help fulfill his
father's dream of building a new community. If only James
could convince her to accept the position.
Alexandrina has traveled west to seek a fresh start, not to
find a groom. But after she's stranded in the wilderness
with James, he offers her his hand in marriage to protect
her reputation. Both are afraid to fall in love, but maybe
an engagement of convenience could make them reconsider…
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