When I learned that Karen Witemeyer had a third novel that I had not yet read (the others being Short Straw Bride and To Win Her Heart), I was excited to say the least. A fun and engaging writer, Witemeyer’s works have always been a delight to read, and I was expecting no less than another gem when I dove into Head In the Clouds. Fortunately for me, this prediction came true and I’m happy to report that Witemeyer has done it again, with another solid addition to her repertoire.
Adelaide Proctor is the victim of an unfortunate failed attempt to find a husband, and decides to bury her shame by applying for a live-in governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch. She decides to forgo the affections of all men in order to recover from her ordeal and make a new start. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Gideon Wescott, a Briton who has attempted to make it rich in the American wool industry and the owner of the very ranch that Adelaide has decided to make a new home in. Gideon has a five-year old daughter named Isabella, who sadly has not spoken since her mother’s tragic death during the crossing from England to America. Although he is concerned about Adelaide’s less than conservative ways in taking care of Isabella, Gideon has larger problems as Isabella’s uncle arrives to claim her and her inheritance as his own. Gideon and Adelaide must work together in order to save Isabella from her uncle’s intentions, and in doing so they begin to discover a growing attraction between them. Will Adelaide’s past prevent her from acting on her feelings?
No matter how many books I read by Karen Witemeyer, I seem to always say the same things: she writes amazing characters and plots that you can’t help but become engrossed in. In this instance, Adelaide and Gideon’s love story acted like a magnet that drew me in right from the beginning. The way in which Adelaide is able to eventually bond with Isabella despite what happened with her mother’s death was heartwarming and made me instantly feel a kinship with Adelaide. To see her slowly put down her defenses and decide to give Gideon a chance was another moment that made my heart melt. I couldn’t help but root for the two of them as they fought Isabella’s uncle, and any small victory that they made had me jumping for joy. I guess the best explanation for why I was so invested in these characters is that they are so relatable. Every time Witemeyer makes a character I feel as if she is writing a separate story for me, one which I will become intimately involved in. I feel his/her losses and successes just as much as the character feels them. In this way, the plot can flow seamlessly from the characters, and the whole unit comes together as one excellent work. I can’t wait to try A Tailor-Made Bride, as well as Stealing the Preacher coming out soon in 2013!
5 out of 5 Stars
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House (2010)
eBook: 324 pages