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Strong and Stubborn

Title:  Strong and Stubborn
Author:  Kelly Eileen Hake                                                                                                             
Pages:  311
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
                Strong and Stubborn is the third book in the Husbands for Hire series written by Kelly Hake.  The first two books in the series are titled Rugged and Relentless and Tall, Dark, and Determined, respectively.  All of the characters present in the first two books make a return appearance in this third book, with a few additions.  The story takes place in the small town of Hope Falls in the Colorado Territory in 1887. The owners of a mining operation are trying to begin a sawmill business.
                Naomi Higgins has a secret.  The only other person who knows it is her sister with whom she has not seen in five years.  Her sister, Charlotte, lured Naomi’s beau away from her five years ago and married him.  Naomi is sent to take care of her younger cousin, Lacey, as she can’t attract a husband and is “on the shelf”.  Naomi loves to build, decorate, and create dollhouses that are miniatures of real houses.  When she needs an escape, she goes to her workshop.  Now that the other three female owners of the sawmill have become engaged per their agreement, it is Naomi’s turn to fulfill her part of the bargain to find a husband.  There are several men among the lumberjacks who vie for her attention, but none spark her interest.  Will God send her the right man to marry?  She feels unworthy of any man due to her guilt and shame.  Will she ever be able to live with her “secret”?  Can she truly find God’s forgiveness and believe in it?  She lives in fear that someone will find out about her secret when her sister unexpectedly shows up in Hope Falls with her husband, the former love of Naomi’s life.  What will everyone think of her?
                Mike Strode has a secret as well.  He arrives in Hope Falls looking for a fresh start.  He is a carpenter and wants to set up shop in Hope Falls.  His wife died three months ago and he is not looking to marry again.  He married his first wife for money, hoping that they could grow into a loving family.  That doesn’t happen, and Mike is wary of being bought again once he hears of the ladies’ ad for husbands.  The first time Mike sees Naomi, however, he is smitten.  He enjoys spending time with her helping her build a dollhouse for a customer.  Once he learns of her part in advertising to buy a husband, he treats her coolly.  However, he learns the reason for the ad and understands why it was placed.  Now, his feelings for Naomi though make him want to be the one she chooses, but he’s running out of time.  Should he tell Naomi his secret?  Is she the one God wants him to marry?  Can they both learn to trust God completely and in turn, trust each other?
                The author has created a nice and easy book to read that gives the reader a good chance to relax.  I would recommend reading the first two books before reading this one.  This story shows us how we gain our value through Jesus, not man.  Also, we see the importance of relying on God and his timing to accomplish what is best for his children.
                My rating is 3 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

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