After a cross-country trip to track down a sold painting that could ruin her family’s business forever, Miranda Wimplegate forms an unlikely but charged partnership with livestock auctioneer Wyatt Ballentine in Regina Jennings’ At Love’s Bidding. Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt must try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
Regina Jennings is one of my go-to authors when I want to read something that will make me swoon and grin all at the same time. At Love’s Bidding, the second book in her Ozark Mountains series, does exactly that. There’s even a dash of suspense to make mystery fans like me all the happier!
Colorful characters, entertaining antics, and a romance that will flutter your heart – these are the strengths of At Love’s Bidding. Nearly every emotion was engaged while I read, from laughter to tears to sympathetic mortification to swooniness (new word I coined just now). And Wyatt. *dreamy sigh* (I haven’t used one of those in a while. It felt good.) Wyatt is just THE ideal hero. I dare you to read this and not get all twitterpated when he’s in the scene. Especially one particular scalp-massagey scene. Whew!
While At Love’s Bidding can absolutely be read as a standalone novel, readers who’ve already fallen in love with the characters in A Most Inconvenient Marriage will be delighted to follow up with them a few years down the road. Most specifically, we get to spend a great deal of time with now-11-year-old Betsy Huckabee whose precocious antics brought much humor and mayhem to Marriage. It was fun seeing Josiah as a young man, too, complete with hints at what’s to come in his story, which can be found in the upcoming novella collection With This Ring. And perhaps in the closing paragraphs of At Love’s Bidding, Ms. Jennings has left her readers a clue as to the heroine of her next book? I, for one, would LOVE that to be the case!!
Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of the book to me was Miranda’s grandfather and his mental decline. As the granddaughter of not one but two beloved grandmothers who suffered from the excruciating goodbye of Alzheimer’s, I found Jennings’ treatment of this type of illness to be honest and compassionate. I especially liked what Miranda’s father told her when she questioned whether God was being cruel to leave her grandfather on earth to suffer like that.
“We still have your grandfather. He still loves us, he still enjoys life, and he’s still part of this world. And even if he loses that, even if he no longer recognizes any of us or is unaware, he still has a purpose. We’ve learned many lessons from your grandfather over the years, lessons that he enjoyed passing down. Caring for him will be the last lesson he has to teach us. It’s up to us to learn it well.”
This Christmas season, may we all be sensitive to those around us who appear to have lost their purpose. May we remember the lessons they’ve taught us over the years, and may we look for the lessons they have yet to teach. If no one in your circle is at this stage yet, may I suggest that you take a couple of hours to visit your local nursing home during the holiday? Many receive no visitors, even on special days of the year, and it would mean the world to them for someone to tell them “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” with a kind smile.
Bottom Line: While A Most Inconvenient Marriage is my favorite of the two books, At Love’s Bidding was a delightful way to spend my afternoon! Regina Jennings always delivers a sweet story loaded with vivid characters and peppered with hilarity and romance. This latest book is no exception. If you are a fan of Karen Witemeyer, Jen Turano, Mary Connealy, or Melissa Jagears, then you need to be reading Regina Jennings too!
My Rating: 4 stars / Enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 4 / May need fainting couch and/or fan
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
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Join Regina in celebrating the release of At Love’s Bidding by entering to win her Cozy Winter Night giveaway and RSVPing to her January 5th author chat party!
- One copy of At Love’s Bidding
- A coloring book for adults
- A pie dish
- Gourmet hot chocolate
- A fuzzy throw blanket
- Warm slippers
- Wintery coasters
RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!
About the Author:
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.