Book Review: Courting Cate by Leslie Gould

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When Pete Traeger moves to Paradise Township in Lancaster County he meets the lovely Miller sisters, Cate and Betsy. Though each sister is pretty, Betsy is sought after by most of the bachelors in the county, where Cate’s fiery temper and preference for books over people keeps most of them at bay. Their father has decreed that Betsy cannot start courting until after her elder sister is married. So when Pete seems drawn to Cate’s sharp wit, the other bachelors are quick to convince him to start courting Cate. But Cate knows what the local male population thinks of her, and she becomes immediately suspicious. It’ll take more than sweet words and romantic buggy rides to win Cate Miller’s heart, but Pete might just be the man to do it.

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I read a lot of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The kind where the main characters get into bloody battles and empirical political machinations rule the day. Some of my favorite secondary characters often end up dead or horribly injured. It can leave me with a book hangover. I’m sure you know the kind. When a book has ravaged your emotions so much in the best and worst ways that you have trouble recovering.

It is then that I love to deploy the palate cleanser. A nice story. Where bad things might happen, but nobody dies and the ending is almost guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies. It helps balance me out.

I also love a good Shakespearean tale. So Courting Cate by Leslie Gould was right up my alley. It is an Amish Romance take on Taming of the Shrew. Even better, it is the start of a series, all based in the same Amish community, of Shakespearean retellings.

If you are not into clean reads and retellings, this will not be the book or the series for you. There are no curse words, sexually explicit scenes, or instances of bloodshed–at least not the dangerous kind.

The biggest drawback to the story, however, is a lack of representation. If you are hoping there might be POC in this Amish community or the neighboring Englisher (non-Amish) community, you’re going to be disappointed. I have found this true with the vast majority of Amish fiction, though, so I was less than surprised.

Overall the story was cute and I enjoyed the take on the old tale. It was just what I needed to wash away the emotional turmoil of the last book. It was also a quick read, one night rocking a sick child will cover it. I can verify that.

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