A Midwife Crisis
by Lisa Cooke
(Leisure, $6.99, PG)† ISBN 978-08439-6362-5
****
Here is an enjoyable tale sent at the turn of the century in West Virginia, featuring a woman who is almost a spinster but hasnít really had much in the way of choices in the past.† Katie Napier is a healer and has been tending the people of the valley for years.† There wasnít much choice, since there are no doctors.† Until recently, that is.† Dr. John Keffer is from New York City.† When his wife was killed in a carriage accident and he couldnít save her, he had to get away.† He brings his five year old daughter Julia to his grandparentís hometown.† He assumes everyone will be thrilled to have a real doctor and he sets up shop.† He is lost as to how to gain peopleís trust until he decides to get Katie on his side and let everyone know that he will be taking over for her.†

What he doesnít plan on is the fact that Katie has three fiancťs and she is trying to decide who she should marry.† Katie, you see, is also the workhorse in her household, which consists of her father and her motherís parents.† Grandma acts as if she is dying all the time, and therefore canít do anything.† Her father complains of his bad back and Grandpa just expects everyone to wait on him hand and foot.† When it becomes clear that Katie might want more out of life than taking care of them, they sent about to get her hitched to someone of their choosing Ė thinking she can still live with them and keep taking care of them.†

Grandpa picks out one of his old friends, who is older than Katie by quite a few years, but is relatively rich and can easily take care of her.† Harold is intrigued mainly because he is just plain lonely. †

Her father chooses a spindly unassuming man named Freddie.† Freddie has always thought Katie was beautiful but he is painfully shy and is sure she wonít be able to see him for the man he thinks he is.† †

And Grandma chooses the son of an old friend who is drop dead gorgeous but doesnít seem to have much besides his looks and charm to recommend him.† Randy is not only cute, but knows it and is rather full of himself. †

Katie is not thrilled with any choice, but she does want children and knows that eventually she should marry.† The fact that she likes spending time with the doctor, adores Julia and likes that he sees her as more than a housekeeper just complicates matters all the more.† It is the doctor who is surprised however, when he finds himself feeling jealous of these other men and realizes that he might be ready to move on with life and Katie would be a good woman to have. When the doctorís sister in law arrives, hoping to snare John, Katie realizes she is vastly different from a New York debutant and might not be good enough for him.† †

There is a ton of tongue in cheek humor in this tale and the writing style keeps it from getting too serious about the angst and issues they are facing.† It is what keeps this tale from being rather dull.†There isnít a lot of action.†There are a great many characterizations of life and many moments of soul searching and relationship building.†This story kept my interest.†I liked John and sympathized with his loss, all the while chuckling over the way he was handling his feelings for Katie.†

Katie, meanwhile was so down to earth, it was fun to watch her gain her self esteem and stand on her feet with her family.† She blossomed in the story and grew into a heroine who truly deserved her happily ever after.†

A Midwife Crisis is not your traditional historical romance and has an unusual setting and storyline.†But it is entertaining, humorous and delivers on the romance.†It is a story I can heartily say you will enjoy. †

--Shirley Lyons


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