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January 7, 2013

COURTING CATE by Leslie Gould

The Courtships of Lancaster County #1

BLURB:  When this couple get to courting, sparks will fly!

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: Cate, as the oldest, must get married before Betsy can do so.  Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor - until Pete Tregor comes to town, that is.

Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention  to winning Cates' hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?.(From back of book)

REVIEW:  Pete Treger who is an Amish farmer, moves to Paradise Township, Pennsylvania.  He wants a better life and a wife.  He meets two beautiful girls, Cate and Betsy Miller.  Cate is known for her sharp tongue and speaking her mind.  Betsy is sweet and pretty.  She seems like she attracts every eligible bachelor around.

Since Cate isn't interested in getting married and Betsy can't wait, their Dawd has made a hard rule that Cate must marry before Betsy can even court.  Cate doesn't have any bachelors after her which makes poor Betsy unhappy since there are so many bachelors wanting to court her. Pete thinks both sisters are pretty but there is something about Cate that appeals to him.  Pete is convinced by the other bachelors to court Cate. She could care less about Pete, and goes out of her way to ignore him.
To me Cate has a strong will and is quite gutsy.  If she doesn't want to do something, she doesn't do it.   She has taken care of Betsy since she was a day old.  She has had to be a mother instead of a child.  Cate hides her emotions from everyone.  She keeps them inside.  She starts to care for Pete but she finds tricks in every move he makes towards her.  Is it just her imagination or is he really just playing with her emotions and trying to get some of her Dawd's money? I think Cate grew into a more mature and soft woman. after she met Pete.

Pete was a man you couldn't help but fall for.  He was somewhat a free spirit.
Betsy was a spoiled brat, prim and proper, but underneath she could be a  little brat.  She may have had her cooking and cleaning skills down to a pat but she didn't have her people skills down.  She thought that smiling pretty and making sweet talk was all it took.  Boy was she wrong.

This story is so beautiful, maybe one of the best Amish books I've read.  Cate is a woman all her own.  But Pete slowly cuts into that tough exterior and begins to show Cate that life without love is NOTHING.

This is a don't put down books with pages turning as fast as you can.  The descriptive scenes are wonderful.  You can place yourself in Lancaster. The emotions that both Pete and Cate go through will either break  your heart or put a smile on your face.  Cate had a problem with love because she had lost God.  Without God's love first and foremost, other loves can't come through. Cate loves to read and so does Pete.  I think that reading is Cate's escape.  The escape from her hurt and pain.

                  "With a gentle kick, I shut the door behind us."
                            (from the last page of the book.)

This  complimentary print copy of COURTING CATE was given to me from Bethany House Publishing for this unbiased review.


Mix for crumbs: (reserving ½ cup for topping)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon solid shortening
1 cup flour

1 cup molasses (good and thick)
¾ cup boiling water
1 egg beaten
1 Teaspoon baking soda

Combine soda with boiling water, then add egg and syrup. Add crumb mixture (this will be lumpy). Pour into unbaked pie crust and cover with reserved crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes (until firm). When cut into, the bottom may be "wet." This is okay, and is called a "wet bottom shoo fly pie."

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