This book is one of those I would gladly give more than five stars to if only I could. It is a love story, plain and simple. I found it to be refreshingly funny, realistic in its depiction of the male/female courting misunderstandings, and endearingly sweet and humorous. It takes place in Colorado, 1893, and concerns the beginning of the cultivation of what came to be called Rocky Ford watermelons.
Miss Sophronia Carter is not the type of young woman men tend to pay any attention to. She is considered to be plain, very tall for a woman and very slim, some might even say skinny. And, as if that wasn't enough, she is flat-chested. Now any one of these problems might be overlooked but when they are all combined in one woman, her chances of attracting a man might seem rather unattainable. Sophie has no illusions about her physical attributes, or even the lack of them, but she just knows that when Mr. Right comes along she will know him immediately. After all, she has read all about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, she knows all the problems Jane Ayre had finding the man she loved. Then, out of nowhere Miss Sophie sees HIM. And it's just like the books said it would be, or rather it might have been like that if she hadn't fallen off the porch steps and landed on him and broken his nose and hit him with her knee in a portion of his anatomy that made him curl up into a ball and writhe on the ground.
This author did a very clever thing by having Zeke Jeffries keep a journal. I don't think I've ever read another romance where the hero kept the journal. This gave me wonderful insight into what Zeke was thinking and why he was acting in the way he acted. I thoroughly enjoyed reading those portions of the story. Zeke knows he is attracted to Sophie but he also knows there is not any way possible for him to support a wife yet on his rundown farm. Somehow he will just have to ignore his longing for her and keep going out to the water pump every night for his "cooling off" time.
Add in a 10 year old boy with a decided thirst for learning about electricity and an amazing ability to get into trouble, the town blacksmith and the town's fallen woman and you have interesting characters to keep your attention firmly focused on this story. I sincerely enjoyed the mortal combat being waged by Sophie's mother, Delphi Carter and her arch enemy, Adelaide Smith. Both aspire to the position of Social Matron of the town and their battles are of epic proportions and hilarious to boot. Especially since Mrs. Smith has a candidate she thinks would make a perfect wife for Zeke and Mrs. Carter believes her Sophie would be the best possible solution for a man in need of a wife, even if he hasn't expressed any such need.
This author told a story with her tongue held very firmly in her cheek. Everything you have ever read in any historical romance is mentioned here as the epitome of how to get a couple from first notice through to marriage. Except she continued to throw reality in their path so nothing worked out as it does in the romance books. Very highly recommended if you like your romance on the quiet, sweet, innocent side. But not so innocent as to be boring I can assure you!