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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and enjoyable story, 5 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Head in the Clouds (Paperback)
After a would-be-suitor turns out to be less than suitable, Adelaide Proctor heads to Texas following an advertisement for a governess. Both Gideon Westcott and his five-year-old ward, Isabella, immediately take a liking to the less than conventional young governess, who, despite seeming to be in a perpetual dreamland, is the only person who is able to make Isabella laugh and smile. Gideon is in awe that someone has managed to make Isabella open up and learn to enjoy life after the death of her mother, and his admiration for his governess causes him to entertain the idea that maybe, someday she may be more than an employee. However, fate conspires to bring them together far sooner than they'd both planned as they have to work together to protect Isabella from her uncle, who plans to claim the child in order to gain access to her inheritance.

The beautiful cover alone was enough to inspire me to read this book, and I'm so thankful that it enticed me into buying it. While I'll admit that the synopsis doesn't make this story particularly stand out from the myriad of Christian historical romances flooding the genre right now, Karen Witemeyer brings something new and refreshing with her characterisation. I loved the way that Adelaide used imagination and games to bring Isabella out of her shell, and her manner of continually comparing her situations to fairy tales made me smile. I also spend far too much of my time with my head in a book, romanticising and daydreaming about what adventures I may encounter, so Adelaide was the perfect heroine for me. She was a very relatable character, from her desire for a husband and family and her failed attempts at finding the right man to her endearing relationship with Isabella and her devotion to her.

This book had the perfect blend of romance and adventure, with neither overshadowing the other. As Gideon and Adelaide attempted to protect Isabella from her uncle, their relationship deepened and they realised how much they cared for each other. There was only one tiny moment in the scenes where Adelaide and Gideon were defending Isabella when I felt matters had got a little over-the-top, but overall I felt that the adventure was portrayed realistically. The tender romance between Adelaide and Gideon was so sweet to read about, yet flashes of passion were hinted at in a way that was entirely appropriate yet showed the depth of Adelaide and Gideon's love for each other. The final scene at the end of the novel where Gideon and his father return to the women on the ranch is one of my favourites, and truly showed how much Adelaide and Gideo had come to love each other over the course of the book. There was nothing really unusual or unique about the romance in this book, yet it was still one of the most beautiful and realistic stories I've read. I believed every moment of their blossoming relationship, and it made me smile at each milestone the couple passed. Nothing out of the ordinary, but just as a real love story should be.

Karen Witemeyer certainly knows how to create a compelling and enjoyable story. Full of adventure, romance, tender caresses, passion-filled glances, caring family members, cruel villains, secondary characters and plenty of imagination, Head in the Clouds had everything I look for in a good historical romance. Karen has made a well-worn plot entertaining through her skilled characterisation and story-telling and this definitely won't be the only one of her novels that I'll be reading. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clean romance, 10 May 2013
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This is a christian romance but for those who prefer to avoid that sort of thing, it is easy to skip the religious passages should you wish.

This is the second book that I have read by this author and I do enjoy her style of writing. It's very romantic, with a lovable hero and heroine, a touch of danger and suspense, and an adorable child that Adelaide is governess to. The tale is certainly heart warming and perfect for escapist reading. Very enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loveable heroine, and an exciting story, 20 Feb. 2014
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This is a story set in Texas in the late 1800s. Miss Adelaide Proctor took a job as a teacher after her father died, and part of the conditions of the contract were that she wasn’t allowed to marry for 2 years. At the end of this time, the potential suitors who she met when she first came into town have moved on. Adelaide has no family and she dreams of starting a family of her own, so she’s been concentrating her efforts on a young man called Henry, whom she doesn’t love, but likes enough to see as a potential husband. Henry works as a travelling salesman, so Adelaide only sees him about once a month, and when he gets a promotion he tells her he won’t be in the area again. Adelaide believes Henry is too shy to propose, so she decides to give him some encouragement, resigning her job and followings him to a new town where she is met with disappointment.

Adelaide needs a new job quickly, and is lucky enough to be given a chance of being a governess to Gideon Westcott’s 5 year old daughter, Isabella. The poor child lost her mother 5 months ago, and has been mute ever since. She is absolutely crushed by her grief, and Gideon isn’t so much looking for a teacher for Isabella, but somebody who will bring her back to a normal childhood. Adelaide is no stranger to grief and she and Isabella immediately bond. Adelaide also feels a strong pull towards Gideon, but she’s getting her head out of the clouds this time; he’s her employer, the son of an English baron, and she’s not exactly marriage material he’s likely to be looking for. In addition to this Adelaide is under the belief that Gideon’s wife has just died, not realising that he adopted the orphaned Isabella.

Adelaide is a great character, she is fun, hard-working, brave, sensible and sweet. Her father used to call her his sunshine, and it’s an apt nickname, she is a very sunny soul! She has a genuine affection for Isabella and is patient with her, trying to draw her out of her shell and come out from the shadow her experiences have cast on her short life. Adelaide and Gideon’s attraction towards each other is almost instant, but it’s still believable, and you are rooting for them to get together when it becomes apparent that there is a very real danger threatening Isabella, and they have to work together to fight it off. There is quite a bit of action going on in this book, and I was riveted to the page!

This book has a strong Christian theme, but I didn’t feel it was too much; Adelaide in particular has a bit of a spiritual journey in this book, starting off by being almost impatient with God for how her life is, and moving towards the realisation that rather than asking God to give her certain things in life she should instead have been asking for courage to do what needs to be done and patience to wait when needed.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I would definitely read other books by her, I really enjoyed this read.
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Head in the Clouds
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer (Paperback - 1 Oct. 2010)
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