About the Book
Book: Dinah’s Dilemma
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: August 15, 2020
Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?
Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.
As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.
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About the Author
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
More from Linda
As a novelist, I write about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. And to me, nothing is more extraordinary than leaving all that you know to travel a great distance (often thousands of miles) to marry a man you’ve never met. Don’t you agree?
During the initial settlement of the American West, the population was primarily composed of men. Men who went in search of gold, to seek new opportunities in farming and ranching, or to make a fresh start where land and resources seemed unlimited. Eventually, loneliness set in for those who were single, yet there was a dearth of suitable women to marry.
The conundrum for the men was how to meet and court a woman without leaving for fear of someone taking their land or claims. Some of the bachelors wrote home asking friends and family for referrals to single women who would make a good wife. Courtship would take place via correspondence until the couple decided they were suited to marry. The more common scenario was that of mail-order brides.
Ads were placed by the men in eastern newspapers. They would tell a bit about themselves and what traits they were seeking in a wife. Interested women would reply, and the advertiser would respond to the applicant he thought was a good fit. As with those men who wrote home to find a mate, the process was much the same with courtship occurring through letters.
Most of the time, the marriages went smoothly, with the couple falling in love, resulting in a long and happy relationship. However, there are stories of marriages that did not survive because of abandonment, abuse, death, or the discovery of a still-living spouse. A few incidents are recorded about mail-order brides whose groom paid her railway passage, only for her to marry someone else because he seemed a better prospect. Fortunately, those instances seem to make up a small percentage.
I hope you enjoy Dinah’s Dilemma: A Mail-Order Bride Romance.
Linda Shenton Matchett
Oh how I loved this story. It was so emotional and realistic that I was able to relate to the main character so easily. Dinah has a sketchy family history and it is hard for her to escape it. Many people judge her because of her brothers. Here is where I had to stop. My heart beat a little faster as I knew exactly how she felt. have an older brother who has always in trouble and made very poor choices. It wasn’t uncommon for the police to knock on our door telling us that my brother was in jail. Like Dinah, people assumed that I did the same things he did, so I had no friends and I trusted no one.
I know Dinah made a hasty decision to become a mail order bride but she was so desperate to get away from her family she felt she had no other choice. Even though she has been through a hard life, her faith never wavered. I admired her caring heart and need to be accepted. We all want to be liked and Dinah wanted a better life and a chance to find happiness and friends. Every time she felt unworthy, I cried knowing how much it hurts to feel rejected.
Nathan is everything you would want in a husband. He is hard working, loves God, and adores his daughter. I have always been fascinated by stories about mail order brides. It is only the woman that takes a big risk but the man does as well. Nathan wants his sweet little girl to be happy and he is hoping that Dinah will fit in. The author does an excellent job of illustrating how these two people slowly start to trust each other. Nathan seeing Dinah spend time with his daughter makes him feel like he has made a great decision.
This story does deal with two very important topics that we all have experienced. Trust and forgiveness can be difficult if we allow fear and pride to sneak in. When Nathan finds out that Dinah has not been honest with them, it shatters him and his heart turns cold. This is the meat of the story for me. I wanted to see how the author would explore these two subjects that many of us struggle with.
Nathan is still trying to cope with a loss and now the woman he has brought to live with him as his wife has hid secrets from him. How can he trust her with his heart? The anguish he goes through is hard as he grieves for what could have been. Have you ever had your hopes and dreams shattered? Nathan is a very compassionate man who know needs to turn to God for help.
Dinah is beside herself as she knows that the truth has come out about her past.Why didn’t she tell Nathan right away? I can only guess that she wanted him to love her and accept her and allowed her fear to take over. There is nothing that we do that God won’t forgive us for. Dinah in her fragile state will have to trust God as she decides if telling the truth will save her marriage.
This is one story that shows how important communication is in a marriage. Nathan and Dinah both have been afraid to open up to each other and allow God to show them that “Love is patient and love is kind.” The author has written a beautiful story that reminds us along with communication, trust and forgiveness are key to a blessed marriage.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a Book Journal, Floral Book Plates, Bookjigs Bookmark, a $25 Visa Gift Card, and an autographed paperback edition of Dinah’s Dilemma!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.