Dancing and Doughnuts, fam.
This is Book 2 in Rachel Kovaciny’s Once Upon a Western series of fairy tale retellings, and it just released August 31st; so, hot off the presses, as they say. (Blog tour link is here; giveaway with fantabulous themed prizes is here.)
IT’S SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD, FAM.
I had a huge silly grin on my face the entire time I was reading. I can’t remember the last time a story did that to me. It made me happy. Really, truly happy. I may be smol and cynical and full of several anxiety disorders, but I couldn’t resist this story’s magic.
Come to think of it, it’s hard to see how anyone could resist the goofy, exuberant energy Dancing and Doughnuts serves up. We’ve got a family of twelve (12) daughters, trying to save their Highly Respectable Dance Hall from the unnamed culprit who’s been–oh, the horror!–spiking the apple cider. We also have one (1) enterprising drifter who thinks he’s the man to solve the problem . . . and earn that sweet, sweet fifty-dollar reward. And let’s not forget the whole swarm of assorted lovers, suitors, business rivals, town gossips, and law enforcement officials hovering around, all ready to pounce at any moment. The romp that follows is every bit as hilarious you’re imagining.
I loved the main character, Jedidiah Jones, our drifting Civil War veteran with the slightly oversized ego and the more-than-slightly oversized heart. He talks a big game, sure, but he’s capable of backing it up. And my word, is he FUNNY. I couldn’t stop giggling at some of the stuff he would say and think. It was a rare treat, being inside his head. A++ first-person POV.
For some reason, too, I loved the fact that Jedediah was so short and had to keep looking up at all the other male characters. You don’t often find a male lead who’s super short. And in this case, especially, it worked beautifully. It made his overconfidence more understandable, more endearing, even. Not to mention, it furnished me with some Very Amusing mental pictures 😉
I SHIP HIM AND ALICE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HARD (Sorry, Rachel. 😉 #insidejoke) All the stars for this romance. Definitely not just a cookie-cutter Christian fiction love story–far from it. I loved how unique Alice was, stubborn and secretive, but with a quietly brilliant sense of humor. I loved how Jedediah respected her withdrawn nature and didn’t try to push things along too quickly. I loved the lack of unnecessary “angst” in their getting-together process. And just . . . just . . . *spluttering* . . . they’re cute, okay??????
And I really enjoyed the dynamic of the twelve sisters. I come from a family of ‘only’ four girls (heh), but the basic principles are the same–constant chatter, constant giggles, semi-constant bickering, but (above all) constant solidarity & support. And Rachel captured it beautifully. ❤
The mystery of the spiked drinks was so much fun! AND, I solved it!!! *high-fives self* Also, lovely Scripture application, there; very humane and kind. It wasn’t preachy at all.
I saved the best for the last: the atmosphere. Guys, I honestly don’t know if I can do justice to the atmosphere of this story. It was sugar and spice and all things nice, with just enough tartness to keep things hopping. It was a glorious confection of fiddle music, and dancing shoes, and sweet cider, and cinnamon-y doughnuts, and painted ceilings, and swishing skirts, and billowing prairie grass . . . READ IT. JUST READ IT. ALL OF YOU.
I promise, you’ll grin just as much as I did by the time you reach the end.
Have you already gotten your copy? Are you planning to?
Have you entered the giveaway yet?