Books Summary (Amazon): After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.
Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count--but no mysterious painting--Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
My thoughts...At Love's Bidding was a fun read, with characters that were easy to like and a good plot. Each character had a few different sides to their character, which also gave the story more depth.
Miranda was a girl that struggled with fear: fear of conflict and lack of safety. She was sheltered most of her life, so she was protected from her fears. Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone into a new place with her grandfather made me like her. The aspect of her character I didn't love as much was her somewhat spoiled nature, which led to her looking down on others at times, particularly Wyatt.This conflicted with the compassion she showed towards the poor street children she helped in her town. It did help her not to be a "too good to be true" kind of heroine, though. Wyatt was raised as a rugged type, who worked with cattle and livestock. Wyatt also had another side to him as well, which you learn more about as the novel goes on. Wyatt struggled with some stubbornness as well, but between him and Miranda, he was my favorite ; ).
While this novel read very easily, had some great romantic moments (just wait for a great line concerning some rhubarb pie...loved it!), and had some pretty good conflict, I found it quite predictable. I'm not a big stickler about predictability, because many novels like this have a similar plot line, but before I even got halfway through I pretty much knew what was going to happen. That kind of took some of the excitement out of the story.
Overall, I would say that this novel covers some new territory with having the heroine work at an auction house, which made it interesting. I would recommend it for fans of Regina Jennings and those who enjoy a light Christian fiction historical romance.
**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review.**