RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

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Title: Love on the Line
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publication Info: Bethany House 2011
ISBN: 978-0764204098
Genre: Historical: American

Book Cover This review was written by KKJ. This story was nominated in the Best Inspirational Romance category.

The summary: In 1904 Texas Ranger Luke Palmer arrives in Brenham, Texas, with one goal–to capture the gang of outlaws led by Frank Comer. Undercover as a telephone repairman, he uses his days on the range to search, not realizing there's another pair of eyes watching him.

Georgie Gail, switchboard operator and birder, heads out on a birding expedition, but instead of sighting a painted bunting, her opera glasses capture her telephone man, armed and far away from telephone lines. Palmer is forced to take this alluring troublemaker into his confidence and unwittingly puts her in harm's way. The closer he comes to the gang, the further she works her way into his heart–and into trouble. Soon it's more than just love that's on the line.

And here is KKJ's review:

If you shy away from inspirational romances – or even if you actively avoid them – get off your high horse and read some Deeanne Gist. Start with Maid to Match, and then read this.

THE HAPPY COUPLE: She’s an independent working woman who’s content with her quiet life and bird garden – until HE comes along. He’s a vain, arrogant lawman who hates working undercover because he can’t use his signature pistols (they’re named Odysseus and Penelope) – and because he has to work side-by-side with HER.

THE ROMANCE: The sexy times are “clean” as in all inspirationals, but whoo-whee, Gist can write a damn good kissing scene:

Cupping her neck, he ran a thumb from the tip of her chin to the indentation between her collarbones.

She opened her eyes. “Now I know why cats purr.”

THE HISTORY: Fun mix of “old west meets new-fangled technology,” with fascinating detail woven seamlessly into the action and dialogue. Every tidbit of historical fact and description serves a purpose in advancing the story (in other words, the opposite of info-dumping).

THE STORYTELLING: In between the opening train robbery and the closing shoot-out, we get completely drawn into the entire community, which is more than just a setting – it’s like a separate character.

THE SPIRITUAL THEMES: This is why I love Gist’s books so much. She never hits readers over the head with pulpit-pounding sermons. She just gives us characters who believe and trust and doubt and learn to trust again.


This book is available at Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    Thanks KKJ for the great review.  I’m incredibly superficial sometimes, and to be honest, the whole “birder” aspect would have put me off immediately if I had come across this book in a store, but this actually sounds like something I could get into. 

  2. 2
    Kelly (KKJ) says:

    Thanks! I was afraid the birding thing would be cheesy too, but it turned out to be a pretty good bit of characterization. She bird-watched to deal with the loneliness of having no family and living by herself, and she compared all the townspeople to different birds. The hero, like all men, showed off his fancy feathers and strutted around with his chest puffed out a lot :-)

  3. 3
    Danielle says:

    What a practical review format. You met all my unasked questions clearly and concisely – thank you :-) Deeanne Gist’s books have been making me curious for a while. This sounds like an entertaining place to start, especially since I prefer a strongly defined setting.

  4. 4
    Bnbsrose says:

    I’ve never seen a romance with a telephone repairman before! As the daughter of a telephone man, I’m duty bound to read this. And since the sexy times are “clean”, I shall be spared the uncomfortable moments this might otherwise engender. Thanks for
    the review.

  5. 5
    cleo says:

    Thanks for the review.  I loved Maid to Match (another book I would have never read w/o this site).  I think I’ve read two by Gist now, and she creates good sexual tension.  Reminds me of the no-sex-but-plenty-of-smoking-kisses categories I devoured as a youngster.

  6. 6
    Darlynne says:

    I have Maid to Match in my t-a-l-l TBR pile. Clearly it’s time to pull it out and take a look.

  7. 7
    snarkhunter says:

    I used to gobble up Christian historical fiction romances when I was an uneasy evangelical teenager. I didn’t even realize I was reading romances until I was much older—they were marketed as “historical fiction,” and now I’m like, “Dude. They were romances.” I still have fond memories of many of them, though I also cringe in mortification at the recognition that some of my youthful favorites were horrifically racist and Orientalist. (Just…if you’re going to set a trilogy in India…just…don’t. Don’t. At least, not if you’re that author.)

    Anyway, the REASON I said all of that is to continue that b/c I have severed ties with my evangelical self, and still won’t attend a contemporary church service b/c of all the bad issues it drags up, I have stayed far, far, far away from inspie romances. Even though I’m still quite religious, I’m also fiercely private about it, and a lot of the “god-talk” I remember makes me uncomfortable.

    I’d like to give this author a shot. However, I object to paying $9.99 for my Kindle when the hardcover is actually cheaper. I’ll try “Maid to Match” first…it’s cheaper. ;)

  8. 8
    snarkhunter says:

    Just to clarify—I’m all for a good book set in India, if the author has done a modicum of research or has lived there or is generally NOT writing a book all about Heroic White People Saving The Savages From Their Savage Religions. ::gag::

  9. 9
    susan says:

    I am generally not a fan of inspirational romances, but I read so many good things about Maid to Match that when I saw it on sale for the Kindle, I got it. While I thought it was OK, I didn’t think the religious elements were worked in that well. There was hardly any mention of it for the first half of the book and then all of a sudden it became important to the heroine. It was supposed to be a big part of her personality all the way through. That said, I liked the historical setting of the book. If Love on the Line shows up for free on the Kindle I might try it but otherwise I will take a pass.

  10. 10
    Dee says:

    Great review! I too cut my ties with “inspirational romance aka someone MUST always be SAVED and then fall in love” books a long, long time ago… this one might not bring me back to the fold (so to speak) of reading them again, but perhaps edge a toe over the door jam…

  11. 11
    kkw says:

    Wanting to avoid religious books doesn’t make someone a snob.  I really like the review, though.

    I would now gallop off on my high horse, but I fall off at anything faster than a sedate walk.

  12. 12

    I just finished this book. I’m anti religious fiction, but this book tricked me by not smashing me over the head with the God stuff. It didn’t come up until I was well into the book and hooked by the story.

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