As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father’s horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she’s been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiancee shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.
Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?
I'm surprised how much I enjoyed The Icecutter's Daughter. I consider myself notorious for disliking the heroines in romance novels (They all seem so fake. I think Miss Austen's superb characterization may have spoiled me slightly. :P) However, her name is only one of the unique things about Merrill. She's strong and capable - and very talented. I must confess I enjoyed the bits about her amazing cooking and painting a great deal. But still, she's a real woman. Not a corset-burner by any means; she likes to be pretty but doesn't often get the chance, and she's kind and helpful, but very able to stick up for herself. So yes, very well-done. :)
Rurik was nice too. Not as unique as Merrill, but solid and easy to like. I had mixed feelings for Svea, his former fiancee, but that's only to be expected. (By the way, there are some things about a pregnancy out of wedlock, but Mrs. Peterson deals with it tastefully, without any more elaboration than necessary.) I really enjoyed the inclusion of Merrill's brothers, though. (Why are most romances so sadly lacking in older brothers? Maybe the authors think they'll spoil the fun.) With one of my own, I rather have a thing for older brothers and I'm glad they were in there. On top of that, Merrill's only friend her own age has a thing for one of the brothers, which makes it sort of amusing.
And the ending... It was sort of strange and later, sort of cute. Call me a hopeless romantic, but there it is. :)
For a Christian romance story, The Icecutter's Daughter is clean, enjoyable, and very well done. My rating: 8 out of 10.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group