NetGalley, provided The Lawman’s Agreement by Nancy Fraser and Patti Shenberger for an honest and fair review. Please leave an answer to the reader question after you read my review.~~~Ruby Johnson
Two sentence synopsis of The Lawman’s Agreement:
A single sheriff in a town with lots of unmarried women, and a beautiful female doctor, an anomaly during that period in history, don’t want to get married. So they agree to a fake engagement to keep away the unwanted attention of marriageable men and women.
Here’s where I think the authors excelled:
1. It appeared the heroine was based on the first female physicians, Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell who were more interested in women’s health and medicine than in marriage. Emily did travel to several western states and practice medicine. Elizabeth was the first female to get admitted to medical school in NY and graduated with the highest grades.
2. The writing was excellent. Plotting and subplots were good.
3. The characters were well drawn and the setup was good for future stories in the series.
However, here’s where I think the authors missed the mark:
1. In 1868, Greenville, Mississippi was in the reconstruction period after the Civil war and the era of the carpetbaggers had begun. The once thriving hamlet, a center for large cotton plantations was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg but slowly rebuilt when soldiers returned home. The Mississippi river was important to the hamlet for transporting cotton from the plantations beside the river. However, none of this historical information was reflected in the book. As close as the authors got to this were mentions of one of the brothers owning a gambling boat and another about Natchez and Vicksburg. However, the authors mentioned nothing about the plantations. In fact, the story read more like a western and less like a post-civil war novel and the struggles of southerners . A little research would have helped.
2. Once the hero and heroine reached an agreement on a fake engagement, the story morphed into a full-fledged modern sexual relationship with extremely graphic sex. There were even mentions of the heroine having several earlier sexual relationships. The southern hero would not have shown such a lack of respect for a genteel woman. Unmarried woman were expected to be virgins unless the woman was a widow. The behavior of the heroine in this book was more like a prostitute than a lady in the 1860’s. In my opinion this did not make the character as likeable.
Would I recommend?
Yes, if the reader doesn’t mind a lack of historical accuracy about the setting or the breach in social and moral behavior.
Question for readers:
Would a lack of historical accuracy in setting, or poor moral behavior of characters during a particular period affect your enjoyment of a book?