Courting Trouble Deeanne Gist, Bethany House, $13.99, Softcover; 866-241-6733.

courtingtroubleThe setting for this Christian Romance is 1874 Corsicana, Texas. The heroine is Essie Spreckelmeyer, a tall, skinny, opinionated 30-year-old spinster who collects snakes and slides down banisters, and whose father is the local judge.

She schemes to snag herself a husband, but the town’s eligible bachelors are understandably intimidated by her. Essie’s comical romantic blunders with one man after another end when she gives up entirely on romance and opens a bicyclists’ exercise club. While Essie’s behavior seems a bit too modern for the 1870s, the author has a wonderful imagination and the story is lighthearted fun. —Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza

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