Review of THE ENGAGEMENT CHARADE by Karen Kirst

Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals | eBook Published: July 1, 2017 and Paperback Published: July 4, 2017 | Format: eBook (288 pages) and Paperback (288 pages) | ASIN: B01NBA2SIC and ISBN: 9780373425310 Series: Smoky Mountain Matches Origin: NetGalley 


Cover: Courtesy of NetGalley


THE ENGAGEMENT CHARADE by Karen Kirst leads us to Tennessee in the 1880’s. We traverse the boardwalk of the old West where new lives can begin under horrible and tragic circumstances.

Our heart aches for Mr. Alexander Copeland. He’s losing his ability to keep company with almost anyone. To Alex, it is preferable to be alone than to see a happy family, as pain assaults his senses and sets him to relive a nightmare.

He tries to keep control of his surroundings, but his new employee brings a problem to his cafe.

Her optimistic chattering and managerial habits interrupt his daily ritual of solitude. Although his patrons enjoy her cheerfulness and her abilities, he comes undone with it all. Could she just leave him alone? She must perform her duties quietly and leave. This is how he wants her to operate, but she cannot do it.

Unfortunately, for Widow Ellie Jameson, she was hired during the owner’s absence. Mr. Copeland lets it be known that he wasn’t in on her hiring and isn’t happy about it. In fact, he tries to make due with her being here.

Proving her worth to his business puts her to running afoul of her employer. How could she convince him that she wants and needs this job? Ellie must share all she brings to the cafe and all that still needs doing. She understands his reputation of being a loner, but Ellie must have his agreement in cafe matters or nothing will get finished.

Her time is limited, and she is being hunted!

The public will eventually know about Ellie’s family and her secrets. These are the reasons that she must work now. Ellie does not want her present condition to impede her future finance. She’ll need it for later.

Will angst lead to unemployment or something far worse?

***This opinion is my own.***



In THE ENGAGEMENT CHARADE by Karen Kirst, Ellie Jameson is a pregnant widow venturing out on her own to get away from her suffocating in-laws. Her marriage was far from happy and relationships with his extended family were never near pleasant.

A talkative widow whose worth ethic is stellar should be any businessman’s dream. Customers are happy and keep returning and other employees mesh well with this new hire. The problem is with her boss.

Her work here disrupts his quiet.

Alexander Copeland fled from Texas leaving his kin behind to run far from the memories that to this day still haunt him. Gone are his wife and son, and the pride this former rancher once held. He came to Gatlinburg with goals in mind. He was going to live alone, stay alone, and conquer the grief that swallows him whole. All was going as planned until Ellie Jameson arrives. Her mumbling and her care for this café are driving him mad.

Her secrets only cause more pain, but the people she’s running from causes him to protect her in the only way he can. From sequestered to betrothed, Alex is out-and-about with a woman on his arm, but his grief is closer to the surface than ever before.

Could this pretend relationship cause more problems than protection for both of them? Will the sheriff be able to keep them safe whether together or apart?