Regina Jennings recently released her latest installment in her highly praised Fort Reno series, The Lieutenant's Bargain. I am a part of her influencer team and therefore received the book from the publisher. I was very excited for this book, which is the third in the series, because the Fort Reno series seems to get better and better with each book. The Lieutenant's Bargain did not disappoint.
Lieutenant Jack Hennessey is the perfect hero, one that will have no trouble winning the readers over with his bookish ways and his sweet, thoughtful nature. He's been pinning over his childhood classmate, Hattie Walker, for years now, though she didn't really know he was alive. She never seemed to notice him, even though he did everything to gain her attention and was as helpful as he could be. Flash forward to Indian Territory 1885, Jack is a strong, respected officer in the Cavalry, and Hattie is a young woman on a mission to become a recognized painter. Trouble waylays Hattie's trip to Denver and lands her in a sticky situation in which she finds herself in need of a rescuer.....
Hattie Walker is a relatable character. Too often Historical fiction novels will lean towards a very feministic female, to the point where it really isn't believable in pre-1900s setting. The female tends to come off annoying and selfish. (Note: I'm not against feminism, just when it's not realistic). This is one of the few instances where the character struggles to find a balance between being independent/going after her dreams and accepting a more traditional role.
Hattie dreams of finding recognition as a painter. She has the skills, they just need some honing. She soon learns that she's a bit selfish and really needs to grow up. This is refreshing and makes her more likable. It's fun to see the growth of the character throughout the book and refreshing to see how she manages to strike a balance between still pursuing her painting, while also becoming a wife and sacrificing for her husband's career. I also liked that Jack saw areas where he needed to change and grow. It all worked beautifully.
In my opinion, it seems like Regina Jennings just keeps getting stronger and better with every book she releases. I think this is her best novel yet and I'm loving this series. This book was so good that, after having my Best of 2018 book list all finished and ready to publish, I ended up changing it! I had to push one book off the list and add The Lieutenant's Bargain to the list, because it was that good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was the perfect book to round out my list. Grab yourselves a copy.
I give it an 8/10.
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....