Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Courting Cate brings together the “prickly” Cate Miller, oldest daughter of a widower, and the persistent Pete Treger, an Amish drifter looking for work at Cate’s father’s business. Theirs is a fiery relationship from the start as they hold fast to their pride, as well as past hurts they’ve both experienced. Cate, who is well-known for her temper and biting tongue can’t believe a man would ever want to court her. So, when Pete asks, she falls hard, only to discover that it might have all been a cruel bet instigated by some other bachelors in the community.
First, a word about the genre. I’ve been burnt out on Amish fiction, but every now and then, a novel comes along that surprises me, and this is one of them. Cate and Pete’s relationship takes place in the confines of an Amish community, but the intensity of their emotions and struggles made me forget I was reading Amish fiction. For me, that’s a good thing, though living near Lancaster County gives me an affection for stories set there. So, being an Amish novel does not detract from the quality of this book. I was so engrossed I fixed my kids lunch with one hand while holding my Kindle in the other! I’m actually looking forward to more books in this series.
I’m a big fan of Shakespeare. I’ve never read The Taming of the Shrew, though, so I can’t comment on whether the plot of this book follows the play. However, I intend to add Shakespeare’s play to my reading list.
Overall, I’d call this a successful story. If you’re not into Amish fiction, you might want to give this one a try anyway. It’s not overly Amish, and I found myself identifying with Cate’s temperament and insecurities. She’s an inspiring heroine, and I ached along with her for the hurts she suffered (sometimes of her own doing).
Gould’s next book in the series, Adoring Addie, releases in May. That, too, will be on my reading list.
In exchange for this review, I received an electronic copy of Courting Cate from Bethany House Publishers.