[Book Review] McKenzie(Montana Skies, bk 1) by Penny A. Zeller

Posted 24 January, 2011 by Molly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

About the Book:
“Desperate times call for desperate measures” is the reasoning that prompts McKenzie Worthington, a young lady of Boston’s high society, to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride for a man in the Montana Territory. McKenzie is desperate, after all, to save her beloved younger sister, Kaydie, from her evil, abusive husband, who robs banks for a living. And so, it is with reckless determination that McKenzie runs away from the comforts of home and hearth to head West and meet her new husband-whom she’ll divorce, of course, after she rescues her sister.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” is the reasoning that also prompts Zachary Sawyer, a rugged rancher after God’s own heart, to post an ad for a mail-order bride in various newspapers across the country. Managing a ranch and caring for his adoptive son, Davey, has become more than one man can handle alone, and Zach prays for God to send him a wife with whom to build a life and share his dreams.

When McKenzie arrives at Zach’s ranch, she immediately puts her plan in motion, searching for her sister and doing all she can to keep her new husband from forming an attachment. But his persistent kindness and significant self-sacrifices begin to change her heart-and ruin her plans. God has a way of working things out to the good of those who love Him, though, as McKenzie and Kaydie will soon see. 

About the Author:

Penny is the author of several books and numerous articles in national and regional publications. Her latest book, titled “McKenzie,” (September 2010) is the first book in the exciting new Montana Skies historical romance series (Whitaker House).

Penny is also the author of the humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” at www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com. On this blog, readers will find a variety of resources, including Starting Your Own Sisters in Christ Group, a listing of family-friendly movies, links for families, and even recipes.
Penny is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. Her passion is to use the gift of the written word that God has given her to glorify Him and to benefit His kingdom. She considers her ministry to be women and children and devotes her time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ.

When she’s not writing, Penny enjoys spending time with her husband and their children and camping, hiking, canoeing, and playing volleyball.

Penny loves to hear from her readers through her website at www.pennyzeller.com.

My Review:
Well, this was an okay debut. It has the intents of being a good book but I think that it could have been a lot better. I am thinking that this was a little bland, though, because this is the author’s FIRST novel, and sometimes the first ones are great, and sometimes they need more work. This falls a little in between those two things I just mention. It does need a little work but it’s still a good read. It took me quite some time to pin point what I thought was wrong with the book though. It has good characters, yes. It has a good mail-order plot line, yes. But, it was still lacking.

I finally, after much consideration, figured out what through me for a loop on this book and why it wasn’t up to par for a story like this. The way the author created McKenzie and what McKenzie did to Zach and sweet little Davey, really through me. I didn’t like her character for quite some time in this book. Her character lacked what I thought she should have: she portrayed herself to be a Christian, and, yet, led Zach to believe she wanted everything he did. She let sweet little Davey to believe she would be his ma but all the while planned to leave??? That just didn’t sit well with me. Sweet Zach was a one of a kind hero and I would have LOVED to have been in McKenzie’s shoes and been married to such a devoted man! I really think that if McKenzie was portrayed a little differently in this story, with a kinder heart (even if she was looking out for her baby sister!) I would have been instantly captured!

There were several other minor things that stuck out to me as lacking, like lack of conversation between the main characters. The descriptions of the town that McKenzie was living in when she went to Montana Territory, was great, however, not enough to completely and wholly capture me. By the time I was completely engrossed in the story and things picked up, it was the end of the book. So, that threw me,too.

All in all, I will give this book 3 stars. It has the potential to be a good Christian inspirational historical novel and one that I encourage everyone to try, as they may find that it isn’t lacking to them. I am looking forward to reading Penny Zeller’s second novel in the Montana Skies series, Kaydie, McKenzie’s baby sister’s story, though, as I am sure it will be good!

You can purchase your copy here.

*This book was provided for review by the publisher*

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