Here's a description of the book from Bethany House:
"Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he's not about to let an obstinate woman with newfangled ideas ruin all he's worked for. In hope of turning her interest elsewhere, he determines to get Melanie married off, and luckily, there are many single men in town quite willing to take her off his hands.
The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn't want her to marry any of them. He's drawn to her more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store offer unexpectedly positive results.
But someone doesn't want the mercantile to succeed, and threatening words have escalated into destruction and danger. Will Melanie and Caleb's business--and budding romance--survive the trouble that's about to come their way?"
The story begins with Melanie Ross as a governess, struggling to keep all of her charges under control and ultimately being betrayed by a lie told by one of the boys. With very limited options, she clings to the hope of a new beginning out in Arizona territory, where she's sure that her deceased cousin's business partner will give her work at his store. While Melanie imagines that her most difficult challenge is simply getting to Arizona, she quickly discovers that there's much more "trouble in store" in convincing the current owner to give her a chance.
It took a little while for the story to really draw me in, as I'm not overly fond of governess stories and I was eager for Melanie to get to Arizona. But I soon discovered that the synopsis fails to mention the fact that Caleb is a father. For most readers, I'm sure this wouldn't really be a bother. For some reason, though, I'm generally not a huge fan of romance stories with children, as it creates a different dynamic. (Not a bad one - just different!)
All in all, though, I didn't mind Levi (Caleb's son) being a part of the story. I just would have liked to see his character bring out more in Melanie's character, as there was so much potential regarding Melanie's fears and concerns and growth, but I didn't really feel like it was explored to its fullest in a way that would have left me satisfied.
As for the suspense, the various secondary characters make the guessing fun and the outcome interesting, and the mob mentality that occasionally takes over offers a subtle cautionary theme. There were times, though, when I wished for more in terms of the danger and the romance.
Both of Carol Cox's latest Western romances are clever, but I confess to loving Love in Disguise quite a bit more than Trouble in Store.
They're both enjoyable reads, but the former's romance, suspense, and
theme came together in a way that pulled me in and made me overlook the
bit of cheesiness because it was just so fun with such a heart-warming
ending. In contrast, Trouble in Store didn't pull me in enough to overlook the formulaic and familiar nature of the story. It's a sweet and intriguing read, but it didn't completely meet my hopes and expectations.
*With thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Note ~ This book will be released June 2013.