Review: It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair
(It Happened at the Fair)
by Deeanne Gist
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Goodreads summary:
A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

What I thought:
Loved it, loved it, loved it! Really what else do you need to know? ;) Okay, maybe a little bit more so you can decide if you would love it too.

Deeanne is one of my all-time favorite authors. She puts a lot of research into her books and it shows. I loved the historical background: the old pictures, the actual world fair setting, the descriptions of the buildings, rides, clothing, basically all of it. I felt like I was really pulled back to that time. It wasn't super descriptive, or what I mean to say is that she doesn't always tell you everything, but lets her characters show you. This, to me, is the best way to do it. I've never read about the fair, so this picked up my interest in learning more about it as well.

I loved the characters! They weren't perfect, but this made them feel more realistic. They both have things they are struggling with and things they need to do better. Cullen is definitely swoon worthy and I loved a lot of the conversations between him and Della. There was plenty of wit, humor, and attraction. Oh, the mortification of this moment from my teaser posted last week. That wasn't the end of it either.

One thing that Deeanne always does well is create these magical and humorous scenes. There are always several in every one of her books and that was the same for this one as well. I enjoyed every single one of them!

For those of you who might not normally pick this up because it is in the Christian genre, let me just say that there is no preaching in this. Deeanne (I would say in all of her books) doesn't preach. There might be a reference to God or a brief reference to scripture, but it's not very often and more in the context of the culture at the time. It doesn't feel forced, unnatural, or unrealistic. I think there might have been two brief references in this one and nothing that diverted from the story. I would say that her books are more just good clean general historical romances with good Christian values.

I highly recommend this if you are looking for a very well written historical romance with some wit and humor.

I originally had an egalley copy from NetGalley, but pre-ordered this as well and ended up reading the finished copy. It is definitely worth having a place on my shelf as I'm planning on re-reading it in the future.

Content: Clean
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Publication: April 9th 2013 by Howard Books
Source:  NetGalley and bought

Disclosure: This review is of a book I was given for free by an author, tour host, or publisher, or through NetGalley or Edelweiss. This in no way influences the opinions shared in my review. You may see my complete policy on the sidebar and on my policies page. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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