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Courting Misfortune

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Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she's assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she's sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered? When Matthew Cook decided to be a missi Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she's assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she's sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered? When Matthew Cook decided to be a missionary, he never expected to be sent only a short train ride away. While fighting against corruption of all sorts, Matthew hears of a baby raffle being held to raise funds for a children's home. He'll do what he can to stop it, but he also wants to stop the reckless Miss York, whose bad judgment consistently seems to be putting her in harm's way. Calista doesn't need the handsome pastor interfering with her investigation, and she can't let her disguise slip. Her job and the life of a young lady depend on keeping Matthew in the dark.


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Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she's assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she's sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered? When Matthew Cook decided to be a missi Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she's assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she's sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered? When Matthew Cook decided to be a missionary, he never expected to be sent only a short train ride away. While fighting against corruption of all sorts, Matthew hears of a baby raffle being held to raise funds for a children's home. He'll do what he can to stop it, but he also wants to stop the reckless Miss York, whose bad judgment consistently seems to be putting her in harm's way. Calista doesn't need the handsome pastor interfering with her investigation, and she can't let her disguise slip. Her job and the life of a young lady depend on keeping Matthew in the dark.

30 review for Courting Misfortune

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Wow, what an exciting start to the Joplin Chronicles series. I was very intrigued as I went forth reading this and it was a quick read for me. I have read books about Pinkerton Agents before but not about a woman one and it piqued my interest all the more. Calista's family is lovely,helpful maybe to the extent of being too helpful but I enjoyed getting to know all of them. Her family would stick by her through the thick and the thin. I must say I really enjoyed Calista's character, she's just doin Wow, what an exciting start to the Joplin Chronicles series. I was very intrigued as I went forth reading this and it was a quick read for me. I have read books about Pinkerton Agents before but not about a woman one and it piqued my interest all the more. Calista's family is lovely,helpful maybe to the extent of being too helpful but I enjoyed getting to know all of them. Her family would stick by her through the thick and the thin. I must say I really enjoyed Calista's character, she's just doing what she believes will bring her success for the case, what her heart tells her is the right hing to do even though it may make her seem like not the most likable person. Matthew is spunky and stands up for what he believes in,always looking for the best in a person especially Calista. I enjoyed the faith filled message in this book as well. The author uses humor to balance out the story . Fun,entertaining and I really enjoyed the history lesson on Joplin and the mines. So looking forward to reading more in this series. Published December 1st 2020 by Bethany House Publishers I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    Courting Misfortune is the first full length novel of The Joplin Chronicles. Preceding it is a novella: Intrigue a la Mode. While it's great to know the background of Calista's cousin Willow, I think it's fine to begin with Courting Misfortune. As usual, I enjoyed the snippets of humor in this Jennings novel. What captured me the most, though, was the historical detail. There is a lot of wonderful detail about the city of Joplin and Pinkerton operatives woven into the story. Joplin was a rather s Courting Misfortune is the first full length novel of The Joplin Chronicles. Preceding it is a novella: Intrigue a la Mode. While it's great to know the background of Calista's cousin Willow, I think it's fine to begin with Courting Misfortune. As usual, I enjoyed the snippets of humor in this Jennings novel. What captured me the most, though, was the historical detail. There is a lot of wonderful detail about the city of Joplin and Pinkerton operatives woven into the story. Joplin was a rather seedy town in 1898! The life of a Pinkerton agent is rather solitary given they often work undercover. Calista York is a probationary Pinkerton operative sent to Joplin, Missouri to find the kidnapped daughter of a known criminal. What makes this especially challenging for Calista is that she has a lot of family in the area that do not know her occupation. Matthew Cook has ambitions to be a missionary and is a bit surprised when the Lord claims his mission field as Joplin, Missouri. I look forward to what part of the family tree will be featured in the next of the series. There are certainly plenty of full of personality characters to choose from! My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    “ Sometimes the Lord worked miracles for people who did not deserve them. Today was one of those days.” A quirky, humorous, romantic story. In her probationary period as a Pinkerton Agent, Calista York is trying to track down the missing daughter of a Chicago mob boss. She travels to Joplin, Missouri to pick up the trail. Since Joplin is 123 miles and about 3 hours from me, I was interested in its history. Joplin contains mines, saloons, corruption and outside of town, relatives of Calista. Can “ Sometimes the Lord worked miracles for people who did not deserve them. Today was one of those days.” A quirky, humorous, romantic story. In her probationary period as a Pinkerton Agent, Calista York is trying to track down the missing daughter of a Chicago mob boss. She travels to Joplin, Missouri to pick up the trail. Since Joplin is 123 miles and about 3 hours from me, I was interested in its history. Joplin contains mines, saloons, corruption and outside of town, relatives of Calista. Can she keep her assignment a secret and find her subject? The local, fledgling missionary, Matthew Cook, doesn’t know what to make of Calista. She could be a shady character or a detective. He feels compelled to protect her. Calista is at times out of her element but Matthew comes to befriend her and she helps him in his efforts to reach the lost miners of Joplin. Oh the trouble she gets into, but family bonds together as the girl she is tracking is just out of reach. I liked the diversity of her family from the matriarch, Granny Laura, to quibbling cousins, to in laws with clout. This was a really entertaining story. I look forward to the rest of the series. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "Callista had been warned that Saturday night in Joplin was unlike anywhere else in the world." Travelling back to her hometown of Joplin, Missouri put Pinkerton operative Callista York in a precarious position. People would most certainly recognize her, but unfortunately not version of "her" that she was pretending to be. Callista's mission was crystal clear; find the missing mob boss' daughter as quickly as possible, safely extract the subject, thus securing her job with the famed detective age "Callista had been warned that Saturday night in Joplin was unlike anywhere else in the world." Travelling back to her hometown of Joplin, Missouri put Pinkerton operative Callista York in a precarious position. People would most certainly recognize her, but unfortunately not version of "her" that she was pretending to be. Callista's mission was crystal clear; find the missing mob boss' daughter as quickly as possible, safely extract the subject, thus securing her job with the famed detective agency. Wouldn't you know it? In a comedic twist of fate, she runs straight into a preacher man trying to save her soul from perdition, on her very first foray into Joplin's dens of iniquity. "Matthew had been warned about Saturday night." Fortunately or unfortunately, Matthew hadn't been warned about beautiful women pretending to be "professional decorators" in one place and "nurses" in another. Callista York was up to her pretty little neck in tall tales, but why? Being a missionary in a place like Joplin was already more that Matthew Cook had bargained for, now he was worrying and wondering about dark curls and lovely eyes and . . . . . just who is she anyway? Callista is related to half the town. Enjoy this delightfully entertaining story of "handsome-wholesome" meeting "spunky-sparky", for when matters of the heart rise to the surface, and unforeseen danger rounds the corner, Callista and Matthew succumb to a partnership which they sadly realize can't possibly end in a happily ever after scenario. For "the same God who compels you to declare freedom to the captives has given me the task of freeing a very specific captive. There's no difference." . . . . or so she thinks.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    A sweet read with great characters and twists. Regina Jennings is a favorite author -- a launch to the top of my to be read pile with each new release. Courting Misfotune shifts to Joplin in its heyday of crime and chaos. This romp will keep your attention as Calista tries to prove herself -- that she has indepedent value. Matthew wants to improve the lives of those around him as a missionary. There's such a sweet intensity to him. I really enjoyed their story. A sweet read with great characters and twists. Regina Jennings is a favorite author -- a launch to the top of my to be read pile with each new release. Courting Misfotune shifts to Joplin in its heyday of crime and chaos. This romp will keep your attention as Calista tries to prove herself -- that she has indepedent value. Matthew wants to improve the lives of those around him as a missionary. There's such a sweet intensity to him. I really enjoyed their story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    This debut novel in Regina Jennings new series, The Joplin Chronicles, was delightful. I especially enjoyed learning about the background of Joplin, Missouri and it's rough and tumble start. Calista is a probationary Pinkerton agent whose case is to find the kidnapped daughter of a crime boss whose last known whereabouts was Joplin. Calista's bumbles at attempting to find a job in Joplin and to locate the missing daughter lead to hilarious high jinks that kept my interest from start to finish. W This debut novel in Regina Jennings new series, The Joplin Chronicles, was delightful. I especially enjoyed learning about the background of Joplin, Missouri and it's rough and tumble start. Calista is a probationary Pinkerton agent whose case is to find the kidnapped daughter of a crime boss whose last known whereabouts was Joplin. Calista's bumbles at attempting to find a job in Joplin and to locate the missing daughter lead to hilarious high jinks that kept my interest from start to finish. With twists and turns throughout, along with a budding romance, this well written novel would please historical fiction readers. ** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Courting Misfortune was a fun story. Poor Calista! All she wanted to do was earn her place as a Pinkerton detective and find a missing girl. But, along with her undercover work, she also found herself dodging well meaning relatives and a missionary who wanted to keep her out of trouble. It made for some funny moments and a lot of creative thinking on Calista’s part. The first half of the book was a slow build for me, but at the halfway point the story really took off. I enjoyed seeing the relatio Courting Misfortune was a fun story. Poor Calista! All she wanted to do was earn her place as a Pinkerton detective and find a missing girl. But, along with her undercover work, she also found herself dodging well meaning relatives and a missionary who wanted to keep her out of trouble. It made for some funny moments and a lot of creative thinking on Calista’s part. The first half of the book was a slow build for me, but at the halfway point the story really took off. I enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Matthew and Calista. I also thought that Matthew and Calista both grew a lot in their understanding of how God wanted to work through them as the book progressed. It was interesting to see how people viewed the idea of a baby raffle and all that entailed. I felt like I learned a lot about historic Joplin and the lives of the miners there. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  8. 5 out of 5

    MJSH

    "Thanks for making me do what I didn't want to do. Thanks for making me be a better person than I want to be today." Regina Jennings once again delivers a historical romance with wit, charm, funny laugh-out-loud scenes, and wonderful characters with a subtle undercurrent of intrigue and mystery. This novel kicks off her new Joplin Chronicles series set in late 1890s and it promises to be an exciting and adventurous series. Calista is an undercover Pinkerton agent in training who has been sent to "Thanks for making me do what I didn't want to do. Thanks for making me be a better person than I want to be today." Regina Jennings once again delivers a historical romance with wit, charm, funny laugh-out-loud scenes, and wonderful characters with a subtle undercurrent of intrigue and mystery. This novel kicks off her new Joplin Chronicles series set in late 1890s and it promises to be an exciting and adventurous series. Calista is an undercover Pinkerton agent in training who has been sent to Joplin, MO to find a kidnapped daughter of a Chicago mobster. Her enthusiastic devotion to her calling as an investigator, ingenuity, and cleverness are unparalleled though she does constantly get into one scrape or another while on the job. Her physical proximity to her large, influential extended family in Joplin hinders her work but provides for much amusement. Matthew is a farm boy who's followed God's calling to Joplin to preach and minister. His naive, good-hearted, compassionate nature is refreshing and lovely though he needs to learn humility in the hardened mining town. There are plenty of memorable scenes like playing charades, foray into seedy bars, volunteering at an orphanage, Bible studies in Matthew's little cottage, and a baby raffle in the midst of Calista and Matthew each finding the right path that God is calling them to. If you enjoy well-written, fun historical romance, you will definitely enjoy this book. I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Scott

    I really enjoyed this first book in the Joplin Chronicles series! It was extremely interesting learning the history of a town I've been through many times. The heroine was spunky and clever. I loved the premise of her being a Pinkerton agent on a case in her hometown. It created a lot of conflict, especially when a handsome missionary comes onto the scene. The author did an excellent job setting the stage for this series with a cast of fabulous side characters - Maisie! - that will hopefully got I really enjoyed this first book in the Joplin Chronicles series! It was extremely interesting learning the history of a town I've been through many times. The heroine was spunky and clever. I loved the premise of her being a Pinkerton agent on a case in her hometown. It created a lot of conflict, especially when a handsome missionary comes onto the scene. The author did an excellent job setting the stage for this series with a cast of fabulous side characters - Maisie! - that will hopefully got their time in the spotlight soon! Can't wait for the next story! I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Esmeralda_Lattes And Literature

    As soon as I picked Courting Misfortune up, I was hooked. It is a lively, fast-paced and hilarious story set in Joplin, Missouri during 1898. The characters are simply delightful. My only complaint is the fact that I didn’t like how Calista’s Pinkerton job worked out. It felt un-realistic in a way, and I was disappointed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    Well, I wanted to like this book. I really did! This is a favorite author, and though this book won’t stop me from reading future novels of hers (it’s the premise, I think, and also the hideous main character), I got to 35% and hit some serious issues that made me to decide not to finish. Even before that, I had already rated in 3 stars in my head, for the reasons I’ll list before (the ones not related to the Baby Hating). As it is, I realized there was no way I was going to rate it more than 1 s Well, I wanted to like this book. I really did! This is a favorite author, and though this book won’t stop me from reading future novels of hers (it’s the premise, I think, and also the hideous main character), I got to 35% and hit some serious issues that made me to decide not to finish. Even before that, I had already rated in 3 stars in my head, for the reasons I’ll list before (the ones not related to the Baby Hating). As it is, I realized there was no way I was going to rate it more than 1 star. Therefore, I decided to DNF and spare Goodreads my rating. I won’t be posting this review to Amazon, though I will share it on NetGalley to fulfill my obligations. The first issues I noticed with this story had to do with Calista. She is so incompetent! And she’s just a frustrating individual. She says she’s good at making up stories, which is her primary skill, but honestly, she’s all fluff and nonsense. She’s good at making up lies, yes, but not at making people believe them, as literally no one does. Like, how is this someone I’d want to root for? It’s not. She’s not even vaguely likable, and honestly, since I already find most kidnapping stories frustrating, this one was even more annoying to me since it didn’t actually spend any time dealing with the matter at hand. It was mostly focused on unrelated things that had nothing to do with the kidnapping story they set up at the beginning. Mostly because Calista seems to have a mild case of ADHD (or probably ADD is more accurate, but I’m not putting that much thought into this). Also, she’s unarmed?! When she brought this up, I was in shock. She’s wondering around in danger without a gun? In fact, she doesn’t even have a knife! This is pure insanity from every angle. But none of that is what made me stop reading the book. Like I said, I’d marked it 3 stars mentally, but it seemed like, with Matthew being a pretty decent guy, I thought it might turn into an enjoyable book as it got going. However, I decided to stop because … I’m too obsessed with babies to care about Calista anymore. Her calous comments drove me nuts, and honestly, since I was already skimming parts at this point, it just wasn’t worth it. Quote from Calista: “Winning a baby? Prizes are supposed to be something beneficial, not something that will take all your time, ruin your clothes, and tie you down forever.” “It’s just a prize I wouldn’t want to win. Now, if you’re going to raffle off some kid gloves, or a beaded handbag, then I might buy a ticket.” Small conversation snippet: Matthew: “My concerns are over the indignity to the child. People aren’t property. You shouldn’t be able to win one in a raffle.” Calista: “... this solves several problems simultaneously …” Matthew: “Morals aren’t just a matter of what’s financially beneficial.” THANK YOU, Matthew! Thank you for being the only decent, relatable, strong character in this entire book. Anyways, I just decided not to read any more. I ain’t bein’ in league with no baby-haters. Besides, I’ve got better books to read next!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    Calista York is determined to complete her mission and secure her job as a Pinkerton operative, she is clever and has admirable intentions, she doggedly pursues her target. Matthew Cook is a missionary who is determined to turn the town of Joplin around, he was hard to like with his high horsed opinions that he knew what was best for others, and while he wasn't entirely wrong, sometimes he could have gone about things more tactfully. This was a hard book for me to get into, there is definitely a Calista York is determined to complete her mission and secure her job as a Pinkerton operative, she is clever and has admirable intentions, she doggedly pursues her target. Matthew Cook is a missionary who is determined to turn the town of Joplin around, he was hard to like with his high horsed opinions that he knew what was best for others, and while he wasn't entirely wrong, sometimes he could have gone about things more tactfully. This was a hard book for me to get into, there is definitely a lot going on and a fun plot, but I found the main characters hard to like, and felt that at times that it reached too hard to find the humor. I very much enjoy the supporting characters like, Granny, Maisie, and baby Howie who was adorable. Overall, this was my second time reading a book by this author and while I enjoyed many parts of the book, there were also parts that I found not to my personal taste, though I can see why many of my friends really enjoyed it. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    This is a very entertaining book about a female detective trying to secure her position in the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I loved the mystery, danger, and adventure in the plot of Courting Misfortune and the addition of a possible romance certainly added to its delight. Author Regina Jennings has filled her story with twists and turns, as Calista York finds herself dealing with shady characters, corruption, and a baby raffle that awards her a baby she doesn't want. She also finds herself being This is a very entertaining book about a female detective trying to secure her position in the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I loved the mystery, danger, and adventure in the plot of Courting Misfortune and the addition of a possible romance certainly added to its delight. Author Regina Jennings has filled her story with twists and turns, as Calista York finds herself dealing with shady characters, corruption, and a baby raffle that awards her a baby she doesn't want. She also finds herself being protected by a wanna-be missionary and there are many laugh-out moments between her and Matthew Cook, after he sees her entering a brothel and assumes that she needs to hear God's Word. She, of course, must keep her identity a secret while dealing with his persistent efforts to save her and this is where the fun begins! I especially loved Matthew, his attempts to keep Calista safe, and his desire to share the Gospel with her and the other people of Joplin, Missouri. Jennings gives Matthew some wonderful dialogue and uses his character to remind us that God puts us where He wants us to be and He often chooses a different path for us to take, if we trust Him and allow him to work in our lives. I am labeling this book a keeper! It kept my interest, it kept me wanting more, and it kept me laughing! Courting Misfortune is an enjoyable historical Christian romance set in 1898 and I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. There was no obligation for a favorable review and these are my own thoughts.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paty

    This is the first book in the Joplin Chronicles Series set in the very late 1800’s, and it sure promises to be an amazing, fun, laugh out loud and charming Series! Calista York is a Kansas City girl and an undercover Pinkerton agent in training, and this new assignment she’s been given may be the perfect opportunity to secure her job. A little unexpected, though, as she is sent to Joplin, Missouri, where she has an extended family that may get in the way of her keeping a low profile in order to s This is the first book in the Joplin Chronicles Series set in the very late 1800’s, and it sure promises to be an amazing, fun, laugh out loud and charming Series! Calista York is a Kansas City girl and an undercover Pinkerton agent in training, and this new assignment she’s been given may be the perfect opportunity to secure her job. A little unexpected, though, as she is sent to Joplin, Missouri, where she has an extended family that may get in the way of her keeping a low profile in order to succeed in her task, which is to rescue Lila Seaton, the kidnapped daughter of a Chicago well known mobster boss. Matthew Cook is a former farmer turned into a missionary preacher and sent to Joplin, known as a sin city full of many lost souls: gamblers, drunks, women of ill repute, and the miners that still have many things to learn about living a godly life. He sure is having a hard time at it, but things get even more complicated when reckless and captivating Miss York arrives to town and seems to be getting in one scrape after another, always putting herself in danger. But Calista doesn’t want a man -or anyone else- interfering in her investigation. But it seems that instead of keeping her identity undercover, she is attracting more attention than she ought to… That is, if she wants to find the mobster’s daughter and finally get the recognition she craves. Things get more complicated as the local people organize a raffle for the orphanage, where the prize is a baby, and Calista’s name is entered in the drawing. Can you see the trouble brewing? And will Calista ever find Lila, before she ends up kidnapped herself or worse? Will she and Matthew, opposites as they are, ever have a chance of acknowledging their growing feelings? I won’t spoil the story, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out. I’ll just say it was a delightful journey, full of everything I love in my novels: sweet romance, humor and laugh out loud moments, mixed with intrigue and danger. The plot kept me engaged the whole time. There are unexpected twists and lots of action and funny moments. The romance is sweet and clean, a bit hard for them to let down their walls, but so endearing. Most of all, I loved the characters: Calista’s spunky, naïve and straightforward nature had me smiling a lot. And Matthew was funny and too, especially because he took everything so seriously, and how he sees Calista as a lost sheep at first. His feeling of helplessness is deep, and he will have to learn and mature in regard as what is most important in his mission. Calista will be a help in that. They both have heart of gold and are selfless and interested in. helping others. The book has an inspiring message that wasn’t preachy at all. The secondary characters, especially Calista’s cousins, were a wonderful addition and made the story more fun and enjoyable. I can see some characters in this book getting their long story later in this Series. The book is well written, the descriptions enough detailed for me to transport myself to Joplin and the characteristics of the place and people in that era. I definitely recommend this book to anyone! It was delighful and endearing! A great escape for these days!

  15. 4 out of 5

    A.M. Heath

    What I Loved: There’s nothing I love more than a well-crafted mystery. And, boy, was I in for a treat here! I had portions figured out but not the whole thing, so it was a joy to watch it all unravel. I also have a sweet spot for a Pinkerton story. There’s just something fun about the historical setting and the undercover agency. Add to that a sweet romance and solid Christian characters, and we’re in for an entertaining novel! I also found the historical details about Joplin very interesting. T What I Loved: There’s nothing I love more than a well-crafted mystery. And, boy, was I in for a treat here! I had portions figured out but not the whole thing, so it was a joy to watch it all unravel. I also have a sweet spot for a Pinkerton story. There’s just something fun about the historical setting and the undercover agency. Add to that a sweet romance and solid Christian characters, and we’re in for an entertaining novel! I also found the historical details about Joplin very interesting. Truly, I have no complaints. I love reading Jennings because she keeps a solid Christian message while telling an engaging historical romance. Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving Courting Misfortune 5 stars. I highly recommend it to Christian historical or Pinkerton fans. ~ I received a copy from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    As with another book I read recently, I give this book a 3 1/2, not only a 3. I wish half stars were available. lol Ok, so I'll be honest here. I'm one of those people who sometimes doesn't catch on right away. lol What that means is, I've been introduced to Calista before! In Serving Up Love, Regina's novella "Intrigue a la Mode" we meet Calista. It was when I was about halfway through Courting Misfortune that I realized the connection. hahahaha That being said, let's get started with my actual r As with another book I read recently, I give this book a 3 1/2, not only a 3. I wish half stars were available. lol Ok, so I'll be honest here. I'm one of those people who sometimes doesn't catch on right away. lol What that means is, I've been introduced to Calista before! In Serving Up Love, Regina's novella "Intrigue a la Mode" we meet Calista. It was when I was about halfway through Courting Misfortune that I realized the connection. hahahaha That being said, let's get started with my actual review. I liked Calista because she's such a determined young lady. Those are the kind of women I like in the stories I read. She wanted to be one of the first women Pinkertons. Getting brought back to where she grew up visiting her grandma and rest of the family, she's not able to stay under the radar as much as she'd like. As much as a Pinkerton needs. Oh my gosh, it was so funny reading how she kept trying to get out of slippery situations with people because she didn't want to seem "obvious" in her job. One of the funniest times is when she's pretending to be a nurse and her "skills" are put to the test! HA! And then we are introduced to Matthew Cook. He was a pretty likable character who really seemed like the kind of guy who thought he could help save all of Joplin from their wayward behaviors. Unfortunately, he has a "pie in the sky" vision and when it doesn't come to fruition in a rather quicker and easier way discourages him. He does begin to make inroads one person at a time, and truly, isn't that they way things work usually? Calista is his greatest challenge and he can't figure out what is going on with that odd woman. One of the issues I had with him though, was his deep concern about how deceptive Calista is and how he constantly questions her character, but in the next instance he was attracted to her. That didn't make sense to me. Of course I can't leave out Calista's family in general. Her cousins would make any sane person crazy. Those two have a knack for showing up when they're not needed nor wanted, much to poor Calista's dismay. They tend to wreak havoc, albeit unintentionally, wherever they go. It was fun having Willow and Graham show up in the book. It was actually a bit of relief - probably for me AND Calista. Sure was nice to have other people who knew that she was working undercover and to give her some support. And their Granny was pretty great, too. What a fun character! I'm definitely wondering what book 2 might be about. Will it stick with Calista's family or move on to someone else? I couldn't tell by the way the book ended so I'm super curious for the next one! *I am on Regina Jennings' launch team. This is my personal opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christian Fiction Addiction

    Written with wit and humour, along with some tender moments and bits of romance as well, Regina Jennings' latest novel is a great start to what is sure to be an entertaining series. "Courting Misfortune" is filled with a cast of colourful characters, and Calista York is perhaps the most intriguing of them all. Eager to find her own way in the world and cement her purpose in life, Calista is determined to prove to the Pinkerton agency that she's worthy of working for their agency - with some int Written with wit and humour, along with some tender moments and bits of romance as well, Regina Jennings' latest novel is a great start to what is sure to be an entertaining series. "Courting Misfortune" is filled with a cast of colourful characters, and Calista York is perhaps the most intriguing of them all. Eager to find her own way in the world and cement her purpose in life, Calista is determined to prove to the Pinkerton agency that she's worthy of working for their agency - with some interesting results along the way! What she doesn't know is that God has a slightly different plan in store than the one that she had in store. Enter Matthew Cook, missionary/pastor extraordinaire who is determined to win the rowdy minders of Joplin to the Lord - and attempt to save Calista from herself. As Calista and Matthew's paths continue crossing in unexpected ways, the result is definitely not what either Calista or Matthew were looking for! After all, Calista did not have romance of any kind in mind when she set out to solve her case. But although I enjoyed Calista and Matthew's tale, some of my favourite scenes in the story were when Calista's family members interfered, definitely leading to some moments of hilarity! Overall what I most loved about this story is the way that it brings to life the truth that God can truly work in unexpected ways, that his ways and thoughts are above our thoughts. The outcome of the baby raffle (like, what?) couldn't have been better! And although Calista may have been hoping for a particular outcome of her case with the agency, the actual outcome ends up being far superior. This first novel of "The Joplin Chronicles" sets the scene for what is sure to be an interesting series. Fans of Regina Jennings will appreciate her signature style of writing with a mix of humour and spiritual truths. I award this novel a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Calista York is trying to solidify her position as a Pinkerton Agent but things get complicated when she gets sent to investigate a kidnapping in her cousin’s hometown. She meets up with a preacher who’s trying to make a difference in this rowdy, mining town but she can’t be herself while trying to solve the case which takes her into many of the seedier areas of town. Soon her cousins and family are involved and things become a big mess….or do they? Sometimes what seems a mess to us is just anot Calista York is trying to solidify her position as a Pinkerton Agent but things get complicated when she gets sent to investigate a kidnapping in her cousin’s hometown. She meets up with a preacher who’s trying to make a difference in this rowdy, mining town but she can’t be herself while trying to solve the case which takes her into many of the seedier areas of town. Soon her cousins and family are involved and things become a big mess….or do they? Sometimes what seems a mess to us is just another piece of God’s plan. I enjoyed this book. Calista is funny and resourceful. She’s quick-witted and sharp tongued. She’s full of adventure and dedicated to her cause. She and Matthew are fun to watch together. She appears to be everything he isn’t looking for in a lady but he keeps finding himself drawn to her. This may be a good thing as she has a tendency to get into trouble. There is a novella prequel to this series, but this book can easily be read as a stand alone. It’s a delightful read. I’d recommend it. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The Joplin Chronicles Book 0.5: Intrigue a la Mode (also found in the “Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection) Book 1: Courting Misfortune

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    Regina Jennings takes a whole new look at the Pinkerton agency in this one of a kind, baby raffling, laugh out loud historical novel filled with romance, a darling hero, a determined heroine, and her meddling family. I have been looking forward to reading this book since it first came out, how could I not with a title like "Courting Misfortune" and a cover that just jumps out begging to be read?! Calista York is the kind of character that I would not expect to like as much as I did, only because I Regina Jennings takes a whole new look at the Pinkerton agency in this one of a kind, baby raffling, laugh out loud historical novel filled with romance, a darling hero, a determined heroine, and her meddling family. I have been looking forward to reading this book since it first came out, how could I not with a title like "Courting Misfortune" and a cover that just jumps out begging to be read?! Calista York is the kind of character that I would not expect to like as much as I did, only because I did not think there would be as much character development as Jennings so carefully wove throughout her newest novel. I knew I loved Matthew Cook from the start, he is the kind of hero that I like reading about, (but may or may not love in real life, ;)) and I love seeing how like-minded characters come to have their own romance even when it is unexpected. With an abundance of missteps, numerous tales woven and nearly forgotten, and twists that will keep you guessing this historical work of fiction is one I am happy to say I highly recommend. Content: Dealings with prostitution, and other likewise topics. 18+ I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    3.5 ‘Don’t be afraid to deal with the mess, son. The sweetest moments come from the most offensive fertilizer ‘ Calista York is a budding Pinkerton agent sent to Joplin to find a mob boss’s kidnapped daughter. Joplin is a wild city and she is soon swept up. Trying to find jobs to help her complete her goal, she happens upon Matthew Cook, a man who yearns to be a missionary. Goodness knows, this town needs the Lord’s help! What with miners who can’t feed their families because of drinking, a brothe 3.5 ‘Don’t be afraid to deal with the mess, son. The sweetest moments come from the most offensive fertilizer ‘ Calista York is a budding Pinkerton agent sent to Joplin to find a mob boss’s kidnapped daughter. Joplin is a wild city and she is soon swept up. Trying to find jobs to help her complete her goal, she happens upon Matthew Cook, a man who yearns to be a missionary. Goodness knows, this town needs the Lord’s help! What with miners who can’t feed their families because of drinking, a brothel, a baby raffle, Matthew’s work is cut out for him. Add in a few members of Calista’s odd extended family, this book is a recipe for a good read. Full of wit and good lessons, this will satisfy a reader’s heart. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a digital copy of this book via Net Galley. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Landsem

    Regina Jenning's kick-off novel for her new series set in Joplin, Missouri, is filled with her trademark humor, witty dialogue, and engaging characters. But don't let the romantic banter fool you, this book has a solid foundation of historical research and doesn't shy away from deep spiritual truths. I particularly loved the historical look at the gritty mining town of Joplin as well as the fascinating aspect of a female Pinkerton detective with a mission to find the missing daughter of a Chicag Regina Jenning's kick-off novel for her new series set in Joplin, Missouri, is filled with her trademark humor, witty dialogue, and engaging characters. But don't let the romantic banter fool you, this book has a solid foundation of historical research and doesn't shy away from deep spiritual truths. I particularly loved the historical look at the gritty mining town of Joplin as well as the fascinating aspect of a female Pinkerton detective with a mission to find the missing daughter of a Chicago mob boss. The romance between Matthew and Calista is sweet and unfolds in a realistic and touching way. Five stars for Regina Jennings new novel and looking forward to the rest of the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I enjoyed this book! I enjoyed Calista and her family and can’t wait to read more about them in the next book! Regina Jennings does such a great job writing characters that are very entertaining! I really liked how Calista and Matthew both stayed true to their callings even when it was leading them away from what they wanted. I would definitely recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine a I enjoyed this book! I enjoyed Calista and her family and can’t wait to read more about them in the next book! Regina Jennings does such a great job writing characters that are very entertaining! I really liked how Calista and Matthew both stayed true to their callings even when it was leading them away from what they wanted. I would definitely recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lyssa

    4.5 I so thoroughly enjoyed Calista's story that for possibly the first time ever, I was disappointed that it was a love story, since that would mean her personal story changes. Calista's family was an excellent addition to the mix - very "can't live with em, can't live without em." They were sufficiently frustrating, interfering... and protective, helpful and loyal. And hilarious. Honestly, if I could it my way, this story/series would have taken after The Gresham Chronicles, covering many years 4.5 I so thoroughly enjoyed Calista's story that for possibly the first time ever, I was disappointed that it was a love story, since that would mean her personal story changes. Calista's family was an excellent addition to the mix - very "can't live with em, can't live without em." They were sufficiently frustrating, interfering... and protective, helpful and loyal. And hilarious. Honestly, if I could it my way, this story/series would have taken after The Gresham Chronicles, covering many years and multiple family story lines, all woven together, so we could read about the antics the cousins get into over the years and I could have had more of Calista as a Pinkerton. There was so much to appreciate in this story. The subject matter was surprisingly heavy (kidnapping, human trafficking, prostitution, alcoholism, etc), but balanced with levity at just the right times and in just the right ways. There were moral disagreements between characters without a clear "right" answer, which was a healthy departure from the way moral dilemmas are typically handled. Characters exercised restraint in challenging or tempting situations. Faith, prayer, provision, waiting on answers from God were all present themes and well-applied. *SPOILERS* The plot was pretty clear and I felt disappointment simmering under the surface, knowing that Calista's unique and interesting path was going to be coming to a close. Her work as a Pinkerton agent was an original tale and I was so bummed that it was over already. She may have been lacking in a few areas as an operative - putting herself in obvious danger without adequate defense and missing some necessary skills (her fabrication and evasion needed some work, haha) - but reading about a young, resourceful, independent, intelligent female agent in historical times was fascinating. I was also disappointed in Robert Pinkerton's decision at the end. I'm not sure if this was done to give Calista one clear path, but such an attitude by a pillar of justice was certainly a let down. My only solace is that this is the first in a series that just HAS to involve more Kentworth cousins, which is a guaranteed good time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Calista York has almost completed her probationary term as a Pinkerton agent. Now all she has to do is locate one missing young woman and the job will officially be hers. If only that one job wasn't in Joplin, a wild mining town swarming with her own headstrong cousins. Though she's kept her profession a secret from them, how can she possibly hope to accomplish her mission when they'll be wanting to be part of her business every moment she's in town? Matthew Cook left his quiet home in the Ozarks Calista York has almost completed her probationary term as a Pinkerton agent. Now all she has to do is locate one missing young woman and the job will officially be hers. If only that one job wasn't in Joplin, a wild mining town swarming with her own headstrong cousins. Though she's kept her profession a secret from them, how can she possibly hope to accomplish her mission when they'll be wanting to be part of her business every moment she's in town? Matthew Cook left his quiet home in the Ozarks to come to Joplin and be a minister of the Gospel. Nowhere is the light needed more than in this seedy place. But people aren't looking for the kind of help he's offering, and Matthew realizes he needs to work among the miners to get to know them better. The only thing Calista needs less than her cousins' interference is to attract the attention of a minister. She finds Matthew sweet, humble, and determined—determined to save her from whatever mischief he thinks she's getting into. Her quest to find the missing girl will take her down dark alleys and into questionable businesses, which would be a lot easier to accomplish without Matthew hanging around, worrying over her safety. If you enjoy stories with twisty plots and strong characters, you'll like Courting Misfortune. This is the first book in Regina Jennings' new series, and I can't wait to see which of the minor characters we met here will have their turn in a starring role next time. I'm sure I'll laugh out loud as much as I did with this one. I received my copy of the book from the author. All thoughts in this review are my own. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Edwards

    I have enjoyed this author’s Fort Reno series and the unique characters she creates to place in situations that are outside the norm. This first book in The Joplin Chronicles gives us a female Pinkerton agent searching for a missing woman, setting it in a Midwest town that is far from the place I presumed it to be! Calista is determined and feels called to be more than a debutante. This particular case is difficult for her, but she finds her footing and comes to realize what is truly worth fight I have enjoyed this author’s Fort Reno series and the unique characters she creates to place in situations that are outside the norm. This first book in The Joplin Chronicles gives us a female Pinkerton agent searching for a missing woman, setting it in a Midwest town that is far from the place I presumed it to be! Calista is determined and feels called to be more than a debutante. This particular case is difficult for her, but she finds her footing and comes to realize what is truly worth fighting for. I loved reading about the reasoning behind some of her choices, even the poor ones, because they were made logically. She is a multi-faceted character I could root for. Really, most of the characters in this novel are both engaging and sympathetic, even those who are secondary characters and perhaps ones we might judge as beneath us in real life. But being a pastor, Matthew engages with them, gets to know their situations, sees them as people in need of the hope he offers. It made for a riveting story, and even left a bit of conviction in its wake as I asked myself how often I have not even tried to understand someone’s motivations for wrong behaviors. The history in this book is very complex and interesting, from Pinkerton agents to Joplin’s history as city. We often think about the “Wild West” but Jennings’ descriptions of Joplin and its citizens were just as raucous as any mining towns closer to California. I recommend this book for those who enjoy detective stories, especially those with a female lead. Those who are interested in Joplin’s history will find this book enhanced by the setting, and the romantic element is a sweet addition that rounds out the story nicely. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    The story takes place in 1898, featuring a strong female lead who’s flying by the seat of her pants, determined to keep the stories straight that she’s telling people; like the one about her being a nurse. How could she pull that off when she fainted at the sight of blood? She would make it work because Calista was trying to become a full-fledged Pinkerton operative. Currently she was an agent in training but not for long. This is the first book in the Jopling Chronicles series where readers get The story takes place in 1898, featuring a strong female lead who’s flying by the seat of her pants, determined to keep the stories straight that she’s telling people; like the one about her being a nurse. How could she pull that off when she fainted at the sight of blood? She would make it work because Calista was trying to become a full-fledged Pinkerton operative. Currently she was an agent in training but not for long. This is the first book in the Jopling Chronicles series where readers get to know Calista York, her family and how she uses her agent skills. Things were going ok until Calista takes a missing person’s job in her hometown Chicago. She tries to keep her family in the dark as to what she’s up to, but they are everywhere, literally. Calista likes to keep things simple and business like, but she finds that almost impossible with family around. Her family is a hoot. Matthew is new to the city; he is a pastor trying to get to know the locals. In order to do this he starts to work in the mines. Matthew learns a lot and gets to know the men better. He hopes to invite them to a bible study in his small cottage. Matthew genuinely cares. Then there is a whole thing with a baby raffle that Calista and Matthew cannot believe is taking place and the whole town is embracing it. Calista is determined to keep the main thing the main thing but there are so many unexpected distractions. One of them being a handsome man named Matthew. Both Calista and Matthew are willing to give their all to make a difference in the world and help the people around them. I enjoyed Calista’s quirky family, especially her grandmother; she is fun. I liked both main characters, their witty dialogue, an array of quirky minor characters that make you smile, and a wonderful blend of mystery, clean romance, with splash of suspense. This is a delightful, light-hearted, fun getaway, that will have you smiling in the end. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    This was a fun story. A part of me dreaded to keep reading out of fear for what scrape Calista would get into next--though that's also what made it so entertaining. That and the Kentworth relations--the cousins, uncles, Granny. All of them are a hoot and wonderful when they aren't one's own lovingly embarrassing family. Matthew is a brick--solid, endearing, what you see is what you get. I'm glad that Calista readily recognized his faith and good qualities (once past the initial misunderstanding o This was a fun story. A part of me dreaded to keep reading out of fear for what scrape Calista would get into next--though that's also what made it so entertaining. That and the Kentworth relations--the cousins, uncles, Granny. All of them are a hoot and wonderful when they aren't one's own lovingly embarrassing family. Matthew is a brick--solid, endearing, what you see is what you get. I'm glad that Calista readily recognized his faith and good qualities (once past the initial misunderstanding of his employment, that is), and never viewed him as just a country hick, even though they clearly come from different backgrounds. Calista might be a little reckless, and not as good a liar as she thinks, but she has spunk. At one point she experiences a significant interruption to her plans that is about the last thing she ever wanted, yet she recognizes God's hand in it, and I loved her prayer following it: Thanks for making me do what I didn't want to do. Thanks for making me be a better person than I want to be today (p 198). Would that I would view interruptions with the same spirit and to think to thank God for them! I look forward to getting to know more of the Kentworth cousins better! Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Some books are a pure joy to read! I found that while reading Courting Misfortune that I was just smiling the whole way through it and even laughing aloud in some parts. Calista York's family was so entertaining and reminded me a bit of my family. The baby raffle in the story was definitely one of the most outrageous things I've ever read about but is a real event that has happened in the past. I love Matthew's very black-and-white attitude, it's people like him that lead the charge on change an Some books are a pure joy to read! I found that while reading Courting Misfortune that I was just smiling the whole way through it and even laughing aloud in some parts. Calista York's family was so entertaining and reminded me a bit of my family. The baby raffle in the story was definitely one of the most outrageous things I've ever read about but is a real event that has happened in the past. I love Matthew's very black-and-white attitude, it's people like him that lead the charge on change and reform. People with a very black-and-white attitude are most effective when they have someone by their side who have the same hunger for justice but are able to see the gray areas and soften their edges and approach. Such a person is Calista, who's pursuit of justice is sincere though the way she goes about it isn't as straight cut as Matthew's. Their first meeting was so much fun to read! So take a journey to Joplin, the raucous mining town in Missouri. Follow Matthew as he tries to right the wrongs of the city and Calista as she attempts to work undercover while hiding her true motives from her family. Courting Misfortune was both entertaining and enjoyable, you won't be disappointed!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    You know it's a good book when you hate to reach the end. Such is the case (for me anyway) for Courting Misfortune. I love Regina Jennings and anything she writes, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Calista is a female agent for the Pinkerton agency. Her assignment is to find a girl that has been kidnapped from her home in Chicago. After a month of searching and not finding any signs at all of the poor girl, Calista is about ready to throw in the towel. The girl, Lila, has truly disappeared. Wh You know it's a good book when you hate to reach the end. Such is the case (for me anyway) for Courting Misfortune. I love Regina Jennings and anything she writes, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Calista is a female agent for the Pinkerton agency. Her assignment is to find a girl that has been kidnapped from her home in Chicago. After a month of searching and not finding any signs at all of the poor girl, Calista is about ready to throw in the towel. The girl, Lila, has truly disappeared. While searching, Calista has met a man, Matthew, that makes her want to trust him with all of her secrets. Matthew knows there are things she is hiding from him, but he isn't certain why. He figures it out eventually, and she confesses to him. Eventually, it is he that finds what happened to Lila, and he tells her, at which point she must make some serious decisions. It's a great adventure that I will love reading again! Great, clean story!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    An intriguing, valuable read from Regina Jennings! Courting Misfortune is a romantic, inspirational, and exciting story, and is one of my new favorites of Jennings novels. The character connections within the story never failed to surprise me. Of course, I won’t give anything away here, but readers will be perpetually intrigued by the plot’s twists and turns! This story also gave me valuable reminders about the importance of not judging people whose shoes I haven’t walked in. I empathized with an An intriguing, valuable read from Regina Jennings! Courting Misfortune is a romantic, inspirational, and exciting story, and is one of my new favorites of Jennings novels. The character connections within the story never failed to surprise me. Of course, I won’t give anything away here, but readers will be perpetually intrigued by the plot’s twists and turns! This story also gave me valuable reminders about the importance of not judging people whose shoes I haven’t walked in. I empathized with and felt for each of the characters in this story, and the lessons I learned from them will stay with me. There are also funny moments that made me smile, and wonderful imagery that captivated me. Fans of authors such as Regina Scott and Tracie Peterson won’t want to miss Courting Misfortune! 4/5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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