Why Not? (Debra Marvin) – Review

4-5 stars


~ About the Book ~

Grand Canyon, 1914

Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals.

Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?

Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?

~ Excerpt ~

“Why are you here, Miss Wynott?”
“To meet Miss Colter. Just like I said. She’s opened a whole new world for women.”
His laughter brought that old familiar tightness in her chest. She squared her shoulders; she wouldn’t allow him to ruin this moment. “My dream is to design buildings with a more natural feel. You of all people must see that as a worthy profession.”
“Of course. But…”
“You don’t think a woman—”
“I don’t think a woman has to stay at home. No. So let’s leave it at that. I have the highest regard for Miss Colter and her work. But she’s…”
“She’s what?” Amber’s temper rose.
“Uniquely gifted.”
Amber had heard that argument before. Uncle William had sent her here to teach her a lesson. Now he was waiting for her to fail. Ha! She’d prove him wrong, even if it meant dealing with this Neanderthal for a few weeks.
“I’m willing to work hard to see what I can do. I will not allow your opinions to dissuade me.”
He turned to her then, surprised. The white fur collar of her coat reflected in eyes dark green as the scrubby pines and juniper surrounding them. She’d been leaning in front of him for a better view, and now sat back.
“Can I give you some advice?”
She nodded.
“Be careful how close you are to the edge before you jump to conclusions.” He tapped the reins lightly.
She bit her lip to keep from smiling.
As the wagon continued down the road, she studied the big, handsome man next to her. He had a pleasing profile and a fine line of dirt along the side of his neck where his quick wash up ended. According to Mrs. Bunch, Mr. Morrison was the head stonemason for both the Hermit’s Rest project and the one called The Lookout. A respected employee in the Fred Harvey Company. She needed an ally. Maybe there was a better way.
“Thank you.”
“For what?”
“For not being angry about what happened back there.”
Next to her on the bench like this, he seemed to be as solid and square as the stone he worked with. Maybe more so with his pants and boots covered with grit.
“Who says I wasn’t angry?” One fetching dimple appeared in his cheek, above his still dusty beard.
Why couldn’t he be twice her age and half as good-looking?

~ Review ~

Why Not? is a great little trip back in time that combines history, mystery, and romance. It’s set in the Grand Canyon at a time when tensions were high: The railroad had been brought to the area only a few years earlier, and many locals resented the intrusion of the tourist industry and the way they were changing the landscape. However that didn’t stop progress, least of all female architect Mary Colton, who was responsible for designing and overseeing the construction of many buildings for the Fred Harvey Company.

This is the setting into which Debra Marvin has placed her hero, Stone Morrison, and her heroine, Amber Wynott. Stone Morrison is the head stonemason for two of Mary Colton’s building projects, while Amber Wynott, whose uncle works for the Santa Fe Railroad, has come to pursue her dream of following in Mary Colton’s footsteps—much to her uncle’s dismay.

Amidst local tensions that are getting more dangerous by the day, Stone and Amber both have personal struggles to work through: Stone’s father owns the biggest banking firm in St. Louis, but following in his footsteps is the last thing he wants to do, which has resulted in a falling out with his father. Amber is determined to prove to her uncle that she has what it takes to be another Mary Colton, but even if she does, is it really where her heart lies?

I quite enjoyed the intellectual chemistry between Amber and Stone; the way in which they challenged one another, each strong-willed and knowing their own mind, but not obnoxiously or unchangeably so. There is plenty of suspense as local tensions escalate into life-threatening situations, and I loved that Stone and Amber’s romance developed realistically for the time frame of the story.

As an added bonus, Debra Marvin heads each chapter with a word and its definition that is in some way related to engineering or construction, but also hints at the way the story will develop in that chapter. I’ve seen her do this in at least one other of her novellas, and I love it!

This is a good choice if you’re looking for a short, but engaging read.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review.

Release date:  14 November 2016
Pages:  112
Publisher:  Forget Me Not Romances

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  Goodreads

~ About the Author ~

Debra MarvinDebra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she’s currently stuck on.

Connect with Debra:  Website  //  Inkwell Inspirations  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Romance, Historical Romance, Novella and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Why Not? (Debra Marvin) – Review

  1. debraemarvin says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely review, Katie. I have to admit, I enjoyed reading that excerpt! Researching the early days of canyon tourism, and the life of Mary Colter was wonderful. You do such a great job with reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Winnie Thomas says:

    Lovely review, as always, Katie! And Debra–I’m so excited to meet you and be your roomie at CFRR this summer. This book sounds so intriguing. I need to grab a copy and read it soon. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. deannadodson says:

    Squee!! Congratulations, Deb, on another wonderful story! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Winnie Thomas says:

    Yes, I guess that would be a little problematic, Katie! The husband bribing part. And two weeks? Is that so you can come and visit me in Utah for a few days? I really think you need a vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. debraemarvin says:

    I think we could arrange lots of free room and board for Katie! Maybe not so much for the whole gang. But yes, when you go that far for a holiday, you want to make the most of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Good Monday morning everyone. Spring Break officially began for my children this morning and this year we have opted for a staycation. I’ve made lots of fun plans, including a day of horseback riding. 🙂 How about you? How will you be spending your Spring Break or the first days of spring?

    In other news, 7 authors have confirmed they will be participating in Authors In the Park: Authors, Novels & National Parks which will run concurrently with National Park Week. One of those authors is Debra Marvin! Therefore, I wanted to share this wonderful review my friend Katie wrote for Why Not? (set in Grand Canyon NP). Check it out and then be sure to return April 15th-23rd for a week long celebration of Christian fiction set in U.S. National Parks.!

    Liked by 2 people

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