Daniel Blair is by all means a successful businessman—to everyone except his father. Making his living as an architect, he spends his days designing homes and buildings all over southern California. Despite his success, however, he cannot seem to earn the respect of his father, a Congressman who hopes Daniel will follow in his footsteps. As the deadline to win a prestigious architectural competition looms closer, this most eligible bachelor finds himself at the center of a different kind of race: one in which the ladies come after him. With the pressure to win both his father’s approval and prestige for his business impending upon him, Daniel will have to find a way to give all his cares to God and win the heart of the one lady who truly matters.
Upon reading the front cover copy for The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection, I was not sure what to think about Love’s Reward with the exception of one statement: the heroine would be materialistic. I did not expect to like Josie Price, and I assumed the novella would comprise section after section of the interactions between the hero and his various amours. While Love’s Reward does include interactions between Daniel Blair and the women competing for his affections, this novella is so much more than a simple romance—and I love it (and Josie Price) for that exact reason. Love’s Reward is a novella rich with romance, as well as thick with lessons of life, faith, friendship, and family. It does not seem possible to pack all of these elements into forty-three pages, but Susanne Dietze has written a novella that is sure to delight readers who love deep historical stories.
Josie Price and Daniel Blair are two characters who immediately jump off the page as individuals and as a romantic pairing. Josie’s zeal for women’s advocacy and her quirks of both tomboyish and ladylike behaviors keep her interesting and appealing. Daniel is one of the most swoon-worthy heroes that I have come across in CBA literature: handsome, kind, generous, a faithful friend, and a man after God’s heart, Daniel has just about all the characteristics any female could want in a man. The two of them make a sparkling pair because they both genuinely care about doing good and right in the world around them. Josie and Daniel are funny, witty, and bring about the best in each other.
More than anything else in Love’s Reward, I enjoyed Dietze’s incorporation of faith, family, and friendship into her characters lives. Josie and Daniel are fierce friends, and Dietze brings other aspects of friendship into her story through instances in which Daniel and Josie have the opportunity to extend their hands to others. As the novella progresses, Dietze drew her characters into their faiths by beautifully demonstrating various ways of handling past hurts. I had not heard of Susanne Dietze before reading Love’s Reward, but with strong writing and themes she has drawn me into her circle of readers. I will most certainly look for her future books and novellas.
Rating: 4 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.