cover image That Certain Spark

That Certain Spark

Cathy Marie Hake, . . Bethany House, $13.99 (348pp) ISBN 978-0-7642-0320-6

Christian fiction writer Hake, who is also a nurse, offers her fans a mixed blend of fun, witticism and romance and a theme of medicine, with scenarios involving the care and keeping of man and beast. Against a backdrop of male chauvinist prejudice and smalltown small-mindedness, twins Enoch and his sister Taylor Bestman, veterinarian and medical doctor respectively, arrive in Gooding, Tex., with the best of intentions. What they find is a great deal of anti-female sentiment when it’s discovered that Taylor, the new medical doctor, is a woman. Determined to prove herself, Taylor takes on whatever the little town can throw at her and slowly wins over most of the people’s affections, including that of a stubborn blacksmith who views medicine as an inappropriate profession for a woman. Hake’s text is sweet, to be sure; still, the plot resolves all too neatly and swiftly, almost like an unlikely miracle cure. (Aug.)