Faith Blum

Tried and True – A Review

TriedAndTrue cover

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Tried and True was an interesting book. Before I read it, I saw a blog post on another blog by the author explaining why she wrote the book and where she got the idea for this series. The idea for the series sounded intriguing, and the synopsis for the book did as well. So, when I got the email from Bethany House asking for reviewers, I chose hers. Even though I’d gotten her first book about a year ago and didn’t like it, I decided to give her another try. This book was definitely an improvement on that first book, but I still had some issues with it.

3.5 stars

(Note: In my review, I am giving up to one star per category to correspond [mostly] with the 5 star system on Amazon.)

Characters – 1/4 star

Kylie and Sunrise were the only characters I found mostly believable and even they had some unrealistic traits about them. I know this book is fiction, but even when I read fiction, I would like to read about characters who are “real”. Two-dimensional characters, and characters who do things that are not possible to do, or unlikely to be done really bug me.

Dialogue – 1 star

The dialogue was probably the best part of the book. It was real, and well done for the era. It was alternately funny and serious. There was one spot that I personally would have done differently, but that’s a personal preference.

Plot/Storyline – 1 star

Overall, the plot and storyline were good. I liked them and there is one sub plot I am curious about that will come out more in book 3. The only issue I had was a spoiler. Read on if you don’t mind a slight spoiler: ***SPOILER*** Just before Aaron proposes, he realized, or at least was pretty sure, he was in love with Kylie. But when he proposed he didn’t mention it. And later, when she was in danger of death, he had this sudden revelation that he was in love with his wife. I didn’t really realize this plot inconsistency until after I had finished the book, so it wasn’t distracting to the book.***SPOILER***

Overall Writing Quality – 1 star

The writing quality was very good and much better than I was expecting. The writing quality, and the fact that I needed to write a review, were the main reasons I kept reading Tried and True.

Un-put-down-ability – 1/4 star

I actually put the book down for over a week after reading about half of it. I picked it back up because I finally had the time, wanted to finish the book, and write the review before I forgot about it or got busy with something else.


There were parts I liked and parts I didn’t like. Overall, I am giving Tried and True 3.5 stars because of the writing quality, plot, and dialogue. It was a good book as long as you don’t care how well developed the characters are.

Statement of Full Disclosure: Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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