Banking on Temperance (Cotillion Ball #3)by Becky Lower Published 06 May 2013
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Basil Fitzpatrick was born into a life of privilege. In 1856, at 23 years of age, he is the owner of the St. Louis branch of the family banking business. He has his pick of the ladies and life by the horns.
Temperance Jones and her family are far from privileged. Her father is a circuit-riding preacher from Pennsylvania. But the rumblings of a war between the North and the South force the preacher to move his family to Oregon rather than to take up arms against his fellow man. However, hardship and sickness slowed their pace, and they are forced to spend the winter in St. Louis, waiting for the next wagon trains to leave in the spring.
Basil is drawn to the family the moment they roll into town, partly because they remind him of his own big family in New York. But also because of the eldest daughter, Temperance. She is a tiny, no-nonsense spitfire bent on fulfilling her father’s wish to get the family safely to Oregon. Basil knows if he allows Temperance into his heart, he is accepting the obligation of her entire family. He wants Temperance like he has wanted no other, but is the burden of her family too much?
"Banking on Temperance (Cotillion Ball #3)" Reviews
Not surprisingly, Becky Lower has done it again! Banking on Temperance, her third book in the Cotillion Ball Series, is everything her fans have come to expect from this talented author. Basil Fitzpatrick and Temperance Jones have instant chemistry when they meet in St. Louis, but he’s a ladies man not ready to settle down and she’s a good girl determined to carry out her father’s final wishes to see her large family out to Oregon. Ms. Lower is a master at creating fully-rounded characters surrounded by conflict, and in this case has created two stubborn individuals whom you cannot help but root for because they are so perfect together. Banking on Temperance also treats its readers to the reappearance of some of our favorite characters from her first novel, The Reluctant Debutante (Joseph fans, rejoice!). And I would be remiss if I did not mention this author’s talent for capturing the essence of 1850s America. The picture Ms. Lower paints shows a real passion and knowledge of her setting that will carry her readers away to a distant time and place. It’s been a while since I was this excited to read a new novel. If you are a fan of American historicals, Banking on Temperance should be next on your list!
Banking on Temperance
Becky Lower’s third book in her cotillion series does not disappoint. As a matter a fact, it is my favorite one so far! This installment actually takes place at the ‘gateway to the west’ where Basil Fitzpatrick runs his family’s St. Louis branch bank. Even though Basil is a respected businessman and leader in the growing city, the last thing he has in mind is marriage and further responsibility. But fate had something else in store for him.
Basil is standing outside his bank when a bedraggled wagon pulls to a stop. The wagon contains the Jones family whose plans to head west on a wagon train are derailed when the family’s patriarch becomes deathly ill. When the father collapses in Basil’s bank, he takes it upon himself to find the family a place to stay since they have missed the last wagon train for the season.
The oldest daughter, Temperance, carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. It is up to her to support their large family by working.
Basil is taken with Temperance immediately, even though he refuses to acknowledge it. Instead, he offers her a job cleaning the bank several nights a week and helps her obtain another job at a tavern. Basil and Temperance become friends which is new to him, since he has only had ‘relationships’ with actresses and dance hall girls. But he falls in love with Temperance.
How can you not fall in love with a stubborn, fiery character ironically named Temperance? When her proud chin jutted up for the first time, she won me over. But her stubbornness causes problems between her and Basil. She promises her father that her family will make it to Oregon. When he dies, she cannot let go of the deathbed declaration even when the rest of her family tell her they do not want to leave St. Louis.
Just when Basil is realizing that he wants to take care of her, a wagon master by the name of Jake Shelton enters the picture. Temperance sees Jake as her only chance to fulfill her promise to her father and Basil steps aside convincing himself that he does not want Temperance and the added responsibility of her family in his life.
It takes a raging river and the realization that Temperance will leave Basil forever that finally brings these two stubborn people together – and it is a great ride getting there!
Author Becky Lower hits her stride in the pages of “Banking on Temperance,” the third installment of her wonderful Cotillion Ball series. Ms. Lower whets our appetite on page one when she gives us Basil Fitzpatrick, the brother and playboy of the Fitzpatrick household whom we met in Ms. Lower’s first and second books, “The Reluctant Debutante” and “The Abolitionist’s Secret.” At last, we will get to know this scoundrel better.
The year is 1856 and yet, the minute we meet Temperance Jones, we realize she could easily step into the 21st century as a role model for women who work hard to achieve their goals. After her father dies, she shoulders the burden of her family’s survival, determined to fulfill a deathbed promise to move them West, despite any and all obstacles standing in her way. Much to his dismay, Basil finds himself involved in her struggle, a role that threatens his bachelorhood and his own determination to avoid commitment. The reader mentally rubs her hands together as the pages turn. Basil has surely met his match.
Ms. Lower sweetens the experience by bringing back Ginger and Joseph Lafontaine, that long-haired Indian who makes our stomachs flutter. Ginger is a champion of women’s rights and when she and Temperance become friends, they make a formidable pair.
We’re invested in Temperance and her challenges, the weariness of her toil seeping into our own bones, and irritated at Basil for denying his true emotions. Men can be pretty stupid in the face of true love and Basil, who worries about heartburn, is no exception. Our emotions ride the same roller coaster as Temperance and Basil, anxious to read the outcome.
If you are a fan of historical romances, or a Becky Lower fan, you want to be sure to add “Banking on Temperance” to your bookshelf. I could not put this book down.
I find I am at a loss when it comes to words to describe how much I adore Becky Lower’s historical novels. The Reluctant Debutante is one of my favorite books of all time, The Abolitionist’s Secret was fantastic, and Banking on Temperance is breathtakingly beautiful. How Ms. Lower arrives at her fabulously clever book titles and character names, I’ll never know, but her cleverness at creating a family named entirely after spices was topped in this book with a family named after the virtues. Since book one, I’ve been waiting for Basil—the devil-may-care playboy—to meet his match, and in my wildest dreams, I could not have envisioned the perfection that was Temperance—an astonishingly stubborn woman whose name is one of the greatest misnomers of all time. With a cast of secondary characters that is near-epic in its scope, Banking on Temperance delivered a captivating story on a grand scale that I could not have put down to save my life. The Cotillion Ball series is headed directly toward the Civil War, and I know I will be picking up all of Lower’s books to find out just what role these amazing characters will play in one of the most important historical eras of American history.
History wasn't my favorite subject in school, but it might have been if Becky Lower had been teaching it. This author has a gift for picking a time and place in American history and bringing it to life. The time is 1856 and the place is St. Louis - Gateway to the West.
Samuel Jones, a circuit preacher from rural Pennsylvania, has uprooted his large family and brought them to St. Louis with the dream of joining a wagon train to Oregon. He fears that Civil War will soon break out and wishes to get his young sons out of harm's way. But Samuel's spirit is stronger than his flesh. He has been ill for most of the journey and collapses when they reach St. Louis.
The family is in dire straits. The last wagon train of the season departed months earlier and they are stranded with a dying father and no financial resources. Enter Basil Fitzpatrick - the first person they meet in St. Louis. Basil helps them find a doctor for Samuel, shelter for the family and employment for the oldest child - 18 year old Temperance Jones. But the position he would really like to offer the lovely Temperance is that of his mistress. Temperance is a proud and determined young woman. Although she is strongly attracted to the handsome banker, this preacher's daughter has no intention of becoming any man's mistress. Temperance is committed to fulfilling her father's dream and will do whatever it takes to get the family to Oregon.
This book is more than a historical romance. It's an adventure story with danger and disaster looming around every corner. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I read it twice. For a good time, pick up Banking on Temperance.
I've come to expect great things from Ms. Lower, but I found that and more in her third installment of the Cotillion Ball series. BANKING ON TEMPERANCE is captivating, a fast-paced read that took me away to 1850s St. Louis. Once again, Ms. Lower's research is impeccable and her characterizations strong and true. Temperance is a wonder, a young woman brimming with mettle and spice, the perfect compliment to the handsome rake, Basil - and clearly the only girl meant to win his heart. I highly recommend this entire series, and now I have a special place in my heart for BANKING ON TEMPERANCE!