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A Gown of Spanish Lace

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A heritage so very different from her own, but one profound connection. Ariana loves her life her parents, her little town, her job as the town's schoolteacher, her students. But one evening after classes are done and she prepares to hurry home before a blizzard hits, her whole life changes in an instant.The two rough-looking men who abduct her and take her far from home an A heritage so very different from her own, but one profound connection. Ariana loves her life her parents, her little town, her job as the town's schoolteacher, her students. But one evening after classes are done and she prepares to hurry home before a blizzard hits, her whole life changes in an instant.The two rough-looking men who abduct her and take her far from home and family make no response to her frantic questions "Why me? What are you going to do? Where are you taking me?" Held hostage in a camp of bandits, Ariana's emotions swing between terror and boredom as days stretch into weeks.And then the boss's son appears in the doorway of her cabin. Does this mean she will never see her mother and father again, the two who had so lovingly adopted her as an infant and raised her as their own? Will she ever wear the wedding dress so carefully saved for her her one link with her birth parents, now long dead?


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A heritage so very different from her own, but one profound connection. Ariana loves her life her parents, her little town, her job as the town's schoolteacher, her students. But one evening after classes are done and she prepares to hurry home before a blizzard hits, her whole life changes in an instant.The two rough-looking men who abduct her and take her far from home an A heritage so very different from her own, but one profound connection. Ariana loves her life her parents, her little town, her job as the town's schoolteacher, her students. But one evening after classes are done and she prepares to hurry home before a blizzard hits, her whole life changes in an instant.The two rough-looking men who abduct her and take her far from home and family make no response to her frantic questions "Why me? What are you going to do? Where are you taking me?" Held hostage in a camp of bandits, Ariana's emotions swing between terror and boredom as days stretch into weeks.And then the boss's son appears in the doorway of her cabin. Does this mean she will never see her mother and father again, the two who had so lovingly adopted her as an infant and raised her as their own? Will she ever wear the wedding dress so carefully saved for her her one link with her birth parents, now long dead?

30 review for A Gown of Spanish Lace

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Having officially horrified Sarah or Rebekah or one of those people because I had never read this book, apparently an ultimate classic, I picked it up at the library. Normally, I would have avoided it. My only experience with Janette Oke has been to stand with my Dad in horrified avoidance of the Love Gets Chucked Through the Window movies. Perhaps I should give them a try. While I didn't love A Gown of Spanish Lace, it wasn't terrible. It was very clean. And I liked that, most Christian romances Having officially horrified Sarah or Rebekah or one of those people because I had never read this book, apparently an ultimate classic, I picked it up at the library. Normally, I would have avoided it. My only experience with Janette Oke has been to stand with my Dad in horrified avoidance of the Love Gets Chucked Through the Window movies. Perhaps I should give them a try. While I didn't love A Gown of Spanish Lace, it wasn't terrible. It was very clean. And I liked that, most Christian romances tend to get a bit much for my taste, and I don't think Oke's characters even kiss. Otherwise, the plot was dramatic, implausible, predictable, very Christian, and very sweet. I might just possibly some day give Oke another try. Maybe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Marchize

    Another great book by Janette Oke! (view spoiler)[okay I do have to say that I almost took away a star for the brother/sister thing. SO unecessary (hide spoiler)] Other than the above-mentioned pet peeve, this book was great! I loved it. It was a little impractical/unrelatable at times, I will admit, but it was a great read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    4 STARS A great Christian romance with some fast-paced adventure. I admired Ariana's character. There were times when she was understandably distraught over her circumstances, but she trusted in the Lord and as a result was able to escape from her captors. (view spoiler)[I thought the whole brother/sister angle was a little weird. I'm glad it turned out Ariana and Laramie weren't related, but it was a bit too much for me. I would have enjoyed the story much more if that aspect had been left out. 4 STARS A great Christian romance with some fast-paced adventure. I admired Ariana's character. There were times when she was understandably distraught over her circumstances, but she trusted in the Lord and as a result was able to escape from her captors. (view spoiler)[I thought the whole brother/sister angle was a little weird. I'm glad it turned out Ariana and Laramie weren't related, but it was a bit too much for me. I would have enjoyed the story much more if that aspect had been left out. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michaila

    So.... I think 'Love Comes Softly' is definitely Janette Oke's best book (that I've read). Her plots are always good, exciting and inter-tangling; but the realistic side of a good book just wasn't there for me for A Gown of Spanish Lace. The situations the main characters were in asked for so much more depth than was there that I often pictured myself adding to it. Ariana was so often said to be strong and of good courage. Yet (although her adventures were crazy) she cried literally over 10 times So.... I think 'Love Comes Softly' is definitely Janette Oke's best book (that I've read). Her plots are always good, exciting and inter-tangling; but the realistic side of a good book just wasn't there for me for A Gown of Spanish Lace. The situations the main characters were in asked for so much more depth than was there that I often pictured myself adding to it. Ariana was so often said to be strong and of good courage. Yet (although her adventures were crazy) she cried literally over 10 times and fainted once. I loved her relationship with God, and thought to both unbelievers and believers alike it was encouraging. But, honestly, I felt like the book lacked real emotion. So many little details were missing. Like, there'd be a huge plot twits in three to four sentences and then suddenly we're somewhere else, and a few pages later -- boom -- it's all resolved. A lot was just unbelievable and the plot asked for so much more than was given. Pros: Beautiful mentions of Christianity and faith in God A partial good plot line with a pretty great back story Cons: Really lacked in being believable Some characters (especially the outlaws) were really cheesy Missing a lot of detail for such a wide-ranged plot line 2 1/2 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Tero

    Out of all of Oke's books which I've read, this one is the most "romanticized Western." Excitement, gunfights, lawlessness, and forgiveness are threaded throughout the story. A plot twist at the end keeps your interest until the last words are completed. My favorite theme throughout the book is trust. The main character learns how to trust the Lord in one area only to turn around and realize that she faces another way in which she must trust. I recommend this book for older teens because of violen Out of all of Oke's books which I've read, this one is the most "romanticized Western." Excitement, gunfights, lawlessness, and forgiveness are threaded throughout the story. A plot twist at the end keeps your interest until the last words are completed. My favorite theme throughout the book is trust. The main character learns how to trust the Lord in one area only to turn around and realize that she faces another way in which she must trust. I recommend this book for older teens because of violence and romance. Some favorite quotes (and there were more I didn't keep track of): "I hope to one day discover just why--why God chose to spare a baby. What does He have for me to do?" "That is what makes it difficult. You must dictate your heart. You've made the right decision--but it isn't always easy to make the right decision--even when you know you must. Sometimes--sometimes--the heart needs convincing."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I remembered this as one of the better, more wholesome books I read whilst on my Christian romance kick back in the day (think Katie Gregoire), so when I found it for a dollar at Goodwill I was happy to get it and try it again. Some years later, I still enjoy it, though I do concede that it's got its flaws. For instance, the motive behind Ariana's abduction reads as pretty implausible to me now. There are some other plot holes and dangling loose ends. It's got some cheese, for sure. (Ariana hersel I remembered this as one of the better, more wholesome books I read whilst on my Christian romance kick back in the day (think Katie Gregoire), so when I found it for a dollar at Goodwill I was happy to get it and try it again. Some years later, I still enjoy it, though I do concede that it's got its flaws. For instance, the motive behind Ariana's abduction reads as pretty implausible to me now. There are some other plot holes and dangling loose ends. It's got some cheese, for sure. (Ariana herself has a touch of the Damsel in her, as well.) It's got your typical kind of over-emotionalized spiritual experiences for the protagonists. [Although, I mean, maybe some people DO experience conversion or growth that way--I don't mean to imply that for some people, the moment(s) of coming to Christ isn't (aren't) extremely and definitively emotional. God works in different people in different ways! I just sort of wondered, this evening, as I was reading this again, whether all these Christian novels that portray religious experience as dramatic and instantly affecting might have negatively impacted my expectations of what a healthy Christian walk--and healthy spiritual growth--should look like, when I was first reading them. *shrugs*] The pacing struck me as rather off this time around: the last third or so of the book moves a bit too fast and is wrapped up too hastily, I think, considering the tempo at which the story had been going previously. BUT, all that notwithstanding, A Gown of Spanish Lace does have some Nostalgia for me and I do feel that it's overall a decently strong specimen of Christian fiction. Laramie and Ariana are both really sweet characters, especially Laramie, and I like their love story. <3

  7. 5 out of 5

    Antof9

    I liked this better than the other two "Women of the West" books I've read. This book reminded me of two other books -- "The Long Winter" (I think that's the right one), where Laura Ingalls is a young schoolteacher, and "The Wedding Dress", where an orphan's only link to her birth mother is a wedding dress that was carried in an old trunk via wagon train. It's an interesting story of small towns, frontier life, love and God's care, with a little "Stockholm Syndrome" thrown in for good measure. So I liked this better than the other two "Women of the West" books I've read. This book reminded me of two other books -- "The Long Winter" (I think that's the right one), where Laura Ingalls is a young schoolteacher, and "The Wedding Dress", where an orphan's only link to her birth mother is a wedding dress that was carried in an old trunk via wagon train. It's an interesting story of small towns, frontier life, love and God's care, with a little "Stockholm Syndrome" thrown in for good measure. Something that popped into my head while reading was how difficult it is to trace family lineage without computer access! I appreciated Laramie's relationship with White Eagle, in light of the way he was raised to hate all indians. The best thing is that their relationship is reciprocal; not just the white man helping the indian, etc. . .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    Well, my name is Ariana, so I'm already inclined to like this book more than most. I think that this is one of Oke's top three books, the other two are A Bride for Donnigan and A Woman Named Damaris. If you like similar books, I would certainly recommend this one. Laramie is a great example to us all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Olea

    This was the first book I ever read by Janette Oke. I fell in love with her writing! Not only because of the period in time she loves to write about (pioneer era) but because her characters always have a challenge that they are able to rise above by finding God, or by learning to trust Him more. She is a wonderful Christian Fiction writer and I would highly recommend her books to anyone!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I like the other books by Janette Oke more then this one. I thought in was a little stupid. But that doesn't mean you wouldn't like it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Lewis

    Once tried to read this on an airplane, and it turned me off Janette Oke forever. I picked the one that seemed most interesting: a prairie schoolteacher gets kidnapped by robbers. But it was so totally ridiculous I couldn't keep reading it. The male romantic lead is a boy raised by bandits, who, we are continually told, are savage and uncivilized. However, a) they don't really act as uncivilized as you would expect them to, and b) this guy, who was raised by them, is super different from them fo Once tried to read this on an airplane, and it turned me off Janette Oke forever. I picked the one that seemed most interesting: a prairie schoolteacher gets kidnapped by robbers. But it was so totally ridiculous I couldn't keep reading it. The male romantic lead is a boy raised by bandits, who, we are continually told, are savage and uncivilized. However, a) they don't really act as uncivilized as you would expect them to, and b) this guy, who was raised by them, is super different from them for no apparent reason. So he has this innate higher moral standard for no reason, and he falls in love with our delicate heroine because she's so morally pure, unlike the men that he was raised by, and it's all so ridiculous. First of all, you would think the worst thing wild west bandits did was cuss and use bad table manners. Secondly, the protagonist had just about zero personality beside being morally pure, and delicate, (but "strong" according to the male lead, which comes off totally ridiculous because she's crying all over the place about being kidnapped by robbers). Very unengaging for a story about a kidnapping.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This was so cute! I knew I would love it because I love the love comes softly movie's based off of Janette Oke's books and I can't wait to read more!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    The plot was interesting, although in the beginning it was pretty snail paced. It also was pretty original except for a few little cliche things towards the end. What really threw me for a loop was the last couple of chapters and the events that happened in them. I wish Mrs. Oke would have added one more chapter on to the end, so we could have "seen" a little more finality, but that's just my opinion and otherwise the ending was fine. Overall a decent adventure/romance novel that will keep you o The plot was interesting, although in the beginning it was pretty snail paced. It also was pretty original except for a few little cliche things towards the end. What really threw me for a loop was the last couple of chapters and the events that happened in them. I wish Mrs. Oke would have added one more chapter on to the end, so we could have "seen" a little more finality, but that's just my opinion and otherwise the ending was fine. Overall a decent adventure/romance novel that will keep you on your toes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Korah

    i love this book! especially the ending when you think everything is ruined and sad you will find out otherwise! it has a little mystery to it too, the kind were your constantly looking between pages trying to match things up. Read it. ;)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    Well, I figured this story was going to go one of two ways.... and it ended up going both ways! I do wish it gave a little more at the ending than where it left off, but I still really enjoyed it and I'm really excited to read another book by this author!

  16. 5 out of 5

    RebekahAshleigh

    This was the first book that I read by Janette Oke and I LOVED it!! It was so good and it really captured my attention. It kept me guessing the whole way through and it had some twists at the end that I was not expecting. This is definitely a book that I’ll be reading numerous times!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ariana

    I love this book because it is the only one I've read with a protagonist who has the same name as me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    There were lots of fun plot twists in this charming western.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marnie Cannon

    There's a reason why this one is my favorite of Janette Oke's works. I remember reading A Gown of Spanish Lace for the first time while in middle school or high school, and recently had the itch to read it again. While the story has a good weaving of romance and Christian faith within the story, this one is my favorite because of the mystery as well. Janette Oke not only pulls at the reader's heartstrings, but also pulls the reader's attention from one plot twist to another. As a reader you go o There's a reason why this one is my favorite of Janette Oke's works. I remember reading A Gown of Spanish Lace for the first time while in middle school or high school, and recently had the itch to read it again. While the story has a good weaving of romance and Christian faith within the story, this one is my favorite because of the mystery as well. Janette Oke not only pulls at the reader's heartstrings, but also pulls the reader's attention from one plot twist to another. As a reader you go on an adventure over state lines, into dark caves, and right in the middle of a gang's lair while making you grip the edge of your seat during the entire ride. And before you even have a full moment to put pieces together and simply take a breath, she throws another curveball into the mix. I never find myself bored with this story, and even though there are multiple twists and you would think that by the end there would be a plot hole somewhere, I still find myself satisfied with the ending.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Arnetta

    Most Christian fiction books have happy endings (unlike life) but that's expected. This book has wonderful characters you quickly learn to love, despise, feel sorry for,etc. It follows a young woman who has lived a good life who suddenly has her situation change...from then on, it's one bad thing after another for this poor girl who has done no harm to anyone. Quite unfair! (As life often is) Through it all she keeps trusting God and the book is an excellent story of how one can trust God throug Most Christian fiction books have happy endings (unlike life) but that's expected. This book has wonderful characters you quickly learn to love, despise, feel sorry for,etc. It follows a young woman who has lived a good life who suddenly has her situation change...from then on, it's one bad thing after another for this poor girl who has done no harm to anyone. Quite unfair! (As life often is) Through it all she keeps trusting God and the book is an excellent story of how one can trust God through one trial after another and just keep trusting and having faith and hope and eventually everything will turn out right. The male lead is the opposite as he has had the opposite kind of life that she has and he has to realize that he is deserving of happiness and good things in life. The contrast between the 2 is great, as is the entire book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    It’s sweet, it’s clean, it’s a Christian theme of trusting in a sovereign God. If you take this as a stretching of a romantic western you’ll like it. If you want everything to be totally plausible you might not. At first I thought “Stockholm syndrome” but it actually played out a bit above that in a positive way. I saw the twist at the end coming and it added a funny dimension to the book. Overall a great book and one I’m glad I read. I like some of her other books better bc they are more down to ea It’s sweet, it’s clean, it’s a Christian theme of trusting in a sovereign God. If you take this as a stretching of a romantic western you’ll like it. If you want everything to be totally plausible you might not. At first I thought “Stockholm syndrome” but it actually played out a bit above that in a positive way. I saw the twist at the end coming and it added a funny dimension to the book. Overall a great book and one I’m glad I read. I like some of her other books better bc they are more down to earth real life type experiences. Mostly I appreciate the characters struggles and turning to their faith in Christ to uphold them. I’m in a Christian romance kick right now and I’m not apologizing! ❤️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allan67

    Another book that I read to Diana. We can't do much anymore after her stroke, so I read to her to spend time together. Diana has always loved to have someone to read to her - and I like to do just that. We felt that this book was a western romance with a bit Christianity inserted. The story begins with an outlaw kidnapping the local 16 year old schoolteacher to force his son to kill someone - no one especial, just someone. Somehow that doesn't seem rational, but, well ... Sort of boy meets girl, Another book that I read to Diana. We can't do much anymore after her stroke, so I read to her to spend time together. Diana has always loved to have someone to read to her - and I like to do just that. We felt that this book was a western romance with a bit Christianity inserted. The story begins with an outlaw kidnapping the local 16 year old schoolteacher to force his son to kill someone - no one especial, just someone. Somehow that doesn't seem rational, but, well ... Sort of boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and so it goes with some predictable twists. It was somewhat entertaining but predictable. Thus three stars give or take.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Celestria

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The only part I didn't like was at the end when Laramie and Ariana thought they were brother and sister. Even though I knew it wouldn't turn out to be true, just the thought of it was freaking me out and then Laramie being tempted to burn the lace cuff and never tell anyone was killing me, Oh my gosh. I also thought the ending was too abrupt. At first I thought the pages were stuck together and I'd skipped a page.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Wannamaker

    In the old West you can never be too careful but even the best attempt still could turn your life. In this story she's kidnapped and then falls for her captures son- who never wanted her captured or any other crime for that fact. Both victoms of the old west, and paths that cross is mysterious but lovely ways to shape a new future. Read a few times. Will read again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pami Simmons

    AMAZING I had never read one of your books before but I know now I Definitely will. This story story based on many challenges and changes with the undeniable guidance from God should be read by all. Enjoy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emmarae Smith

    This book was is one of my absolute favorites. I've read several times and enjoyed it just as much as when I first read it. I love Jannette oke's books. This one kept me tuning the page and on the edge of my seat , it's a great book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I recall loving Oke in high school, so I thought I would give her another try. I was grossly disappointed in this implausible and rushed tale. It had great potential. But the numerous impossible twists were just too much for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Marie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Western romances aren’t my usual read. I warmed up to this one and appreciated the twists and turns. I got a bit bored by her long imprisonment and I had difficulty translating the argot of the band of outlaws (“iffen”) to something I could imagine hearing. Not unputdownable but a good yarn.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Canales

    I don't know how I'd rate this book today if I were to read it for the first time, but this was my favorite book when I was 14. I read it over and over. This genre is no longer my cup of tea, but 4 stars for the good memories.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Nimegeers

    This book takes the reader back to a time when there were people called desperado's. These individuals are now famous for kidnapping young innocent women and rapping them senseless. However, this book explores the concept of Stockholm Syndrome. I would recommend this book for adult eyes only.

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