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That Certain Spark Paperback – Bargain Price, August 1, 2009

Book 4 of 5 in the Only In Gooding Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
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Review

"That Certain Spark is a novel that will make you chuckle and warm your heart." -- 5MinutesforBooks.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764203207
  • ASIN: B00375LNMO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,780,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Also, the ending felt just a bit rushed.
Halcie
The story was quite entertaining and I loved the Taylor Bestman's character.
Jolene S. Arrant
The book is an easy read and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon :).
Tara of Tara's View of the World

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Barnard on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
1892 is looking to be a good year for small town Gooding, Texas. They've finally gotten rid of that incompetent doctor and replaced him with not one, but two. Doctor Enoch Bestman is a veterinarian and his brother Taylor is a medical doctor. Too bad no one mentioned that Taylor was a woman. Enoch and his twin sister share a special bond though, and with his backing and her strength a little adversity and sexism is nothing, right? But as much as Taylor works to prove herself, someone is going behind her and sabotaging her. But the worst part is her first patient - Karl Van Der Vort. Everywhere she goes, every time she turns around even - there he is. How is she supposed to prove she is strong and competent, when she is surrounded by men that are waiting for her to mess up, or even more scary, causing her to mess up.
The story is good as a historical tale of a woman physician. But a story of a woman physician overcoming adversity? I must disagree. As the romance between Karl and Taylor takes hold (mostly by Karl's advances), he shows his love by beginning to refer to her as "his/my woman". Within the story, Karl finds God again, and this revelation alone seems to be what the author wants us to believe makes him a good match for Taylor. Here is my issue, and I think you will agree. Taylor's character is wonderful. She is very talented doctor, and an intelligent, witty, strong woman, while maintaining all the necessary feminism. This is a hard character to write, and Hake does it brilliantly. That being said the remaining characters in the novel are weak to say the least. Worse than that, they are meant to define Taylor by her support system and all they effectively do is belittle her. Enoch is her brother and described as her greatest champion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Priebe on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was a cute plot, but was poorly written. I'm shocked this book made it through the editing process. Many times throughout reading, I got lost as to where characters were, who was talking, what was going on, etc. I didn't think there was a full enough development of some of the characters. The story was just plain choppy. The plot overall was very cute, but could have been developed much better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Keck on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a delightful and fun book! It's easy to forget the struggles that women went through to enter into male-dominated careers. "That Certain Spark" by Cathie Marie Hake, reminds us of how difficult it was for women to fit in and be accepted as doctors. Between the tension of conflicting gender roles, the natural rhythm of sibling support and rivalry, and the surprising attraction between a progressive young woman and a traditional man, sparks are flying everywhere! This was entertaining from start to finish and I enjoyed every minute of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Ewing on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake

Twins apply for the positions of veterinarian and town doctor in Texas. But the town got more than they bargained for. The town doctor isn't a man like they expected, oh-no, it's a woman. What self respecting town has a female doctor? Well Enoch and Taylor Bestmen set out to prove the town's backward thinking men - wrong. Taylor's skill is unsurpassed and yet the local yokel's are unwilling to bend. Will Taylor be able to win them over?

This splendidly written book is fascinating and descriptive. I wanted to throttle a couple of characters and found myself empathizing with the heroine. How difficult it must have been for the first generations of female doctors. I adored the camaraderie that was built between the siblings and several of town's forward thinking citizens.

This book was carefully researched and historically astute.

Cathy Marie Hake doesn't leave any reader wanting with this book. She creates such down-to-earth characters in her book that it's easy to fall in love with them over and over again. I hope there will be a series made out of this book.

Publisher - Bethany House
2009
335 pages
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book had a lot of potential, but it is very poorly written. I am really surprised that this was published. There is no development. Almost the entire book is dialogue. There are times when it takes a full page or two to even understand what the characters are discussing because there was no description of what was going on. It was as if the author assumed we could see what she saw in her head. There are good parts of the book, but overall it is a not a well-written book. I would not waste time reading this with much better books out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Halcie on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked this book by Cathy Marie Hake but I didn't love it. I thought that the romance between the two main characters, Taylor and Karl, was very well done. They didn't fall in love at once; it was a gradual thing. I also disagree with some of the previous reviewers who suggested that Taylor lost her independence when she agreed to marry Karl. I don't think she lost it at all. I think Karl came to realize that Taylor could be a good doctor and handle some things on her own, and I think Taylor came to realize that being a good doctor did not mean that she could not rely on other people, particularly Karl, to help her with her problems. The book was also humorous and light-hearted. The banter between Enoch and Taylor was particularly fun.

But I really didn't like the secondary romance between Taylor's twin brother, Enoch, and Mercy. I never really understood why Mercy fell in love with Enoch. He just basically decided two seconds after meeting her that he was going to marry her. His feelings for Mercy and her daughter did not seem real at all. This seemed more like an author's plot device to isolate Taylor from her brother so that she would turn more toward Karl. I also felt that the whole character of Enoch was written inconsistently. He goes from being Taylor's staunchest supporter to treating her pretty much like all the other narrow minded men in the town. I guess, again, this is supposed to highlight Karl's support, but it just makes Enoch look like when push comes to shove, he doesn't really believe in his sister. The breast cancer part did seem a bit too modern for a time period when irons were used as weights to set broken legs. But I could have gotten past that better if it hadn't also been the time period that Enoch turned into an idiot. Also, the ending felt just a bit rushed.

I liked this book mostly, but my misgivings about Enoch's subplot dropped the book down to three stars. A good read but not a great one.
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