Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings is the first book in her new The Fort Reno Series. This book is set in the late 1800s. Although it starts in Witchita, Kansas, most of the book is set in Indian territory – what is today, Fort Reno, Oklahoma. This is a fictional story set amidst real life history.
From page one, Jennings’ characters arrest your attention and your heart. In the 1880s world of this story, Louisa (Lovely Lola) Bell, is a character that proper ladies and gentlemen would steer clear of. However, we can’t help but hope that she will become one of those favored few who are able to rise above her situation and succeed. Major Daniel Adams balances military structure with love of God and family in a way that encourages us to strive for a good balance of the same in our lives. The antics of the major’s daughters stir a desire to share their energy, as well as their awe and desire to learn of the world around them. Jennings does a wonderful job of introducing us to other characters in her story so that we are ready to learn more in the books that follow in this series.
I love the humor (it had me laughing out loud so much that I was getting funny looks from my family). There are also wonderful sweet and tender moments, instances that catch you off guard and occasions that exasperate you. This book is full of emotion and fun. And in my opinion, a book is not complete without an element of faith. Jennings lightly weaves God (and the fear of Him) through the story in a way that leaves you wanting more.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of fiction, history, comedy and romance…to those who enjoy military books, books of second chances, books with families and books about beating all odds. Pick it up. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did!