Made To Order Family by Ruth Logan Herne

by | Sep 8, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 3 comments

Okay – so I’ve realized one of the things that make Ruth Logan Herne’s books a bit different than some of the others I read.

You know how romance in some books can be sloooooow. I mean painfully slow. Like…’someday my prince will come when I’m 99 years old’ 🙂


Some books will have romance pounding almost off of every page – starting with page 2? (I love those kind too, btw.)

Well, with Ruthy’s books there’s this beautiful steady kind of romance. I mean this in a wonderful, down-home, smell the scent of fresh-baked bread kind of way. Love grows, spreads, learns, explores, and discovers as friends (new or old) feel their way into a possible future.

And it’s like that with all three of her books. A tender, growing awareness between the man and woman. Usually, it’s with eyes-wide-open. Wow. Lovely.

Her newest novel, Made to Order Family, is no different in this gentle nudge into love. As a woman with a shameful past, who trusts herself less than she trusts most other people, Rita is determined to make a fresh start with her three kids. With a dream of owning her own bakery pushing her forward, she consults her hunky woodworking friend, Brooks. Taking it slow is a necessity for these two.

Rita & Brooks are both recovering alcoholics. Caution and care are needed for each day – each decision. Rita has enough responsibility in being a widow with three kids, not to mention the former wife of a swindler who took his own life instead of facing the damage he’d caused. Now, as her dreams start to quiver into realities, true love drifts forward in the form of her friend. A man she’s admired for a long time. A solid, honest, secure man. But…a man with a past too.

Unlike Rita who has to face her past head-on, Brooks has run from his. But as my granny says, the truth always comes out. No matter how far Brooks might try to run or hide from his secrets, they will find him. He has the choice whether to confront them on his own or allow bitterness to steal freedom from his soul. His discovery of what he wants, and what he has to do to get it, is as lovely as Rita’s.

It’s a beautiful mix of difficult parenthood, future possibilities, and love’s promises, all packaged in a very satisfying journey of a mature man & woman. A couple who thought their second chances might have been long gone. I loved it.

And I’ll say again – as I’ve said of Ruthy’s heroes before – yum. Brooks is no exception. He is all those strong, sensitive, manly qualities that are sigh-worthy.

Wonderful story, Ruthy. And I’m so tickled that there are more to come!!!


  1. Regina Merrick

    I was privileged to win a copy of “Waiting Out The Storm” a few months ago, and LOVED it. I have no doubt this one will be just as good. You’re right – she keeps the romance coming steadily, and doesn’t let you wallowing around in angst wondering if they’ll EVER get together! Great review, Pepper – now I wanna read THIS ONE! 🙂

    • pepperbasham

      I liked Waiting Out the Storm – but there was something unique about this one that left a different kind of sweet whiff in my mind. Brooks is great.

      • Regina Merrick

        I wonder if it’s in my library yet? Hmmmm . . . I’m reading Julie Lessman’s “A Passion Most Pure” now, but maybe for my NEXT book . . .


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