Deep in the Heart of Trouble
By Deanne Gist
Bethany House, 2008. 395 pages. Romance
Tony Morgan expects to inherit his family’s oil business. Instead when Tony’s father dies, Tony is completely disinherited. Left with nothing he decides to start at the bottom of a competitor’s oil business and learn the ropes. Tony travels to Corsicana, Texas where he meets Essie Spreckelmeyer. He soon learns that she is the business mind behind her father’s oil company. Tony is both attracted to Essie and frustrated by her antics. Essie is independent minded, vivacious and eccentric. Disappointed by a previous failed romance she has decided not to marry. Rather, Essie focuses her considerable energies on managing her father’s business and the Velocipede Club she has founded. Tony and Essie learn to trust each other and compromise as they both manage their business interests and fall in love.
Essie Spreckelmeyer is a character introduced by Deanne Gist in her previous novel, Courting Trouble. This is a case where the sequel is better than the original. Gist has the opportunity to delve into the lives of the town's idiosyncratic supporting characters. They lend humor and personality to the novel. Although this is a Christian Romance the sermonizing is kept to a minimum. Unlike the first book it is written from Tony’s point of view. It is interesting to view Essie and the town of Corsicana from a different perspective. The romance is believable and it is interesting to learn about the early years of oil drilling in Texas.