When Lucinda receives word that her con artist father has died, she decides to throw herself on the mercy of her mother's family in West Point and lead a respectable life: behave like a lady, marry a respectable man, and NEVER con anyone again. Seth Wescott, top of his class of cadets, finds himself helpless to do anything to help his sister, who has been conned out of their entire estate and left helpless at a fort in the west. The only way he can go out there to join her--and find the man who conned her--is if he drops from the top of his class to very bottom, as only the worst cadets are sent to the frontier. When a girl trying her hardest to be good meets a guy trying his hardest to be bad, do they have any hope for love?
I was a bit curious how a story about a con artist trying to be good and a good guy trying to be bad would work in a Christian setting, but work it did! It takes time, of course, for Lucinda to mend her ways. Even though she is trying so desperately hard to be good, she's often manipulating the people around her.
Seth is so bad at being bad, it's pathetic (and quite funny). But then, it would just about kill me too if I were in his shoes - when one is taught to do one's best and obey the rules, and when one actually likes learning, it would be so horribly humiliating and painful to turn one's back on it all. To be fair, though, it gives Seth a lesson in pride and humility that he may not have learned otherwise.
Though this is a delightful and rather unconventional story, with ample humor, it does bring up some tough questions: At what point do rules cease honoring the spirit of the law and instead impede justice? When justice fails to come through, is it ever okay to take matters into your own hands? If you get the desired result in the end, does it really matter what route you took to get there?
Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free book in exchange for review; I was
not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.