Dumplings and Dynamite - A Book Review

I promised you romance readers that my reviews wouldn't just be fantasy, and today I'm here to prove it!

I received an advanced copy of Shanna Hatfield's newest (and by newest, it released just yesterday) book, Dumplings and Dynamite. If you are a historical romance reader, pay attention! This book was fabulous!

Dumplings and Dynamite
So, I'll just start out by saying the Baker City Brides series by Shanna is my absolute favorite of her series. Not only are the titles unique and memorable (the series begins with Crumpets and Cowpies), but the stories are wonderfully told. The series is set in historic Baker City, Oregon during the later half of the Victorian era. The research behind each book is visible in the rich details of the city, and how the characters dress, speak, and act. Along with the wonderful human characters, precious animal sidekicks often steal the show with their sweet little personalities, making you wish for the ability to travel in time just to meet them.

Dumplings and Dynamite is no exception. Deputy Seth Harter goes undercover at a nearby mine to discover who is behind the lackluster gold reports, and the too frequent accidental deaths. But he isn't the only one working undercover. Widow Hollin Hughes wants answers to her husband's death, and she'll stop at nothing to find them. Posing as a cook at the mine, Hollin finds herself acting as mother not only to her own infant daughter, but three of the most precious boys to ever grace fiction. Wonderful animal characters include two steady and true horses in Hollin's Inky and Seth's Hank, a pair of adorable kittens, and a rescued fox named Tip who believes himself to the be the guard dog of Hollin's home.

As Seth and Hollin work together to unravel the mysteries at the mine there is danger, suspense, and, of course, romance. This story takes place mainly outside of Baker City, but there are still opportunities to meet beloved characters from earlier in the series. If you haven't read any of the other books in the series yet, don't be afraid to start here. Each book stands well on its own (though I would certainly recommend reading the other books when you have the opportunity).

Just like Shanna Hatfield's other works, Dumplings and Dynamite is a sweet, or clean, romance. While written for adults, this is a story that older teens could also read and enjoy. Anyone who likes a little mystery along with their romance would love the twists and turns this book takes from beginning to end. Those with an interest in the Old West will especially love the author's note at the end where she shares tidbits of the research she did. And don't forget to check out the recipe she shares in each of her books! I personally plan on trying out her Blackberry Dumpling recipe shared in this book just as soon as berries are in season.

Overall, Dumplings and Dynamite is a wonderful story. There are moments of heartache which you will want tissues for, but also moments where you will laugh out loud. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good romance, but especially ones who prefer historical or western romance. I promise you, Dumplings and Dynamite won't disappoint!


  1. You are incredible, Jessica! Thank you so, so much for not just reading and reviewing my book, but sharing it here, too. Thank you, thank you!

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