Character Spotlight: Maggie Brendan’s Rachel & John with a giveaway

A Sweet Misfortune


Meet a dance hall gal & a cattle baron in

Maggie Brendan’s

historical romance

A Sweet Misfortune



The Story

Rachel Matthews isn’t one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money–even if she’s forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel’s brother sends a friend–the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre–to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother’s return, Rachel isn’t sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre’s home–especially once she discovers that he’s the one who holds the deed to her family’s ranch.

Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan’s delightful series set in the Old West.

Introducing Rachel & John

Brief physical description


Rachel resembles Natalie Portman in my mind’s eye. She has light brown hair and golden light brown eyes with flecks of green and medium height and a genuinely beautiful smile that would make any man interested. She is energetic and vivacious.

John is your unforgettable cowboy, tall with rugged good looks with medium brown hair and piercing steely dark eyes. He’s richly tanned from working outdoors as a rancher. He resembles Matt Bomer from White Collar.

Strengths and weaknesses

Rachel’s strength is her determination to fight for her family’s ranch as a dance hall gal while trying to earn enough money to buy it back after losing it after parents’ death. She detests hand-outs. She makes friends easily and uniquely understands people and their motivations which causes Rachel to have compassion for a few unlovely characters in my story.

Her weakness is her inability to trust people, but even more so with the sought after cattle baron, John, after she finds out he holds the deed to her family’s ranch.

John’s strength is his ability to working hard at ranching to acquire property and stock for his thriving empire. He’s also a loyal friend and feels responsible to care for his grandmother and his friend’s sister, Rachel. He’s a man of few words.

His weakness is his pride which keeps people, other than his grandmother, at arm’s length. He believes he is in control of everything in life, but when some very tough situations abound, he discovers that God is the true driving force to having a life well-lived.

Quirk (if any)

No quirks that I can think of.



Your inspiration for the character

The inspiration for both of my characters came about reading about strong women and men from books such as Pioneer Women and Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. Their strengths and determination to settle out West to become entrepreneurs despite so their constant obstacles and set-backs inspire me, particularly in view of how easy contemporary life is now. I believe they embody the true spirit of the West.

Background to the story 

One of the surprising things I learned while doing my research was the fact that dance hall girls in saloons were not prostitutes as most are led to believe. Contrary to the popular belief, they were mostly women down on their luck and with little jobs available on the frontier, and dancing and singing paid a decent wage. They brightened the lives of lonely men in the Western towns with someone to talk to in a time when men outnumbered women three to one. I began to wonder how hard and dismal a life that might be so that’s where the idea for Rachel came into play. She’s lost the family’s small ranch when her parents died and her brother has left to pan for gold. With nowhere to turn, she becomes a dance hall girl with very little future.

John is my hero with a strong, responsible nature who suddenly encountered hard circumstances that seem to hit him all at once—illnesses, heavy rains and blackleg disease which threatens to destroy his herd—the very pride of his existence. Not to mention his responsibility to his friend to watch out for his sister, Rachel. All threaten to undo him and everything he put his faith in.

John’s grandmother likes Rachel on the spot. It’s not long before they have a deep friendship. Estelle mentors both her grandson and Rachel with spiritual wisdom to seek the best possible outcomes for their futures.

Rel, thank you so much for having me. I always enjoy reading your Character Spotlights.

You are welcome, Maggie!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Deeply DevotedA Love of Her Own, No Place for A Lady and The Jewel of His Heart
Character spotlights on April & Wes, Crystal & Luke and Josh & Juliana
Interview with Maggie
Visit Maggie’s blog
Buy at Amazon: A Sweet Misfortune or Koorong

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share This!

16 Responses to Character Spotlight: Maggie Brendan’s Rachel & John with a giveaway

  1. I enjoyed the character spotlight with Maggie Brennan. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I am sure that I would enjoy reading ‘A Sweet Misfortune’.

  2. Wild West stories appeal to me because they make me think of wagon trains, which fascinate me. The Wild West was the end of the journey for wagon trains, so it’s like a Continuation of one of my favorite historical topics.

  3. How women has such strength to survive in such harsh conditions.

  4. I love the rugged landscape and the new life the characters carve out for themselves! All the struggles they have and how the overcome those :-) Always exciting to read about for me!

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “A Sweet Misfortune”, I have “The Trouble with Patience” so I’d love to add this one to it on my shelf :-)

  5. I enjoy the slower lifestyle of the time period. Even though everyone worked harder, physically, they didn’t have the rushed life we live today.

  6. A lot of the ones I’ve read were Mail order Bride stories and it was really interesting seeing a glimpse of what life was like.

  7. I like the way of life – living off the land and close relationships with others. It’s the quintessential American image.

  8. Beautiful cover and I really like the synopsis. Add both of those with Maggie Brendan and you’ve got a winner. Thank You for the giveaway!

  9. Oh wow!! That sounds like such a good book. It always makes me wish I could have lived in that time frame, but then I remember all the conveniences we have today and I change my mind.

  10. I love western romances Because they are usually small town setting and they always help each other out in small-town books

  11. Wild West stories take me back to a time in our country’s history and they also remind me of my own personal history. My late father loved to read and watch westerns and I often watched them with him. Thanks for this review and giveaway.

  12. Westerns are always so full of adventure! :)

  13. I love reading about the different characters strengths in overcoming the challenges they faced,their dependence and faith in God , the values they instilled in their children and the respect for their neighbors and friends, and how they came together to help each other when it was needed.

  14. I enjoy history and research. Wild West stories appeal to me because of the time the author spent looking up facts before writing the book.

  15. I love that the Wild West is like a completely different world to what currently existed back east. The women are always so strong and resilient and adventures were never in short supply.

  16. What appeals to you most about stories set in Wild West era?

    I love the adventure and to see the strength of the women of that time period. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *