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A Beggar’s Bargain

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The Bargainer Series, Book One
Jan Sikes
Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction
Publisher: Fresh Ink Group
Date of Publication: March 12, 2024
Number of Pages: 324 pages
Scroll down for the Giveaway!


Image of A Beggar's Bargain cover.

A shocking proposal that changes everything

Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.

Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time—a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and for time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

Then, the banker makes an alternative proposition—marry his unwanted daughter, Sara Beth, in exchange for a two-year extension. Out of options, money, and time, Layken agrees to the bargain.

Now, he has two years to make a living off the land while he shares his life with a stranger.

If he fails at either, he’ll lose it all.

A shocking proposal and forced bargain changes everything. A Beggar's Bargain by Jan Sikes.

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Clueless Gent’s Rating for A Beggar’s Bargain

5 star rating

A Beggar’s Bargain makes my heart feel so very good! It’s not just the wonderful storyline, but it’s also the way author Jan Sikes presents the story. In a world like we have today, this tale offers some respite from problems and reminds us just how courageous and wonderful people can actually be.

The story follows the plight of Layken Martin, who recently returned to Missouri from fighting in World War II, to find his family farm in foreclosure. His parents were both gone, and without any siblings, it was up to him to save the farm. The banker wasn’t interested in giving him additional time to bring the mortgage up to date, but he did make Layken a proposition: marry his daughter Sara Beth and he’d extend the time. Layken didn’t see that he had much choice.

For such a seemingly mild premise, we have to add in that neither Layken nor Sara Beth wanted to get married. Further, Sara Beth was pretty much a city girl and never lived on a farm. She missed her deceased mother and only had relationships with Uncle Seymour (an older black man her mother had hired years earlier) and her pet rabbit, Cuddles.

“Live for today—plan for tomorrow.”

I think author Jan Sikes did a tremendous job of adding some conflict to the situation. Beyond that, Sikes developed the characters of Layken and Sara Beth very well, indeed. Even their at-first clumsy relationship was quite well developed by the end of the story.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can fit a square peg in a round hole, you need to read how this author developed this story. It’s perfect.

Emphasizing again this author’s talent in developing characters, I think Sikes created one of the sleaziest antagonists I’ve ever read. That’s quite a statement, but it’s true!

Her description was top notch. At one point, when Layken was “talking” to his deceased parents, Sikes wrote, “His throat clogged with unshed tears.” With that single sentence, any reader would know exactly how Layken was feeling.

A lot of readers seem to put a lot of stock in the first sentence in a story. There’s even a common hashtag representing it. Well, in my opinion, this book has the best last sentence I’ve ever read. Now, don’t be skipping back there to see what it says! Savor the chapters and the sentences before it, and let Jan Sikes lead you there all in her time. You’ll be glad you did!

A Beggar’s Bargain is indeed a “Bargain” – Jan Sikes really delivers!

I received a free copy of A Beggar’s Bargain from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.

the Author

Author Jan Sikes Photo

Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author, although she’s been an avid reader all her life. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. She brought the entertaining true story to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books, accompanying music CDs, and a book of poetry and art.
And now, this author can’t put down the pen. She continues to write fiction in a variety of genres and has published many award-winning short stories and novels.
Jan is an active blogger, a member of Story Empire, a devoted fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.

Historical Fiction 1947 rural Missouri; Laymen Martin returns home from the Army to find the family farm in ruins, plus a foreclosure notice from the bank. Is he willing to make a desperate bargain?

Two winners receive $20 Amazon gift cards;
Two winners receive eBook copies of A Beggar’s Bargain
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 4/19/24)

A Beggar's Bargain tour giveaway graphic. Prizes to be awarded precede this image in the post text.

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