Since I was old enough to read Christian fiction, mail order bride stories have been one of my first loves. Fostered through Al and Joanna Lacy and Janette Oke, if it said “mail order bride” it didn’t take me too long to think about reading it and the same still holds true to this day. But could you image ordering three brides…and all of them picking a different spouse? Oh I cringed for the hero for such is his lot.
Julia is an interesting and at times, confusing character. Her angst goes deep and needed much tender love, which Everett learns to give to her, however she at times confused me. A façade that seemed happy and cheerful when viewed from other characters, but timid and fearful when we saw the world from her eyes. The extremes were so distant I had a hard time reconciling the two, though it became a smoother transition the further I read.
I think what I missed the most in this particular title was the lack of a subplot. I would have loved to see more depth added by weaving in another character’s story.
Otherwise, the story is a sweet and simple love tangle about characters the reader quickly grows to care for.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
More about the novel...
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?