Edwina Ladoux has reached the end of the line financially in trying to keep her southern Louisiana family home in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Unable to pay the back taxes, Edwina made plans to marry a Colorado rancher in response to his ad for a wife. She and her half sister, Prudence (a reluctant participant) embark into the unknown and to say that she was underwhelmed by her new husband is an understatement. Declan Brodie is equally disappointed in the Southern princess that showed up instead of the sturdy woman he was looking for to help raise his four children and take care of his home.
I’m a sucker for a mail order bride story as it always holds the promise of two people determined to make the relationship work. Despite their initial disappointment with each other, Edwina and Declan have strong incentives to make their marriage a real and loving one. Both have strong personalities though he’s more taciturn in behavior, which made for an even more interesting romance. The children are wild and untrained so Edwina has her work cut out for her as she also doesn’t know much about cooking (thank goodness for Pru).
Historical fiction stories set in western America are also one of my favorites and the beauty and wildness of Colorado are on showcase here. It’s as much a part of the story as the characters. It’s not all romantic interplay and humor as Declan has trouble with a rogue Cheyenne native who is out to destroy his family. Danger is always in the background and there are some tough, frightening scenes and situations.
This story had so many wonderful elements that I was completely captivated. There’s a lot going on but I couldn’t get enough of everything. The two women Edwina meets and befriends upon her arrival in Heartbreak Creek are the focus of the next two books and they are equally well defined and intriguing. I’m reading this series with a group and we can hardly wait to start the next two books.
- Release Date: July 5, 2011
- Series: Runaway Brides #1
- Page Numbers: 372
- Publisher: Berkley
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