Book Review: Love Finds an Outlaw

Can a pistol-packing spinster and an adventure-loving reporter find love amidst the mishaps and trials of the Santa Fe railroad’s ill-fated inaugural excursion?

Mary Owen has a ticket to ride the Santa Fe train on a sight-seeing excursion from Topeka, Kansas to Pueblo, Colorado. She intends to live life unrestrained on this trip because it may be her only chance unless she can convince her father to let her choose her own husband. A future of cooking and babies and small town life is not what she wants.

News reporter, Wyatt Cross bought the last ticket for the excursion, hoping one of the 84 women (he knows because he checked before buying his ticket for this scenic tour) would be someone he could love and who would share his sense of adventure. This is a last-ditch effort to keep his father happy and to preserve his inheritance. While waiting to board, he notices a tall, beautiful woman, Mary. The speed her hands move while she speaks fascinates him. Hope sparks inside of him. Maybe the trip will turn out to be more than a scenic ride up the mountain.

Climb aboard and read this romantic adventure.

MY REVIEW

There is quite the adventure packed in the pages of this novella and trust me when I say you won’t regret reading it. I had so much fun reading this tale and enjoyed it from start to finish. The writing is beautiful and it flows throughout, and the characters just make you wish there was a little more to the story. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be disappointed in the length. I only meant they will stay with you long after you finish. There were some twists and turns and even humor that kept me turning pages, and I can’t wait for the next one in the series!

AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLES     |     KOBO     |     IBOOKS

A Christmas Baby for Beatrice: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #18

Beatrice Collier has had a hard life. Born into poverty, she was orphaned at six and raised in a state-run facility. As a child, she never knew the joy of the holidays. When she turned eighteen, she married for security, rather than love. Having never really known true affection, she had no inkling what she was missing.

Ten years into their marriage, Beatrice’s husband was killed in a freak accident in the textiles factory where he worked, leaving her alone again at twenty-eight. With no real education, and jobs at a premium she finds work as a woman’s companion to support herself. When her current employer dies, she’s once again out of work. Rather than search for another job, she answers an ad for a mail order bride and sets out on a cross-country journey from her Pennsylvania home to the state of Washington.

Maxwell (Max) McCauley owns four hundred acres of prime property and makes his living as a horticulturalist, overseeing the largest privately owned acreage of Western White Pines in the western U.S. Well educated, a stickler for detail, his expertise is in demand, making him far too busy to properly court a woman. Yet, his home needs a woman’s touch. He needs a woman’s touch. Rather than waste time searching for a wife in an area where women are still few and far between, he asks his housekeeper to do whatever it takes to find him a suitable wife. The older woman takes her task to heart, placing advertisements in a half dozen newspapers.

However, her brutally honest ad about Max’s business, and often inclement weather in Washington state, repels more women than it attracts. And, at the end of the week-long advertisement, there are only two applicants.

Max wasn’t sure what he was expecting when his housekeeper told him that the woman she’d chosen for him was a widow. However, it definitely wasn’t the strong-willed, independent spitfire with dark red hair and the most magnificent golden eyes. His previous plan to stay at arms-length until they got to know one another went out the window within twenty minutes of Bea’s arrival. Despite her outwardly attractive appearance, there’s a sadness to Bea he can’t quite identify.

Beatrice can’t believe what she’s reading when she receives the telegram offering her the chance to become Mr. McCauley’s wife. Perhaps, at last, she’ll find a real home, with a man who can support her, and with whom she can work side-by-side.

Her only concern is how he’ll react when she tells him the one secret she’s been keeping from everyone for as long as she can remember. As much as she dreads the admission, she knows they can’t marry until she’s confessed. Will he send her packing on the first train headed east when he finds out the truth?

AMAZON

A Christmas Journey for Jessie: Mail Order Brides’ First Christmas #17

Jessie Miller was restless to begin her own life. She loves her siblings but raising nine children practically on her own wasn’t what she had planned. She longed to travel, to see more of the world than the little small town she grew up in. Except she had no means to get out on her own. She was trapped…until she saw his ad in the matrimonial weekly.

William Atwood, son and heir to his grandfather’s extensive ranch, thought he had it all. He had money, he’d traveled at his leisure, and he had all friends a man could want…but he wasn’t expecting his grandfather’s will to say he had to marry by his 25th birthday or forfeit it all.

Desperate times meant desperate measures. Turned out his grandfather had taken matters into his own hands and placed an ad on his behalf…for a mail order bride.

He had to marry her, he had no choice. But now that she’s here on his ranch he wonders if need and desire could be one and the same…

AMAZON

A Christmas Star For Mae: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #16

Mae Smith is sent against her will to marry a man she doesn’t know. This wasn’t how her life was to turn out. Her Pa thought of her as property. She planned on the side to stash away money and make a run for it when it was safe. Except Joel isn’t like she thought he might be. Will they get their Christmas miracle?

Joel Thompson agrees against his morals to take in this woman his brother bought in a poker game. He’d rather live a quiet life as the town’s sheriff, and not be tied down. But when she shows up, cold and upset, he can’t say no. As his heart thaws to her, can their love survive?

A Christmas Star for Mae s part of the multi-author sweet and clean Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas series. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the series.

AMAZON

A Christmas Magic for Merritt: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #15

When Merritt Rinehart is caught in a questionable situation in a brothel, no one will believe she’s only there to rescue her wretched sister. With her reputation in shambles and no other way out, she answers the first mail-order bride ad she can find.

When she arrives at the large homestead owned by wealthy rancher Warren Kincade, he’s nowhere to be found. Merritt soon learns that Warren knows nothing about the ad, but his grandmother was sick of his playboy ways and wanted her young granddaughter to have a mother for Christmas.

But when Warren returns home betrothed to a totally despicable woman, Merritt is charged with the task of saving him from his own mistakes. But when the woman discovers Merritt’s sordid secret, things get messy. Can Merritt make Warren believe that she was not a soiled dove? And can she save herself and a little girl from forever losing the magic of the season?

AMAZON

A Christmas Dream for Destiny: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #14

1890. Destiny Price works in the sewing room of the Cleveland orphanage where she lives but longs for a better life.

Even though she knows she’ll never be able to bear children and has never celebrated a real Christmas of her own, she is plagued by a recurring dream of sitting in a rocking chair next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, singing an infant to sleep.

Desperate to escape her dreary and monotonous life, Destiny answers an ad for a mail-order bride out west. But when she meets Stuart “Stormy” Holling, a former miner turned woodworker with a peg leg, is she prepared to handle the passionate temper that earned him his nickname?

AMAZON

A Christmas Escape for Elizabeth: Mail-Order-Brides’ First Christmas Book #13

She needed to escape…
Elizabeth Baker’s life looks nothing like she hopes. When her mother suddenly dies, Elizabeth grieves her passing as well as evades the inappropriate passes of her stepfather. She has to get away from him and decides to ask her dearest friend, Hannah, for help. Can Lizzie escape her stepfather’s advances before it’s too late? And if she does, can she ever trust another man again?

He wants to remain single for as long as possible…
Mack Douglas sees his best friend, Briggs, and his new wife, Hannah, on a daily basis. While he doesn’t begrudge their happiness, he has no desire of his own to get married. To be shackled down for the rest of his life? No thank you! When Hannah implores his help on behalf of her friend, he can’t say no.
Will Lizzie and Mack be able to find common ground and build a marriage worth fighting for? Or will their marriage end before its even had a chance to begin?

AMAZON

A Christmas Candle for Eleanor: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #12

Spending her life in an orphanage has been unpleasant at best. Despite the cruelty of the headmistress and other staff, Eleanor is surprised when she and her twin sister are sent off in response to mail-order bride solicitations. Sent to different towns, with no way of contacting each other, Eleanor doesn’t know how she’ll find her sister.

Benjamin Wilkerson is a candlemaker—a trade he learned from his father. The good-looking, but reclusive man keeps to himself and designs intricate, prize-winning candles that he ships around the country. When Eleanor arrives with a missive saying she’s come in response to his mail-order bride ad, the man is suspicious. But his kind heart won’t let him put the young woman out, so he offers to let her stay in the old hunting cabin his uncle built on the backside of the property years ago.

Will a spark of love flicker between the handsome candlemaker and Eleanor? Or will the desire to find Elsie take her far away from the small mountain town in Montana?

AMAZON

A Christmas Tree for Trudel: Mail-Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #11

Rancher Gibson Bainbridge travels to Pine Knot to investigate how his younger brother was swindled out of his mining claim. He finds the suspect, businessman Bernard Heinrik, at a poker table and squares off opposite him. Gib goads the man into betting big, staking the mining claim and then ends up with the winning hand and retrieves the deed. Goal achieved, he heads back to the hotel, planning how he’ll leave in the morning and arrive triumphant in Redlands at the family home in time for holiday festivities.

Mail-order bride Trudel Andersen traveled from Los Angeles to Pine Knot to meet up with her fiancé, Mister Heinrik, with whom she’s been corresponding for several months. But he’s a day overdue in meeting her. She waits in the hotel lobby with her lace-making materials and her little dog, Butterscotch. Released from the orphanage two months earlier, Trudel has been on her own and terrified she will always be so.

When Gibson realizes he’s the cause for the lovely lady’s misfortune, he’s stuck with a dilemma. If he confesses what he did, he’ll have to offer the woman a ride back to where she came from. Propriety demands they marry, and both agree it’s only for the duration of the trip. But will forced proximity deepen the relationship into something more?

AMAZON

A Christmas Home for Hannah: Mail Order Brides’ First Christmas Book #10

All of her life, she’s only wanted to be wanted.
He just wants to inherit a legacy.

When Hannah Gallagher’s mother dies giving birth to her, her no-good father leaves her with her mother’s parents. They didn’t have much, but they loved each other. When her grandmother passes suddenly, her grandfather forces her to respond to an advertisement for a mail-order bride. Reluctantly, she agrees, but does everything she can to make sure the groom to be won’t pick her. After all, who would choose a barely educated woman who only knows how to grow the basic of vegetables and shoot squirrels for supper? And then her life turns upside down when she receives a letter asking for her hand in marriage. Doubts assail her as she gets ready to leave the only home she’s ever known and tries to convince her grandfather to travel with her.

Briggs Blackwood is stuck between a rock and a hard place. While ranching is in his blood, and he loves it, he has to meet one requirement to take over his family legacy: get married and produce at least one grandchild within five years of his mother’s death. Briggs never wanted to get married. Even though his mom and dad’s relationship had been loving and kind, he doesn’t know if he can have a loving marriage like theirs. Hoping his father changes his mind, Briggs waits until the very last minute to find a wife. After placing an ad for a mail-order bride, Briggs reluctantly settles on a woman from Illinois. Once she arrives, he finds her to be more than he bargained for.

Will Hannah and Briggs discover just how much they need each other? Or will life’s challenges become too much, with the only solution to annul the marriage and go their separate ways?

AMAZON