The Vigilante's Bride
Bethany House, Aug 2010, $14.99
In late December 1884 at the Aldersgate Home for Girls, director Elvira Beecham informs outraged orphan Emily McCarthy she will marry Montana rancher Bartholomew Axel on Christmas Day; he had advertised for a bride in the Tribune. In Montana, Luke Sullivan learns from a cattle rustler about to be hung that his father was cheated by Bart Axel out of his ranch and mulls over what to do about it though two decades have passed and his enemy is wealthy and influential.
When Luke learns from Bart’s frightened banker Phineas Martin that a delivery by coach to Axel is occurring, he decides to steal back his money. Instead he abducts Bart’s fiancée who is on the coach and admits she has never even seen a picture of her intended. Though not sure whether he rescued her or not fiery Emily is attracted to her kidnapper and him to her. He knows how powerful Bart is, but not how obsessed he is to claim his bride as the abduction is an insult. While he depends on a gun, she believes God will turn what seems ugly into something beautiful especially after the Crow minding their business become involved in a White man’s dispute with the treasure being Emily.
This is an entertaining inspirational Americana romance starring a likable firebrand city slicker and the rancher who kidnaps her. While the villain is too proof odious with no redeeming quality, fans will root for The Vigilante’s Bride as she turns to God for spiritual support, and to herself and her beloved for earthy daring do while trying to get her man who feels like a late nineteenth century Big Sky Job.