Berkley, Jul 5 2011, $15.00
In 1870 in war ravaged Louisiana, Edwina Ladoux signs over Rose Hill Planation to the bank in order for the land to be auctioned to pay back taxes. Answering a mail order bride ad, she and her half-sister Prudence Lincoln leave the South taking the train to Heartbreak Creek, Colorado where she is to marry widower Declan Brodie and help raise his four children.
After meeting Maddie and Lucinda, Ed gets Declan to agree to a three month courtship as she fears she is not cut out for life on the frontier since she can’t even cook and he knows his first wife ran away before being killed. As she and the Brodie quintet fall in love, his dead first spouse Sally comes home. Also arriving is Lone Tree seeking vengeance against the rancher from when Brodie was a sheriff.
The fabulous first Runaway Brides western romance contains a strong cast and a vivid description that establishes time and place. Edwina initially seems like a fish out of water, but Ed wins over everyone she meets with her energy and élan. Although a late unhealthy contrivance abates some of the conflict, sub-genre readers will welcome this strong post Civil War romance.