Review: The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown

Review: The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown
The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #3 Cowboys and Brides
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on February 4,2014
Pages: 383
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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I swear this series just gets cuter and more heartwarming as it goes and yet there’s still all that heat generated when the hero and heroine knock boots together. The homey tones, the laughter, the playful plots and the passionate romances are like sinfully delicious forbidden dessert.

In this story, Emily Cooper arrives at Lightning Ridge Ranch up in North Texas in search of Clarise Adams nee Barton to fulfill her gramps’ dying wish. A letter was found sixty years after it was posted having never left the post office to be delivered. Emily was tasked to make sure this letter along with several others were to be delivered to the lady they were meant for in the first place. Once upon a time, Clarise and her grandpa had corresponded when he was away at war and had big plans for the future that never came to be when she never heard from him and he never went looking when he didn’t hear back from her.

Greg Adams arrives home from a cattle sale to find Emily established as his grandmother’s temporary assistant. Emily was ordered by her granddad before he died to take some time and ponder her future instead of jumping right back in to make a go of the hundred acre spread she inherited. She has agreed to take that month at the ranch instead of heading on to Florida like she planned. Greg thinks it’s a great plan if only for the sake of convincing Clarise that she needs an assistant in the ranch office with the errands, computer and paperwork along with chauffeuring Clarise around while he’s out doing actual ranch work. It doesn’t hurt that his libido sat up and took notice of the lovely pert lady either.

Emily leaps right into the life at the ranch between running around with Clarise and her old cronies- Dotty, Rose and Maggie- and helping Greg when he’s shorthanded. She fits in and everyone accepts and loves having her there. She loves the ranch and the rest of them too, but her home is back at Shine Canyon in West Texas and that’s where she plans on returning when the month is out. Every day with Greg makes her really struggle to hold to her set plan and it doesn’t escape her notice that she is jealous over the idea of any other woman dancing with him or winning a date with him at the charity ‘win a date with a cowboy’ auction.

Greg comes to the realization that Emily is the only woman he will ever want. He has dreams of her in his bed and dreams of a lifetime spent with her. She’s perfect in every way since she has ranching in her blood and she makes his serious and no-nonsense approach to life jump out the window when she’s around. He has a small plan to convince her to stay, but fortunately he’s not the only one plotting to keep Emily. He has a pair of crafty old women and two adorable kittens on his side, but will it be enough or are her roots sunk too deep into the West Texas dirt?

This is one of those stories that just meanders along at its own pace. There’s a nice plot and all, but it just gets comfortable as it makes its way in the general direction it’s headed. There is conflict, but it’s not deep and angsty. Emily has a decision to make, but her path to that decision isn’t loaded with overthinking and unneeded torture. Quite refreshing for a change after some other books I’ve read recently. The passion between Greg and Emily builds as does the relationship against the backdrop of every day life in a ranching community. Even with the romance, this couple are honest with themselves and each other. Sooo nice to just read about two people enjoying the getting to know you stages of romance and enjoying the use of that twin bed up in the out of the way attic room in the barn. It brings out emotions, but they are mild. The conflicts in the story aren’t huge barriers, but they are there to keep things interesting. It was just sweet and sassy from cover to cover.

The characters and dialogue are probably the best part outside the romance of Greg and Emily. Clarise and her best friend, Dotty live in the ranch house with Greg and now Emily. Clarise just wants to secure Greg’s future happiness and spend her golden years watching him take over ranching operations and starting a family. She’s not above plotting behind his back to achieve this. Dotty cooks and cusses with equal aplomb, but she’s Clarise’s battle buddy in the campaign to hook Emily for Greg. Other characters like the ranch hands, Greg’s best friend Jeremiah and others from the community along with Emily’s cousin, Taylor all just add so much depth to the story when they’re in the scenes. I laughed so hard when all those old ladies got together making up a fake profile and pretending to be Greg on the singles websites (no ladies when the women speak of leather and whips they aren’t talking saddles and quirts).

All in all, I loved experiencing ranch life and romance with Greg and Emily. I look forward to finally getting Mason’s story with his harridan twin girls. I would recommend this book and the series to those who enjoy light contemporary Western Romance with a pinch of spice to the romance. It could be read as a standalone, but there are light connections with each story running through the series.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Carolyn Brown

Hi! I’m twenty five years old and movie star gorgeous. The camera added thirty plus years and a few wrinkles. Can’t trust those cameras or mirrors either. Along with bathroom scales they are notorious liars! Honestly, I am the mother of three fantastic grown children who’ve made me laugh and given me more story ideas than I could ever write. My husband, Charles, is my strongest supporter and my best friend. He’s even willing to eat fast food and help with the laundry while I finish one more chapter! Life is good and I am blessed!

Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.

I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.

I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.

Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!

I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.

Happy reading!

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.


    1. She has written a ton, but I’ve only read from this series. I like the down home feel and how she writes in the older generation so its not a romance in isolation. She has a real grasp for ranch life too. I have another one on the TBR pile from a different series that I hope to eventually get to.