This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on November 24, 2020
One faced jail and the other the hangman’s noose and the danger is still threatening when they join the outlaw mail order bride service. Saving the best for last is exactly how I felt when I finished this final book in the series. Western settings, hard-fought action and romance, and tender characters who only want to find love and make things right.
Once Upon a Mail Order Bride is the fourth standalone romance in the historical western romance Outlaw Mail Order Brides series.
Ex-preacher and accused rapist and murderer, Ridge Steele has remade himself as the tough-bitten mayor to the fledgling town full of outlaws looking to start over fresh. He has seen his friends and fellow town founders find love and start families and he wants that even if he doubts that a guy like him could be so lucky. He starts exchanging letters with Adeline Jancy and starts to hope a little when he meets her at last and learns the truth is a great deal more than what the woman shared in the letters. He’ll have to dig deep and stand strong against the danger and sorrow in her wake if he wants to build something with Addie.
Addie is the daughter of a not so benevolent cult leader and made a decision to save a child from the fate of being son to the cruel man she knows as father. This leads to three years of traumatic suffering in isolation under the prison. She emerges with no voice and two of her father’s killers on her tail because she was the one to hide his son. Writing with Ridge and finding herself in Hope’s Crossing begins a healing that she hadn’t expected. She expected Ridge to be like her father and takes time learning the difference, but just when happiness is in her grasp, the past catches up.
Talk about two people with gut-wrenching stories. They connect on so many levels as a result. Wrongfully accused, abused for doing the right thing, and living down a rep while never trusting in people the same way again. Addie had it really bad- the evil people can do. I think because of their dark, bleak pasts, that made their connection of slowly building trust and love all the more sweet.
Like with past books the western frontier world is vividly drawn and each person’s background and the rough and danger lives they live reflect that. I am glad the author put the extra time in to make all this come to life infusing the romance and family-feeling of the Hope Crossing community with something more.
Speaking of the community, this was the last book and I was glad to see all the familiar well-loved faces from previous books getting to be part of this one backing up their lonesome Ridge and welcoming Addie into the fold.
All in all, I was feeling especially emotional for this book and found an extra connection and sympathy with Ridge and Addie so that though I loved every book in the series, this was the one that truly resonated strongly. Absolutely, western historical romance fans need to go out and get this one.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #204
Historical Fiction #126
About the Book
An outlaw falls for his mysterious mail order bride in this sweeping western epic by beloved author Linda Broday.
Accused of crimes he didn’t commit, ex-preacher Ridge Steele is forced to give up everything he knew and make his home with outlaws. Desperate for someone to confide in, he strikes up correspondence with mail-order bride Adeline Jancy, finding in her the open heart he’s been searching for. Upon her arrival, Ridge discovers Addie only communicates through the written word, but he knows a little of what trauma can do to a person and vows to stand by her side.
Addie is eager to start a new life with the kind ex-preacher and the little boy she’s stolen away from her father—a zealot priest of a terrorized flock. As her small family settles into life at Hope’s Crossing, she even begins to find the voice, and confidence, she’d lost so long ago.
But danger is not far behind, and her father will not be denied. While Addie desperately fights the man who destroyed her childhood, a determined Ridge races to the rescue. The star-crossed lovers will need more than prayers to survive this final challenge…and find their way back to each other again.
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