Review: Once Upon a Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday

Posted January 13, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Once Upon a Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday
Once Upon a Mail Order Bride

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Outlaw Mail Order Brides #4
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on November 24, 2020
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

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.

Challenges Met

New Release #204
Historical Fiction #126

About the Book
Once Upon a Runaway Bride by Linda BrodayONCE UPON A MAIL ORDER BRIDE BY LINDA BRODAY

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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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.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
9 months ago

Great review Sophia Rose. I’ve heard of this author but haven’t read her. I am starting to read/listen to more historical romance. Thanks for putting her on my radar

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Thanks, Debbie! I have adored her books since I read my first Bachelors of Battle Creek and Men of Legend books. 🙂 She keeps it gritty and real with a lovely romance.

Mary Kirkland
9 months ago

That actually sounds really good. Sounds like she really went through a lot.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I love that it has the feel of a western- tough bad guys and gun battles- with the nuances of a good romance relationship. Oh man, my heart broke for this woman- for them both, really.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I have read a couple of books by Linda Broday and really enjoyed them. I really need to check out this series because it sounds fantastic!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Yes, this spins off the Men of Legend series, but it can be started without having read those. These women and men had some of the most heartbreaking situations. I loved seeing them get their happy.

Lover of Romance
9 months ago

Its always so gravitating when seeing a couple have such a deep connection as these two seem to have. Definitely need to catch up on this series.

Lovely review.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

They really did connect over having been hurt and accused of the worst things. Beautiful romance!

9 months ago

It’s been so long since I haven’t read a western story

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

I don’t read too many either.

Carole Rae
9 months ago

Dang those evil people!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

For real! They needed to meet a more nasty end than they did. Grr!

9 months ago

I read the 2nd book (I think) in this series, but I’m now behind. This does sound heart wrenching in places, but also really good!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

This whole series was so good. I loved the premise of these people who were mostly falsely turned into outlaws getting a new chance and finding a special someone who also had a horrid early life. I can’t wait to see this new series project she has mentioned that is coming next since it goes back to the Legends. 🙂