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 January 29, 2019
Sometimes you see the title of a book and you just hafta. Outlaw + Mail Order Bride… yeah, that caught my fancy and I was eager to jump into the next exciting Western Historical romantic adventure by an author who has written some of my favorites in the genre. And, it was a good call. This book gripped me from page one and I was engaged with the characters and their struggles and wanting them to find their happiness nearly more than they did.
The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride is the start of a new series. But, surprise! I loved that this series is a spin off from the last book in the Men of Legend series, To Marry a Texas Outlaw, Luke and Josie’s story. For those who read that, remember the fugitive women that Luke knew out in that canyon and some of his equally tarnished hero outlaw friends? Yep, we are getting their stories now.
The story opens on a dramatic scene when Clay wakes to the day his mail order bride is to arrive and hopes she is the kind of woman who can live simple, work hard, and believe in his dream of starting over. Then an outlaw and his cronies who don’t want reform and a new town of hope burn up Clay and the other’s hard work and threaten more if he doesn’t quit. So, he only has smoldering buildings, a dugout cabin and a tent city to greet Talley. This is it for him and he will give his all to make it happen, but the past just won’t let him, it seems.
Tally has her own demons to slay and she doesn’t have much trust and hope left after the horrendous things that have been done to her, but the sight of Clay’s resolve and his gentleness with blind little Violet. She’s willing to take just one more chance to find the unconditional love and acceptance with a man and family of her own that she’s always wanted even if she has to work hard beside Clay to have it.
Things are really hard for both Clay and Tally to get a new start. They are both wanted outlaws and circumstances more than evil intent now have them paying. My heart broke for both of them and all the other men and women outlaws who wanted a second chance and were corresponding back and forth with Luke and Josie acting as the go betweens.
Clay and Tally were strong people and there was a spark between them from the beginning. Wariness on both their parts, but longing and vulnerability too. They were amazing together and I loved seeing their frontier life and the town come into shape as their relationship grew as well.
One thing I love about this author’s historical westerns- okay two things- is the attention to historical details and making sure her stories fit in with the authentic background of the times. I also appreciate that she isn’t afraid to make frontier life a little dark and gritty which also lends itself to giving the story a good balance of romance and realism. The bad guys were tough and made the conflict formidable. The tension leading up to the big showdowns kept me flipping pages just as much as the fabulous hard-fought romance.
The surrounding cast of characters from both their posse of friends were just as wonderful as the romance pair. This book was the set up for all these others to get their story, too.
All in all, I was enthralled and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. Historical western romance fans, we have a winner. Grab it!
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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