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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: Mail Order Bride Katie by Vivi Holt

Mail Order Brides: Katie by Vivi Holt
Book 3 in the Orphan Brides Go West series
ARC, e-Book, 123 pages
Black Lab Press
April 8, 2016
★★★★ ½☆

Heat Rating:

Genre: Historical Romance, Western, Novella

Source: Received from the Author for Review
Newly pregnant, Katie’s husband is killed in a construction accident in downtown Boston. Having lost her parents as a girl, she has to rely on her own skills to make her way. When she loses her job as well, she doesn’t know where to turn for help.
Swedish immigrant, Kristoff, owns a thriving business in California after the boom of the gold mines brought so many new settlers to the area. Even with all of his success, he longs for a companion to share his life with. After revealing his desires in a correspondence with his cousin back east, she tells him about Katie’s predicament.
Before long Katie heads west to marry him, convinced it is the only way to take care of the baby growing inside of her.
Afraid to tell Kristoff about the baby, Katie tries desperately to keep her condition a secret. What will Kristoff do when he discovers she has been hiding the truth? Can their fledgling love overcome an omission this big?
This novella was an exciting reading experience that I dove into on a whim. I knew nothing about this author or series and had not read anything mail order bride related before; so I essentially started this with no expectations. I haven’t historically read a lot of romances, but that is quickly starting to change. This is a sweet romance, so there are a couple chaste kissing scenes (with their desire for more…), but there is no dancing between the sheets here. You could feel the passion and interest in both of the characters, but everything is kept in check because of various plot points that I’m not going to spoil here.

Although this is novella length, it had the feel of a full length novel. The plotting did not feel rushed, as some romances (even full length romances) can tend toward. There were complete character arcs and real time spent with relationship development. I actually cared for everyone involved in this story, even the periphery characters, they were all fully fleshed out. The story moved right along and I did not want to put it down – I just wanted to reach the end of the story and ultimately want to pick up the previous two (and the upcoming too). This is the third book in the series, but they do not need to be read in any particular order and I don’t know that they are really interrelated, besides being based on brides that are orphans and head west. This was not what I consider a typical mail order bride novel, based on what that term brings to mind. It was more of an arrangement through a third party friend, rather than through a service of some kind.

Another element that I really liked was the choice of settings – Boston and Sacramento, California. These are not common locations and they were fleshed out enough to be unique locations, not just stamped. It made the story feel fresh.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Also by Vivi Holt:

Mail Order Bride: Christy

Mail Order Bride: Ramona

The Strong One (Cutter's Creek #2)
[My Review]

Of Peaks and Prairies (Paradise Valley #1)
[My Review]

Find Vivi Holt: Amazon Page | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter


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