Source: Received Audible download code from author for review
MAIL-ORDER BRIDES OF THE WEST is a new series created in collaboration by USA Today Bestselling Authors Debra Holland and Caroline Fyffe.This mail-order bride series is a different type of series in that it is being written by two different authors instead of just one author for the whole series. Each author has written their own books in the series, but their characters are interconnected. This is seeming to become more of a common occurrence these days with authors writing in each other’s series. The characters written about by Debra Holland will also appear in her Montana Sky series while the characters in Caroline Fyffe’s novels will appear in her McCutcheon series. So, it will be kinda cool to see how all of these characters interact, but I love the idea that they are loosely tied to one another. Trudy connects with the second book Evie as they write back and forth to each other throughout this story and I’m assuming Evie too. It was even cute how at the end of the book, Trudy is holding a conversation with her new husband about trying to find husbands for her friends at the bride agency – which we will see in coming books!
Well-bred socialite and bride-to-be Trudy Bauer arrives at the St. Louis based Mail-Order Brides of the West agency full of excitement for an adventure of a lifetime. She befriends the agency’s maid, Evie Davenport, and the two form a strong and lasting friendship. They vow to stay in contact through letters when Evie takes hold of her destiny and arranges a marriage on the sly. Each brave young woman is ready to face whatever an unknown groom and life in Montana can throw her way.
In Holland’s book, bride-to-be Trudy Bauer rides the train to Sweetwater Springs, in a Montana Sky Novel. In Fyffe’s Novel, house servant Evie Davenport travels by stagecoach to Y Knot, Montana in a McCutcheon Family Novel. Through their correspondence, the friends keep each other abreast of their hardships, trials and tribulations—some of heartbreak, some of love
Trudy is the first woman to sign up for a mail-order bride service that wasn’t in some sort of trouble, whether it be being left at the altar, finding themselves pregnant and alone, or running from some bad relationship. Trudy signs up because she wants adventure out west, more than her boring life can give her – and she certainly does find that, daily life is an adventure! It was also cool to see the vetting process that the bride agency went through before pairing up couples; I’m sure that some took their agency seriously while others just randomly paired up people with less than a thought. Seth is looking for a mail-order bride after losing the woman that he intends to marry. Getting used to this new woman in his life is exciting and he wants to embrace it fully, but he is still struggling to get over his previous woman. This sets the stage for certain problems to arise between Seth and Trudy who are desperately trying to understand each other. Nevermind the fact that Trudy is trying to get used to living the life in the west.
I immediately liked both Seth and Trudy. I had encountered them as a married couple in another one of Holland’s books, Grace, Bride of Montana, and loved them as the seasoned mail-order bride couple, so it was fun getting to see that develop and how they got to that point. They are both trying hard to make the relationship work, but there were really a couple times that I wasn’t so sure they were going to make it. Trudy is really not well suited to life in the west, but she has all the earnestness to learn the ropes. The only struggle that I had with Trudy was her reaction upon finding out that Seth had previously intended to marry someone else before turning to the mail-order bride service. I imagine that if a man is resorting to a mail-order bride service, there could be any number of reasons behind why he is doing so, but I thought her reaction was a little bit over the top.
The romance here is very mild. The two spend the majority of the novel just trying to get to know one another, so this is a sweet, clean read.
I don’t know if it is just that I am getting used to this narrator, this being the third time I have listened to her, but I felt that she did a pretty good job with this story. She did a great job enhancing the sweetness of Trudy. She does have some slight changes of voice for the different characters, but it is not so obvious that it is distracting (which was a problem that I had with a prior narration from her). Her reading pace is unhurried and made a 200 page novel feel longer (in a good way).
Check out this audio excerpt for a taste of the book:
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Also by Debra Holland:
Debra Holland has written the following novels within the Wild Montana Sky series:
Beneath Montana’s Sky (Wild Montana Sky #0.5)
Wild Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #1)
Starry Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #2)
Stormy Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #3)
Montana Sky Christmas (Wild Montana Sky #3.1)
A Valentine's Choice (Wild Montana Sky #3.2)
Painted Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #3.5)
Glorious Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #4)
Sweetwater Springs Scrooge (Wild Montana Sky #4.1)
Sweetwater Springs Christmas (Wild Montana Sky #4.2)
Healing Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #5)
Mystic Montana Sky (Wild Montana Sky #6)
Grace: Bride of Montana (Wild Montana Sky/American Mail-Order Brides)
Also in the Mail-Order Brides of the West series:
Evie by Caroline Fyffe (Mail-Order Brides #2)
Heather by Caroline Fyffe (Mail-Order Brides #3)
Lina by Debra Holland (Mail-Order Brides #4)
Darcy by Debra Holland (Mail-Order Brides #5)
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