Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Unexpected Bride by Debra Ullrick

This is the first book in Debra’s series about the Bowen family living in Idaho Territory in the 1800s. 

Let’s begin with the summary:

After the disaster of his first marriage, Haydon Bowen has no intention of marrying again. Unfortunately, his brother has some intentions of his own, and plans to see to it that Haydon finds happiness once more. So he answers a "groom wanted" advertisement—in Haydon's name—and sends Haydon to meet his new bride at the stagecoach stop!

For beautiful, cultured Rainelle Devonwood, any dangers she may face in the Idaho Territories are preferable to staying with her abusive brother. So even when Rainee learns she's a mistakenly ordered bride, she won't let Haydon drive her away. She's up to the challenge of life on the difficult, demanding frontier…and the greater challenge of opening Haydon's heart again.

And now, my review:

This was the first Love Inspired historical I’ve read in a while, and I really enjoyed it! I loved the characters, who were all likable and believable. I liked Rainee’s strength. The hero’s brother has arranged this without the hero’s knowledge. And Haydon is such a gentleman, he can’t just send this bride-to-be back where she came from. And good thing, because she’d either be killed by her hateful brother or married off to the hometown wife murderer. 

I liked the setting and how closely the story stuck to the romance between these two characters, which is an LI requisite. I liked the way the hero wasn’t trying to win her, but couldn’t deny his own good character traits. He was noble, and protective, and kind. And of course, what heroine wouldn’t fall in love with a hero like that? If you’re up for reading the series (three of the books are available in e-book format, and some are available in print), I’d begin with this one so you’re not lost when the characters appear in later books. If readers ever feel they'd prefer a more concentrated romance (as opposed to a full-length novel, which is more drawn out and with more characters and subplots), I recommend reading Love Inspired novels. They're wholesome, concentrated romance. 

Watch for my review of book two coming soon to Net's Book Notes.


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