Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

A Love Most Worthy

Today’s novella includes interesting elements, like the setting of Seattle and then Alaska, and the topic of mail-order brides, with a twist.

Let’s begin with the summary:

She didn’t know which was colder, an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska, to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to regret his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?

And now, my review:

Sandra’s prose is top-notch. The story kept me engaged and I was hooked, waiting to see how things worked out. She understands how to weave a strong story and never let the plot drag. I did notice some of the emotions and reactions were overstated, given some of the situations, and I had a hard time connecting to the emotions because they sometimes seemed exaggerated. Still, I found strong storytelling and wordsmithing throughout. The story reads very fast.

The hero has been betrayed in the past, and part of his healing involves forgiveness. The heroine longs for a family of her own and to belong. She’ll need to find her place in the chilly north. 

I liked the sense of hope and adventure in the story. The heroine is strong. Her insecurities only add to her layers. She’s likable, and I rooted for her. The hero believes he’s being noble, and in many ways he is, which makes him sympathetic as well. 

I recommend this well-written novella.

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