Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spotlight Review: INDENTURED BRIDE by Regan Taylor

Book 1 of the Bride Series
Awe-Struck E-Books -
ISBN 978-1-58749-653-0
March 2008
Historical Romance
Adler Creek, Wyoming – 1855-1860

Brett Parker, half Cheyenne and half white, has sworn off marriage after being told he was a dirty half-breed and no one would want to marry him. He is the deputy in Adler Creek, and his good friend, Rick Hansen, is the sheriff.

Twenty-one year-old Jennifer Matthews’s parents are dead. After her father committed suicide, her mother’s brother, Julian, becomes her guardian until she is twenty-five. Ever since she was a child, her uncle has tried to force his attentions on her. When Julian tries to rape Jennifer, she hits him over the head with a lamp, and thinking he is dead, she runs away, jumps on an empty rail car and ends up in Virginia. She finds a group of women heading west as mail-order brides, changes her name to Jenna, and joins their party. Meeting Bea and Belle, she becomes part of their threesome in a wagon train.

When Brett discovers there is a woman with no one waiting for her, he claims her for his bride. Jenna finds Brett to be a handsome, honorable man, but she worries what he will do when he discovers her past, and Brett worries what Jenna will do when she finds out about his Cheyenne heritage. Even though Jenna does not want to marry, she is attracted to Brett. There is a photographer aboard the train who has taken pictures of the wedding train, although Jenna has tried to evade getting in the pictures. Will the people of Adler Creek discover that Jenna Martin is really Jennifer Matthews, a murderess who is wanted in Maryland? Can the handsome deputy protect her?

Mail-order bride stories always sound so romantic, and this one is no exception. It is easy to imagine the jubilation in the small town when the train arrives with twenty-three ladies looking for their husbands-to-be. The women form strong friendships on the four-month trip west and are anxious to marry and start families; the men are pleased to alleviate their loneliness and have women in their lives. Although many variations of this tale have been written in the past, INDENTURED BRIDE tells the story of a woman reluctant to marry and a man who is concerned that his Cheyenne heritage will be unacceptable to his new bride. Some of the misunderstandings between Brett and Jenna are disconcerting, and I wanted to shake some sense into them; Uncle Julian is a vile over-the-top villain. A few things which didn’t ring true were some of Brett and Jenna’s interaction with each other and Julian’s plans for Jenna.

INDENTURED BRIDE is a romantic tale with just a bit of suspense. It is an interesting story, it flows well, and is easy to read. If you enjoy stories of the old west, I think you will enjoy it, too. Brett has two brothers, one white man, Kendrick, who is a U.S. Marshall, and one full blood Cheyenne, Buck. Look for their stories in Books 2 and 3 in this series.

Marilyn Heyman

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