“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe was a very good read. In her novel, Ms. Fyffe portrays a young St. Louis girl from a big family who is desperate to leave. She concocts a story about visiting her sister and husband in Y Knot, Montana, even though she has not let them know that she is coming. Her reason for going away is to spare her family the shame she feels for the predicament she is in. Personally, I think her refusal to let her family help her is misguided. However, it does make for a good storyline.
Sally travels to Montana by train and stage and at one point during the journey, the stage overturns and she rides for help on one of the mules. She is caught in a blinding snowstorm and just manages to find a hunter’s cabin where she takes shelter. Also caught in the storm is Roadie Guthrie, a ranch hand for the McCutcheon family who is more like a son to the patriarch and his wife. All of their children and families live in or near the main ranch house and are protected by each other. Roadie finds the hunter’s cabin and he and Sally are forced to remain together for three days waiting out the storm. Roadie and Sally form a friendship, and Sally’s predicament causes Roadie to come to her rescue again.
I thought this story was well-thought out and I loved the characters. Roadie was a kind and gentle person and Sally, although misguided, was a lovely girl caught up in circumstances beyond her control. I think you’ll like this book.
“Beauty for Ashes” by Dorothy Clark was well worth my time reading the book. We begin in New York in 1820 with Elizabeth Frazier’s father insisting that she wed someone who is not to her liking. Not only is this man not to her liking, he is also abusive. When she tries to reason with her father, he locks her in her room without shoes while he goes to discuss the betrothal that she abhors. Her mother is no help to her as she sees all men as the same kind as her husband and tells Elizabeth that she just needs to get used to being treated this way. In her desperation, she sneaks from the house and walks as far as she can to an inn where she hopes to summon help.
Unknown to her, this inn is the rendezvous point for Justin Randolph and the woman who has agreed to a marriage of convenience with him for a monetary settlement. He has never met her, has no idea what she looks like. So when Elizabeth shows up all concerned think she is the one he is to marry. In her fear she agrees to the arrangement, but declines all monetary reward. Justin and Elizabeth are wed and leave immediately for his estate and his children.
Both parties are suspicious of the other. Neither thinks that the other is being truthful and all attempts at civility are non-existent. Even though each thinks their dilemma is solved, there are other forces at work to harm them.
This story goes along at a fast clip and is hard to put down. I will definitely be reading more books by Ms. Clark.
“Texas Cindrella” by Winnie Griggs Was a delightful little novel and one of the books in the Texas Grooms series. Cassie Lynn Vickers has been keeping house for her farmer father and sons since her mother passed away. After her brother got married and brought his bride to the family farm house, Cassie decided to take a job in town as a caretaker for Mrs. Flanagan, and start her own bakery business with hopes of expanding to her own shop.
Riley Walker is on the run with his niece and nephew, hiding out from their father, his step-brother. The children become ill and the trio is befriended by Mrs. Flanagan and Cassie. This long stop in Turnabout, Texas gives the children’s father time to catch up to them. Hoping that the Pinkerton agent he hired will find something to make sure that the kids’ no-good father is put away for a long time, Riley decides to face whatever happens to keep the children safe with him.
I thought the story was very sweet and the characters were real enough for the time period of the story. Ms. Griggs has written an engaging tale and I liked it. I was sent a Kindle copy of this book by NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.
“Gideon’s Secondhand Bride” by Kristin Holt was a very enjoyable book. Millie Owens was married with a small child, living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her husband Oliver fought in the war and came home although Millie wished he hadn’t. The war changed him…made him a drunk, an abusive drunk. She feared for her life and her son’s life and decided she had to run away. Oliver had threatened her if she left, but love for her son propelled her forward. A good friend managed a mail-order bride enterprise and talked her into answering an ad from a farmer in Kansas. John Gideon was a widower with three young children and needed a wife to care for them. He intended this to be a marriage of convenience. He and Millie married, but Millie carried the truth about her marital situation and worried that Oliver would come to cause trouble.
I really enjoyed this novella and had a hard time putting it down. It was written to be easily read as is usual for Ms. Holt. I downloaded a free Kindle copy of this book from Amazon.com.