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Mail-Order Marriage (5-in-1) by Mary Davis
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Mail-Order Marriage (5-in-1)

by Mary Davis

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Mail Order Marriage: Five Historical stories of marriage arranged by strangers (various authors). Cinda’s Surprise by Mary Davis involves Cinda Harrison and Lucas Rawlings. Cinda’s friends decided to help her find a husband. Cinda agrees to the marriage and wonders why Lucas needed a mail order bride. Cinda discovers the answer when she arrives at his home. Will these two be able to make it work?

His Brother’s Bride by Denise Hunter takes place in Cedar Springs, Kansas. Emily Wagner is traveling to Cedar Springs to meet her fiancé, Thomas for the first time. Emily is hoping this marriage will help her save her grandmother from her Uncle Stewart’s clutches. Emily arrives to find Cade Manning, Thomas’ brother. Thomas died before Emily arrived. Cade (a widower), though, needs a wife to help with the house and to take care of his son. Will Emily still be able to help her grandmother?

The third book is Changes of the Heart by Judith McCoy Miller. Luther Buchanan opened a mercantile in Placerville, California. He needs a wife to help at home and around the store. He advertises for a mail order bride (but does not mention he wants help with store). Maura Thorenson feels that Luther’s ad is an answer to her prayers. Maura wants to get married, but none of the local men will marry her because of her affliction (as she calls it). Maura answers Luther’s ad but does not mention her affliction (you just know this is not going to go well). On the trip to California (aboard ship around the Cape) Maura meets Georgette Blackburn. Georgette desperately needs help and Maura is going to provide it. Luther is surprised when he picks up his fiancé. Is there a chance for these two?

Mail-Order Husband by DiAnn Mills is set in Nebraska in 1880. Lena Walker is a widow with two children. They have a farm and she needs help to keep it. She advertises (the local men are disgusting) for a husband (a very rare occurrence). Gabriel Hunters answers her ad. He is a bookkeeper and loves to read. Gabriel figures his book knowledge will help him run a farm (he has never lived on a farm or performed manual work). Lena is shocked by Gabriel’s appearance (and manner of speaking), but Lena gave her word. Will Gabriel be able to work a farm? Can a marriage work between these two very different people?

Forever Yours by Tracie Peterson is set in Bandelero, New Mexico. Daughtry Lucas is twenty-three and would love to escape her family. Her father and brothers are over protective. Daughtry runs away to answer Nicholas Dawson’s ad for a wife. They are married by proxy before Daughtry starts her journey. But Daughtry is not quite what Nicholas was expecting. Does their marriage stand a chance when her father and brother’s show up?

Mail-Order Marriage contained some good stories. I enjoyed three out of the five of them (the first three). The story by Judith McCoy Miller was my favorite (and I wish it had been longer). I give Mail-Order Marriage 4 out of 5 stars. The stories are all well-written and interesting to read (just some more than others). They are all Christian stories with nice themes. There is no sex or foul language in any of the stories. They are good Christian, historical romance stories. The last two are good, but I just did not enjoy them as much as the other three (just personal preference).

I received a complimentary copy of Mail-Order Marriage from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jan 22, 2016 |
This book has 5 novel of marriages contracted thru the mail to form solid, loving marriages. To say all is smooth sailing would be an untruth, as rocky roads and relationships are in store for all five of these early pioneers lives in the West. All contain a solid story with good plotting and character growth, mystery, evil people and relatives that leave a lot to be desired. The authors demonstrated how God’s plan will work to his good and the good of each person involved. Each is a clean wholesome story of love and adversity in a time period when life was harder than we can imagine and each character has a wonderful love of God. All will keep your interest from the first story to the last and leave you wanting more.

Cinda's Surprise by Mary Davis

Cinda is an old maid with friends that want to see her married and out from under her Aunt's domineering and demeaning thumb. Cinda finds herself a mail order bride due to her friend’s interference and plotting. Off Cinda goes to the Wild West on a harrowing stagecoach ride with a new husband and a very unwelcome surprise waiting at the end of their journey for both. All is not as it seems with her husband, Lucas Rawlings, he has a huge secret; Cinda also is not all her friends wrote as she lacks housewife skills. I was enthralled with Cinda's situation from the first paragraph and loved watching her and Luke grow and mature to a solid loving marriage, but rocky would hardly describe their journey. Ms. Davis did a wonderful job of plotting and pacing this book. I was sorry to say goodbye to the characters.

His Brother's Bride by Denise Hunter

Emily Wagner headed west to marry Thomas; She arrives after a long extremely dirty journey to marry Thomas only to find he has died prior to her arrival. Cade, Thomas's brother, a Godly man and widower, decides to step into his place and marry Emily, as his small son needs a mother, however Emily is not all she seems. This is a story of old crimes, secrets, and mysteries, new hurts and sadness as Emily desires a real marriage and Cade wants one in name only, Emily has a secret that could tear her world apart, an evil Uncle of the highest caliber, a man and woman who need each other, Emily's Nana that is held by her Uncle as a pawn in his evil game, and Gods redeeming love. Ms. Hunter's plotting was spot on, character growth was wonderful, and the twists and turns kept me interested in what would happen next, and the pacing was good. This is another solid Christian story that has it all, love, secrets, mystery, and evil.

Change of Heart By Judith McCoy Miller

Luther Buchanan went west to prove himself to his father. He has a General Store in Placerville, California that is very successful and now he needs a wife and her extra hands to help with his store. Maura Rebecca Thorenson wants a husband and family. She answers Luther’s ad and heads west on a ship around the Cape. It was not an easy voyage, but she meets two wonderful women. One will be lost at sea; the other, Georgette, is unwed and pregnant. Things will blow sky-high when her future husband finally meets her, as Maura has kept a huge secret from him and she also fully intends to care for Georgette as long as possible. Luther is furious and feels used, he is also hard-nosed, arrogant, self-serving, opinionated, angry, considers Maura a cripple and doesn’t mind stating so to her, he has no intention of making this a real marriage; he is altogether a very cantankerous ill-tempered ill-mannered cruel young man. Ms. Miller instilled really obnoxious traits in this man and her portrayal of his treatment of Maura was expertly done; I wanted to shake him until his eyes rolled in his head or maybe even kick him in the seat of his pants. This story evoked a lot of emotion in me as I don’t understand mistreatment of anyone due to his or her mental or physical handicaps or their looks. That said, it was so much fun to watch the character growth of Luther as he grows and matures. What follows is an adventure in growing up, learning handicaps are in the mind, forgiveness, and learning to love and accept. Ms. Miller crafted a wonderful story, and I loved it was the first page to the last; her writing talent grabbed me and did not let go. Her plotting, pacing, and character growth was excellent. You won’t want to miss this solid Christian story of a man more handicapped than his bride, and God’s love and grace in opening his eyes.

Mail-Order Husband by DiAnn Mills

I really enjoyed reading a western romance that did not feature the hero as an Adonis, tall, manly, muscled, hair like gold and blue-eyed. Gabriel Hunters is anything but an Adonis. He is a city boy, portly better known as fat, straw like hair that sticks out everywhere, white skin, soft all over, and knows nothing of farming except what he has read. Lena Walker, mother of two and widowed, is living in a sod home on a run down farm in Nebraska. She is desperate for a husband to help her with the farming and her boys but not desperate enough to marry any of the no goods that came calling. She advertises for a husband and Gabriel answers her mail order husband advertisement. Can these two very different people from different walks of life form a solid family and find love? I wont tell, you will have to read this delightful story.

Gabriel has had his share of troubles from heartache from a beauty woman who made him hope Lena was plain, to bullying and being a laughingstock, but he is a good man at heart, willing to learn, willing to love without limits, and willing to take two young boys as his own flesh and blood. Ms. Mill’s story was heart warming; I fell a little in love with Gabriel as he made his way through the learning process of farming and family. At times, Ms. Mill’s story was heart breaking and sad, at others I was laughing at how inept Gabriel was on the farm and with Lena, and how out-of-place this educated city boy was on the farm. In Lena’s boys, Ms. Mill’s created characters that were a riot. They were honest in their opinions, especially sweet Simon, embarrassingly honest at times; it made me want to pick them up and cover them with kisses, that is after I had stopped laughing over whatever they had just done or said. This is a sweet tale of family and God’s love and what Gods has in store for us as his children. It was refreshing to watch Gabriel become all he could be and find the life he deserved.

The plotting, pacing and character development was excellent as we watched four people become a family unit. I would like to thank Ms. Mill’s for creating a different take on the mail-order bride story.

Forever Yours by Traci Peterson

This story takes place as our country has developed to the point that the automobile is making an appearance, the telephone has limited availability, and life is becoming more advanced. In the town of Bandelero New Mexico, life is still simple with limited advancement.

Daughtry Lucas feels stifled by her father and family on their ranch in Bandelero. Having lost one daughter to a riding accident, he guards Daughtry so well she feels wrapped in cotton. To gain her independence she answers a mail order bride ad penned by Nicholas Dawson, married by proxy and travels to Nicholas’ ranch; leaving a letter for her family explaining what she has done.

What follows is an adventure for Nicholas and Daughtry as they build their marriage, love and life together, along with dealing with her over protective family when they track her down. Nicholas and Daughtry have a firm foundation in the Lord. They will have to overcome many obstacles including vindictive outlaws from his former occupation and Daughtry’s family before they will find the happy ever after they desire. Ms. Peterson plotting and character development was well done, and the pacing was spot on. There is a lot of action in this story and I enjoyed watching Daughtry mature and grow. This is a wonderful story of love, family and God’s plan for our life.

I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment.

I received this book from the Publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  vera_mallard | Nov 30, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Davisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hunter, Denisesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, Judith McCoysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mills, DiAnnsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peterson, Traciesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Escape into the history of the American West along with five of today's leading inspirational fiction authors who deliver exciting historical romances begun from advertisements for mail-order marriages. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will Cinda, Emily, Maura, Gabe, and Daughtry each be disappointed, or will some find true love?… (more)

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