Author: Maggie Brendan
While this is the third book in The Blue Willow Brides series, each book can be read as a stand-alone story. The other books are titled, Deeply Devoted and Twice Promised. These two books feature Anna’s, the main female lead in this book, sisters and their stories as mail-order brides. This story is set in Denver, Colorado in 1888.
Anna Olsen is living with her sister, but wants her own life in her own house. She decides to accept an offer of marriage as a mail-order bride to accomplish her goal. However, she soon realizes she and her husband are very different. On their wedding day, he gives her a list of household chores that need to be done and when to do them. Anna is a free spirit who never feels more alive than when she is outdoors. Now she finds her life consumed with trying to keep up with her list of things to do. She soon decides the list is impossible to keep up, and encounters a new interest…homeless animals. Her husband is against this at first, because of their hair all over everything, the mess they make in the backyard and the time they take away from his wife when she should be spending that time with him. Anna is convinced the Lord wants her to follow through with taking care of these animals.
Edward Parker is a watchmaker. He runs his shop, his home and his life with precision, and he expects his wife to do the same. Edward gives his new wife a little slack as she is young and has never run a household before. He tries to keep in mind they are both new at the marriage, and don’t know each other very well, having only corresponded by mail before marrying. Edward must learn to deal with his jealousy where his new wife is concerned. Is there any way this marriage will work? Anna is not nearly as concerned with his schedule or doing things his way and has her own ideas on how to do things. Will they learn to compromise or will they continue to step on each other’s toes?
I have read the prior two books in this series, as well as the Heart of the West series also by Maggie Brendan. While her prior works have been very good and held my attention, this particular installment was just average. The storyline just didn’t draw me in. Edward just was not likeable in my opinion. I did like Anna’s compassionate heart for animals and her willingness to take charge about solving the problem of abandoned/homeless animals. After finally consummating their marriage, it seemed readers were frequently “getting to know one another better”. I felt this excess aspect of their intimacy took away from moving the story along, and in fact was an unwanted distraction. Authors cannot always write a 5-star book, so I will still be reading future books by this author. However, this novel was just so-so.
My rating is 3 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457