Brides of the West

Highland Press Publishing

Heat Rating: Sensual
Word Count: 74,001
1 Ratings (5.0)

Brides of the West

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With hope in their hearts, three women looking for a new life take fate in their own hands and head West to become the brides to men they have never met.

 

Have they made a serious mistake or found the gold at the end of a rainbow?

Brides of the West
1 Ratings (5.0)

Brides of the West

Highland Press Publishing

Heat Rating: Sensual
Word Count: 74,001
1 Ratings (5.0)
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BRIDES OF THE WEST is a delightful trio of wonderful stories written by three very talented authors who each based their plot on 'mail-order-brides.'
SATIN AND SNAKESKIN by Michele Ann Young - Set in 1867 Texas, Tess Dalton had been dropped off in the middle of nowhere waiting for her intended husband, Mr. Jake Redmond to arrive and claim her for his bride. Becoming a mail-order bride was not something she'd intended when she'd left London to find her brother but after being robbed in New York, it was her only way to find a way to San Antonio. Unfortunately, for Tess after taking a quick look at the skinny little gal all dressed up in satin, Jake wanted to back out of the contract.
*** Actually this story started off with a big bang that grabs your attention from the very first words and holds on tight till the very joyful ending. For Jake who was expecting a plain motherly looking but robust bride that could hold her own in the inhospitable land, Tess was a big surprise. She may have been skinny, but she had all the right parts in all the right places and she scared the heck out of Jake. Jake's main problem was would she have the strength to adapt to a hard working ranch, or would he be adding more to his own problems by having to look after her! In fashioning Tess, with a gigantic strength of character and a bit of bull-headedness, Ms. Young clearly laid Jake's problems aside. Interspersing periods of humor with honest dialogs coupled with well built secondary characters, this story that started out as blatant rejection turned into a very lovely and sensual romantic courtship. Well done Ms. Young. ---
GRAY WOLF'S BRIDE by Kimberly Ivey - Gonzales, Texas - 1885 - Gray Wolf McKinnon was shocked when he spied Evangeline's picture in the latest edition of A Bride For All mail order catalog. Rage, love, hate - he couldn't decide what he felt of all the emotions he had from ten years ago when she ran away and he was left half beaten to death.
Finally widowed, Evangeline Payne had suffered enough and didn't mourn the beast she'd been married to. All Evangeline wanted now was safety and security for her son Mac and herself. Correspondence with Mr. Adam Smith seemed the answer to her prayers even though love was a dream she'd given up years ago.
*** This was another fabulous story that author Kimberly Ivey gave life and breath to. Although his ranch was flourishing and he'd Americanized his name to Adam Smith, Gray Wolf could not disguise the fact that he was a half-breed, which was why he looked for a bride in the mail order catalog. Seeing Evangeline after all these years his original motive was revenge in contracting with her to come back to Texas but the fine line that exists between love and hate is always so unpredictable.
Ivey managed in this short story to give the reader a huge dose of sensualness, forgiveness, and suspense. Both Evangeline and Gray Wolf were victims of bigotry and hatred. Evangeline's father had almost succeeded in murdering Gray Wolf and then had sentenced his own daughter to a fate worse than death. Incorporating a villain in this story who did not want to see Evangeline have a second chance at happiness, Ivey packs a wallop into this fast paced story with an exciting finale. The reader should be misty eyed at Gray Wolf and Evangeline's story of survival, love and forgiveness. ---
THE CHANCES ARE BRIDE by Billie Warren Chai - Shiloh Springs, Texas, 1872 - The mail order bride had arrived and Sheriff Josh Morrow had the disagreeable chore of having to break the bad news to her. Unpleasant was the fact he had to deliver such bad news especially since she was the prettiest little thing Josh ever laid eyes. Even though on one level he did concede that in a way she was lucky she escaped the man she was set to marry as he was certainly not worthy of her.
Annabelle was sorry to find her intended dead, but not ready to grieve for a man she barely knew. Unfortunately she was also in a quandary as what to do next; no husband, and no money to go home. Not that she would want to return home after burning her bridges when she left, but what would happen now?
*** This also was a lively and very entertaining story from the talented pen of up and coming writer, Billie Warren Chai. Annabelle was running away from a slavelike existence caring for a father and five brothers - no chance to wed there. Naively believing her intended was a respectable restaurant and hotel owner Annabel set out on a journey and was fortunate enough that her intended was murdered before she met him. On top of that, the very handsome sheriff of the town became her champion especially after a couple of attempts were made on Annabel's life. Josh had sworn never to love again, but knew deep in his soul that he could not let another woman down especially after he'd not been able to save his former fianc's life. Ms. Chai's wonderful interpretation of Josh and Annabel's mutual attraction, coupled with the mystery of who would want to kill Annabel made this a fast paced edge of the seat thriller, and sensual laden romance.
Bottom line, is all three of the stories in this wonderful anthology are based on women who gambled their future in blindly accepting complete strangers for husbands. It was a different era when a woman must have a husband to survive and all three of these phenomenal authors wrote exceptional stories featuring fascinating and gutsy heroines and the men who loved them. For an engrossing read with splendid original stories I highly encourage reader's to pick up a copy of this marvelous anthology.

Marilyn Rondeau, Reviewers International Organization

* * * *

BRIDES OF THE WEST ANTHOLOGY is a nice collection that shows three very different stories of mail order brides.
SATIN AND SNAKESKIN by Michele Ann Young
Aw, cowboys. Ya gotta love them, and Ms Young does a good job of helping you fall in love with her characters. Not only are they great, but the story has wonderful continuity.
When Jake Redmond meets Tess Dalton, he is ready to return his mail order bride. He imagined a sturdier woman to help him with his ranch. Obviously Tess is not up to the challenge when she doesn't even know the difference between a ranch and a farm. He can't help but wonder why a woman from London would answer his ad and Tess refuses to reveal her reason.
Jake's prickly edges are set on end when his nephews and uncle become smitten with the English lady's charm. Her homey touches, not to mention cooking skills, make almost everyone forgive her shortcomings. Jake wins no support when he reminds them that the stage will return in five days and Tess will be on it. I really felt for Tess here until I realized the woman had a backup plan. When disaster strikes, Tess shows Jake there is more to his mail order bride than even he requires.
SATIN AND SNAKESKIN was a very enjoyable read even though a few times Ms Young's word choices sounded modern. Although the ending was predictable, there was an unexpected twist near the end. Jake and Tess are characters that are real and endearing. This type of story is made for rainy, Saturday afternoons. Michele Ann Young has a very nice writing style and is an author to look for.
***
GRAY WOLF'S BRIDE by Kimberly Ivy
Love, love, love it!! From the first page, I knew this was going to be good, but I had no idea how good.
Set to take revenge on an old love, Gray Wolf McKinnon, now known as Adam Smith, marries by proxy. His new bride will come face to face with her past while facing a future with a man who has grown to hate her. As much a victim as her new husband, Evangeline Payne readies for her new life. Time has not tempered their feelings for each other, and Gray Wolf cannot bring himself to imprison Evangeline. She is free to go but if she does, she must leave with him the son she never told him about. Talk about getting his revenge. How can she leave her son, even if it is with his father? I'm glad this was Evangeline's decision and not mine, although I was relieved with the outcome.
Evangeline and Gray Wolf are flawed characters that pulled at every heartstring, not to mention Mac, their son. GRAY WOLF'S BRIDE is a sweeping story that has nonstop action and drama. This story is gripping, sweet, tense, and kept me on the edge-of-my-seat. When secrets are revealed, along with a hideous villain that I personally wanted to rip apart, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
GRAY WOLF'S BRIDE is not to be missed. The only complaint I have is that it is not a full-length novel. Pure and simple, I gotta have more of this author.
***
THE CHANCES ARE BRIDE by Billie Warren Chai
As a mail order bride, Annabelle Yeager has kept her end of the bargain only to find that her intended groom has passed away. While waiting for the next stage heading east, she learns that her fianc, who was known to everyone as a horrible person, has left her an inheritance, the town brothel.
With nowhere else to go, Annabelle accepts her new business and becomes shunned by polite society. Sheriff Josh Morrow comes to her aid by allowing her to sleep in the jail. Little does he know that this will be the safest place for her. One night, Annabelle outwits some nasty characters by doing the last thing anyone expected.
Although I have to cheer for a woman who thinks on her feet, the connection to the characters was a little distanced. That being said, the overall idea for this story is great, and Ms Chai does a lovely job displaying scenes that allow a woe-be-gone character a chance to triumph.
Jake may be in her corner, and more than a little impressed with her tenacity, but Annabelle's troubles have just begun. She meets with the disgruntled house Madame, who turns out to be an obstacle to Annabelle's plans thereby creating another realistic conflict that she has to overcome.
Although THE CHANCES ARE BRIDE did not maintain the same intensity of the first two stories, Ms Chai does a wonderful job of showing the fortitude it took for a single woman to survive the west. With this being my first introduction to Ms Chai's work, I will look for her again. Her talent for story concept and plot showed great promise.

Gardenia, The Long and Short Reviews

* * * *

This anthology contains three inventive stories about three intrepid mail-order brides and the men who prove worthy enough to claim their love.
These three original stories provide an absorbing read about the dangers of making the wrong assumption and the rewards of finding the right person to love.

Carol, Love Western Romances

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Excerpt

BRIDES OF THE WEST is a delightful trio of wonderful stories written by three very talented authors who each based their plot on `mail-order-brides'.

SATIN AND SNAKESKIN by Michele Ann Young - Set in 1867 Texas, Tess Dalton had been dropped off in the middle of nowhere waiting for her intended husband, Mr. Jake Redmond to arrive and claim her for his bride. Becoming a mail-order bride was not something she'd intended when she'd left London to find her brother but after being robbed in New York, it was her only way to find a way to San Antonio. Unfortunately, for Tess after taking a quick look at the skinny little gal all dressed up in satin, Jake wanted to back out of the contract.

~~~

GRAY WOLF'S BRIDE by Kimberly Ivey - Gonzales, Texas - 1885 - Gray Wolf McKinnon was shocked when he spied Evangeline's picture in the latest edition of A Bride For All mail order catalog. Rage, love, hate - he couldn't decide what he felt of all the emotions he had from ten years ago when she ran away and he was left half beaten to death.

Finally widowed, Evangeline Payne had suffered enough and didn't mourn the beast she'd been married to. All Evangeline wanted now was safety and security for her son Mac and herself. Correspondence with Mr. Adam Smith seemed the answer to her prayers even though love was a dream she'd given up years ago.

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THE CHANCES ARE BRIDE by Billie Warren Chai - Shiloh Springs, Texas, 1872 - The mail order bride had arrived and Sheriff Josh Morrow had the disagreeable chore of having to break the bad news to her. Unpleasant was the fact he had to deliver such bad news especially since she was the prettiest little thing Josh ever laid eyes. Even though on one level he did concede that in a way she was lucky she escaped the man she was set to marry as he was certainly not worthy of her.

Annabelle was sorry to find her intended dead, but not ready to grieve for a man she barely knew. Unfortunately she was also in a quandary as what to do next; no husband, and no money to go home. Not that she would want to return home after burning her bridges when she left, but what would happen now?


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