Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review ~ The Promise Bride (Montana Brides #1) by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Zebra
 In a booming frontier town, a heavenly match may be in store for mail-order brides seeking a fresh start . . . women of strength and spirit who embrace the challenges of life and love in the wild Montana Territory.
Determined to save her father and siblings from a crumbling Chicago tenement, Emilia Stanek becomes the long-distance bride of a Montana rancher. But when she arrives in Helena, a rugged lawman shatters her plans with the news that her husband is dead and deeply in debt.
County sheriff Mac McCall can t afford to be distracted by the pretty young widow, not with scandalous secrets emerging as he investigates his friend s suspicious death. Mac s gruff order that she leave town at once only spurs Emilia s resolve to take ownership of her late husband s ranch and face his debtors. But as her defenses soften, Emilia begins to accept Mac s help, feel compassion for his own wounded heart and learns that trust means taking a leap of faith . . ."

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My Review
5 STARS!!!

I spent fourteen days in June sitting at hospice with my father-in-law.  I was elated to have a review copy of The Promise Bride because at the end of each day, I would crawl into bed and escape into the old west with this riveting story of love anticipated and lost and new love found.

Emilia and Mac are one of the most engaging couples in my summer reading experience so far! Of course, when the story starts, they are not a couple but they sure do have chemistry. Their engaging dialogue kept me riveted as well as the theme of loss and redemption woven seamlessly through the book.

This story is filled with emotions but one scene struck me as no other. Mac is sitting alone at his kitchen table, missing the friend whom he had shared a bond with, perhaps closer than a brother. His emotions are overwhelming him and he cries out to God.

  Why, God? Why him? Why him and not me?
  No answer. No comfort. Just pulsating grief and the watery promise of heaven.
Mac needed something to hold, to touch, to strike. Heaven—though he knew it was as real as the pine-wood table supporting his crossed arms and bowed head—felt too insubstantial and slippery to prop up such heavy anguish.
              He pounded the table with one fist. Again. And again.
              Why, God? Why?
Someone had once told him that questioning God was a sin. The way he figured it, God didn’t mind the questions so much as those who tried to make up their own answers. So he prayed for all the things he knew were true—but weren’t offering consolation yet—to permeate his soul, clear his mind, and bring him peace.  –The Promise Bride, 119

I have read several individual novellas by Welborn and Whitman and enjoyed them but The Promise Bride superseded them all! I was drawn into this novel from the beginning. I didn’t rush through it, even though I wanted to. I savored the intricacy of the plot and pondered the circumstances that Emilia and Mac found themselves in. I felt as if I was living it right along with them. It was wonderful.

If you are a fan of clean historical fiction with descriptive prose, snappy dialogue, and a swoon-worthy sheriff, then The Promise Bride is for you.

Thank you, to author Gina Welborn for having a print copy sent to me. This is my honest opinion of the book. No compensation was received.

~Happy Reading~

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