The advantages to knowing a best-selling author is that you can ask direct questions of the one person who holds the authority on the books you want to read: The Author. So after finishing the last took books in the Montana Sky Series, I inquired on Debra Holland on which books I should read next. Deciding to stick to the chronological list she provided, I jumped into the Mail Order brides of the West Series. Mind you– while I had heard the author’s beginnings of these books in our church book group several years ago–I was a little skeptical about getting into a book about Mail order brides. I know its history– I just didn’t know if I’d like. But these are not the Russian order brides or crazy stories you here for the 21st Century. On the contrary, these romance novellas paint a unique pictures of women seeking adventures and new circumstances in a land where there is new everything to find. They actually awaken my curiosity for the West and the stories that could exist from pioneering living. Oh, and by the way — BOOK 5/25 (yep!-1/5th of the way done!.)
Starting off with Trudy was an excellent idea, despite it being first in the list I was given. After reading, I feel like I would related to this character well–mostly because she has similar thoughts I believe I would have if I was in her circumstances. Trudy is the daughter of a St. Louis lawyer who, after her sisters have all married off, decides to join a mail order bride service to go out west. She is cautious, smart, but curious and heart-driven. Overall, The book not only gives a glimpse of why any sound woman would want to voluntarily join a mail order bride service, but it also shows it was not just this business contract with no emotion or empathy but an actually serious endeavor, with legal and religious consequences.
Debra Holland brings back her readers to Sweetwater Springs, Montana territory, to the rougher side of the town. Seth Flanigan, a local at the saloon, decides to go in search for a wife after the “love of his life” (one of the saloon girls) leaves town to be with someone else. Seth is not the cleanest or most proper of the bunch. But he is a true realist whose heart is gradually warmed when he takes a “leap of faith” in ordering Trudy.
The book will not disappoint. Will not trouble your conscience nor your soul. It will keep you on your toes and at one point make your jaw drop. But in the end it will all be for the better. And a great way to start this little sub series.