Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won’t humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again–not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She’s the prettiest woman he’s ever seen, and it’s just not possible she’s there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she’s determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
I won’t lie – there were times when these characters made me nuts. I wanted to close the book and give them a piece of my mind! That said, I believe that’s the sign of a well-written story – book that stirs up my emotions and makes me read to the end.
I have very little in common with the main character – Julia – so I couldn’t relate to her at all. Jagears, however, knows here character so well that I could understand Julia’s motives and actions (even sympathizing with her at times). The same was true with Everett, the male lead. I found myself rooting for them, moping with them, and wanting to take sides in a few situations.
Overall, a well-written, emotional love story. Fans of inspirational historical romance will love this book.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.