I love mail order bride themes! The story was well paced and all the family characters were very interesting and well developed. This one was different because it involved a bitter, domineering, and interfering mother-in-law. Emily's insecurities about her plainness and height were well written, and Luke's grief and general dissatisfaction with his home life were realistic. A very good read and entertaining tale. 3.8 stars
This is a nice mail-order bride book. She is plain and tall. He wanted a petite pretty wife. She took her sister's place When her sister died in an accident. He has a rowdy eleven year old daughter who needs a mom. They agree to a marriage of convience, but find love.
The unwanted mail-order bride is a common-enough theme but this author turns it into something special. Having read a good many 19th century American historical novels, I felt Alexis Harrington had a firm grasp of the realities of early life on an Oregon farm.
Luke Becker lost his wife, Belinda, three years before our story begins. His mother-in-law, Cora, moved in to help Luke with his young daughter, Rose. But she has turned the Becker home into a museum to Belindas memory. Rose has turned into a difficult, unhappy child and Luke decided he needed help. He advertises for a wife and Cora has a fit.
Luke decides on a lovely, dark-haired, petite woman (like his deceased wife), named Alyssa Cannon. However, who arrives is Alyssas older sister, Emily. Alyssa died under the wheels of a wagon in Chicago two months previously. Emily is almost as tall as Luke, slender, blond and rather plain. Shes recently lost her teaching job because of the Chicago fires aftermath. Emily is the last one alive of her family and she has nowhere else to go.
Luke wants to send her back but also lacks the funds to give Emily return fare. What Luke has not mentioned in his letters is the fact that his judgmental, harsh mother-in-law rules his home. With lots of misgivings, Luke reluctantly marries Emily.
Emily is in an incredibly difficult situation; the three members of the Becker household do not want her there. Cora and Rose are openly hostile while Luke is still grieving his lost wife. However, that isn't all the hostility Emily faces; local women wanted to marry the handsome Luke and they snip at her too.
This is a lovely story about Luke and Emily but the emerging relationship between Emily and Rose is extremely well done. This is a charming book.
Plain and tall, Emily Cannon is not the mail-order bride Luke Becker is awaiting. But when his intended, her sister, was killed, Emily decides to leave Chicago and head for Oregon as Lukes bride.
Emily comes to Luke seeking a home. Though shes far from whom he expects, he has no choice but to accept Emily because his unruly daughter, Rose, needs a mother.
Emily and Luke agree to a marriage of convenience and with his mean-spirited mother-in-law, hostile and angry daughter, and her deception between them, it would seem that a loveless marriage is all Emily will ever know.
Yet, Emily and Rose slowly begin to bond over Roses artistic talent and forge a respectful relationship, while Lukes blossoming admiration for Emily begins to change the rules of their marriage.
Luke begins to learn to trust once more and Rose flourishes like a lovely flower, but with Lukes mother-in law sniping at them, it takes courage to fight for the family she has come to love.
This is a surprisingly good historical romance. I have went thru quite a few; this one is a keeper for sure. I liked the characters; I liked the free flow of conversations that I could see myself taking part in an actual relationship. It is not a short book, BUT it is a quick read.