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Book Review of The Bartered Bridegroom

The Bartered Bridegroom
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Carson Rose Summers is a busy suffragist in 1866, forcing herself on a wagon-train heading west from St. Joseph to Virginia City in Montana Territory. To her surprise, other than the leader, Major Clint Bonner, the freight drivers are almost all women, heading west with the Goodnight's Good Times Emporium of Miss Phoebe Goodnight.
The first portion of this book details not only the struggle--to achieve their destination, but also the bonding between the strangest assortment of women you could imagine. You won't soon forget the bath scene just shortly before their arrival at Virginia City.

Once arrived in Virginia City, however, all manner of surprises lie in store for all the characters; Carson, Clint, the women, the other drovers, the townspeople. Clint and two of his male companions had once been part of a circus; they are determined to use that background in establishing an opera house gambling saloon hotel. Carson is equally determined to find the friend she thinks has been 'bought' as a bride. The women settle quickly, and two of them find husbands. Only Carson is lost, undecided, the victim of the first real love she's ever known-- from anyone.

Having sent reports of the trip off to Harper's Magazine, she is astonished when they are accepted for publication; the payment check allows her financial freedom while she continues searching for her friend. But when the two women finally meet, Carson is stunned to discover that all is not as she thought; her friend, Sophie, is truly happy in her marriage.

This sprawling novel follows Carson as she discovers her true self, a self she never knew, as well as how to trust and love-- and believe--in herself and others, especially men, and most important of all, one special man.

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