The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown

I made a vow that I would not get out any library books until I finished reading all the books I own still yet unread… Well, that didn’t happen. I was out at our local waterfront festival when a friend decided we should stop at the library on our way home. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing–who could when surrounded by books?—so I went hunting for a novel or two of my own.

Now our library doesn’t get new books very often due to it being such a small town with a small budget, and having lived here for years I naturally have read most of the older novels that interested me. Now I just look for the ones with the least amount of wear showing on their spines when I don’t feel like putting much effort into finding a book.

I managed to find half a dozen novels that I hadn’t seen before and got them out. I haven’t really felt like reading historicals, westerns, about military men,  Scottish clans, or anything like that; my current kick has been straightforward contemporary romances…but guess what a lot of the new books were about? *sigh*

The thing is, I can never resist men in kilts, gentlemanly manners, cute cowboys, or men in uniform. The plots all sounded decent, so I told myself I’d probably like the booksif I would just crack open the cover and get started reading… Let’s just say I didn’t have overly high hopes of getting enthralled by any of my choices.

The first book I picked up is by Carolyn Brown. I don’t know if I’d read anything else of hers off hand, so I wasn’t prejudging due to that. No, it was the title that made me hesitate. It said: “The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride”. I really wasn’t feeling into the whole western scene with shoot-em-ups and mail order brides are from an era of the past, so it had two counts against it before I even started.

However, while the novel does take place on a ranch, it was set in the present. Emily, the main character, had been asked by her dying grandfather to deliver some letters to a girl he used to write while he was in the war. They had planned to marry, yet never did. So upon delivering the letters Emily met not only his grandfather’s old love, but also Clarice’s grandson Greg (along with a few other interesting characters).

I ended up absolutely loving this book! I couldn’t resist telling you about it even though I didn’t feel like doing my usual review on it before I return the book to the library. I didn’t want the analyzing of it to take away from my enjoyment of story, which does sometimes happen. This book made me laugh, made me sniffle, and made my heave many wistfully romantic sighs.

The thing I liked best was that not only did Clarice and Marvin write love letters to each other, but so did Emily and Greg. There really is just something about a good ol’ handwritten letter that makes you smile. I know I enjoy exchanging letters with my BFF who lives on the other side of the provence, but the thought of a man taking the time to write? It’s swoon-worthy!

There is also a note from the author I simply cannot resist sharing a bit of it with you in hope to persuade you to read this book yourself. It seems Carolyn also wrote a guy in the army. Her best-friend was dating an enlisted boy who sent her a photo of himself and some of his troop, and Carolyn chose one of those men to write to herself. After a year or so, her chosen soldier proposed to her and…

Well, you’ll have to just get the book yourself to know what happens for both the characters and the author! I refuse to say anymore about the book, so I will only tell you that you should read it. Even if you aren’t the hopeless romantic I am, it does give some good ideas as to how to romance your significant other 😉

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Teaser Tuesday (July)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown

“There is something about a letter that you can hold in your hands even after sixty years and still experience the emotions you felt that day. An email doesn’t have the same feel.”

With the sound of her voice lingering in his head…
he went on to write three pages before he closed with a heart symbol and his signature. He looked it over and understood why his grandmother had such an infatuation with those old letters. There was something very personal, very heartfelt, romantic –if he could face that word–about putting words on paper.

 

 

12 Days of Daemon Black

For those of you who may not know, one of my favourite authors is Jennifer L Armentrout. I discovered this author back in 2011 when I joined a book blogger chat that she was occasionally involved with. I’ve reviewed her books and written other posts about her career, but this post is actually about a contest she is currently holding on her website called “12 Days of Daemon Black” promoting her Lux series.

One of the things wannabe winners are to do is post a photo of their favourite place to read with Lux books featured, so I plan to also post my photos here 🙂

Day 1 of Daemon Black
Yep, sometimes I read on the floor

On The Floor

Day 2 of Daemon Black
If I can read while I stir, there’s a half chance dinner won’t be burnt.

Cooking

Day 3 of Daemon Black
A relaxing bubble bath and a book? Nothing better.

bubble bath

Day 4 of Daemon Black
A little night reading… 

blanket fort

Day 5 of Daemon Black
After a long day at the Waterfront Festival,
all I want to do now is curl up on the couch with a book

on the couch

Day 6 of Daemon Black
Weekends are for doing laundry and reading!

doing laundry

Day 7 of Daemon Black
Those “quick errands” are never quick…
I won’t go anywhere without a book!

Waiting In Car

Day 8 of Daemon Black
Put down my book to eat? Yeah, right.

While Eating

Day 9 of Daemon Black
You gotta exercise your mind as well as your body… right?

Exercise

Day 10 of Daemon Black
It’s a beautiful day to be reading outside!

Backyard

Day 11 of Daemon Black
As a student, you’d see me doing this a lot…
It’s amazing I passed astronomy 😛

in class

*

Twins under his tree by Karen Rose Smith

twins treeWarning: May contain spoilers.

Synopsis: Troy Wescott asked his friend Mitch Cortega to watch over his wife while he was overseas… Unfortunately, Troy did not come back. The ex-combat surgeon finds himself rushing the widowed Lily to the hospital and staying with her as she gives birth to twin girls. Trying to keep his promise to Troy while fighting his attraction for Lily, Mitch has a few personal demons of his own to battle. Can love concur all?

Author: Karen Rose Smith is an award winning and bestselling author from Pennsylvania. In the last twenty years, Karen has published over 70 books and many of them with Harlequin. Her stories often include small communities, family, and emotions.

Cover: I have to say this is a usual problem with mass-market paperbacks, the covers rarely match the character descriptions entirely. The hero of the tale has an old war injury on his hand that is not on the cover… but perhaps it would not be aesthetically pleasing? Nor do the two personages on the cover look old enough to be the lead characters.

Plot: The story starts after Lily has already lost her husband and before the birth of her twins. Mitch is supportive of Lily at first, but they deem some distance between them is necessary and the story skips ahead a few months until Lily is no longer on mat leave and back in the presence of her coworker Mitch. Then they continue to fluctuate between having a relationship or not.

Romance: This may just be a personal bias, but I thought it a little… callous for a person who lost their spouse approximately six months prior be falling in love with someone else so soon. I could be suffering under the delusion of regencies where a family had to mourn a full year before remarriage could be deemed proper, but it just did not seem long enough. The novel did mention that the bereaved wife still needed more time to get over her husband, but she had already slept with the new guy.

Characters: Sophie and Grace Wescott are the babies who are integral to the story but don’t get much focus. The girls are frequently present, but apparently so well behaved that they don’t require more than a cursory glance by the adults. It was only mentioned in passing that it was their first holiday and that they would never spend time with their birthfather, it is all secondary to the relationship between Lily and Mitch.

Quote: I’m falling in love with him and it terrifies me.

The Verdict: An enjoyable read set around Christmas that perhaps would be best not read directly around Christmastime.