Sierra Brideby Suzanne Barrett
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
ARC pdf pages: 207
Genre: Historical Romance, Western
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Sierra County, California - 1883Review: I have come to really enjoy Ms. Barrett’s rich and warm writing.
Widowed rancher Wade Guthrie needs help raising his unruly young daughter and advertises for a housekeeper. Instead, he finds himself saddled with a mail order bride.
Irish immigrant Corrie Kiernan needs a place to hide. Witness to a brutal murder at the mill where she worked, she’ll do anything to escape the killer who now threatens her life, even if it means marrying a stranger and weaving a web of deception. Falling in love with the handsome rancher is easy, but can a man who values honesty above everything else love a woman whose life is a lie?
Corrie is brave and industrious. After she witnesses a murder at her mill job in Massachusetts she flees to California. When she arrives in Sierra, Corrie learns that the rancher she is supposed to wed doesn’t want a wife.
Wade is upset to learn his friend has tried to arrange a mail order bride instead of a housekeeper. The girl is a redheaded beauty but he isn’t interested as he knows he won’t love another women. He intends to ship her back until he discovers her singing at the local saloon. Then he insists on marrying her only to protect her.
Wade brings her home to a dirty, untended cabin and introduces her to his young daughter, Charity, who resents a new woman in the house. Corrie lied in her reply to the bride ad. She can’t cook, she is not from a wealthy home with all the social manners to teach Charity and it appears that Charity has more education already than Corrie has. But Corrie is willing to work hard. She’ll chop wood, scrub floors, wash windows, sew clothes, even work with the horses if Wade would let her. She is intent on making herself useful so that Wade will appreciate her.
Wade is concentrating on his struggles to keep his mustang ranch and tries to ignore Corrie and keep her at a distance. Slowly Wade begins to recognize the fresh life that Corrie brings to the household. Then the killer shows up claiming to have authority to arrest Corrie for murder. Since everything she has told Wade is a lie, who will he believe? Even if she can escape the killer can she win Wade’s love?
The characters are well written and likeable and the setting is beautifully described. The relationship between Corrie and Wade builds slowly to a sensual union. Although the plot is not so new I was interested to see where the story went - when and how the killer would show up and how Wade would react when he discovered all the lies. That presentation was fine. Although I appreciated that the town folk would support Wade when he ran into trouble I felt part of the ending was unrealistic and it was too “pat” a conclusion.
I like that this author is consistent with strong characters, vibrant descriptions and natural emotions. It is interesting to see these strengths applied well in varied settings and genres. I am looking forward to reading a Christmas Novella by Suzanne in the next week or so.
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