Mail-Order Brides of the West: Trudy
Written by: Debra Holland
Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
Series: Montana Sky, Book .75
Publisher: Debra Holland
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0
The well-educated daughter of a lawyer, Trudy Bauer arrives at the St. Louis based Mail-Order Brides of the West agency full of excitement for an adventure of a lifetime. She befriends the agency's maid, Evie Davenport, and the two form a strong and lasting friendship. They vow to stay in contact through letters when Evie takes hold of her destiny and arranges a marriage on the sly. Each brave young woman is ready to face whatever an unknown groom and life in Montana can throw her way.
In Holland's book, bride-to-be Trudy Bauer rides the train to Sweetwater Springs, in a Montana Sky Novel. In Fyffe's novel, house servant Evie Davenport travels by stagecoach to Y Knot, Montana in a McCutcheon Family Novel. Through their correspondence, the friends keep each other abreast of their hardships, trials, and tribulations - some of heartbreak, some of love.
©2013 Debra Holland (P)2014 Debra Holland
Trudy, aged 24, waited until her younger sisters were securely married before she put into action plans for her own future. She seeks travel and adventure and has decided the best way to accomplish this is to become a Mail-Order Bride through a reliable service. The service requires the women to show their homemaking skills and makes sure the grooms come with a Pastor’s recommendation and a few special conditions.
Seth, aged 28, feels that he has laid enough of a foundation for his farm to seek a wife. His heart is set on a local, dark-haired saloon girl but when he arrives in town he learns she has run off with a dashing stranger. At the pub, Seth allows himself to be goaded into boasting about the woman he is expecting to marry, describing her red-golden hair and blue eyes. His neighbor and nemesis challenges the story and a friend bets that Seth will be married within two months.
Seth has to act quickly and will have to change some negative habits in his life to qualify for a mail-order bride. He is willing to commit to the arrangement but he struggles to put his saloon girl sweetheart out of his mind. Although Trudy’s original plan was for adventure, not romance, she soon realizes that she wants love after all and she’s not sure she can win her husband’s heart. Will Seth realize what a really special bargain he made in choosing Trudy before he loses her?
The story is pretty straightforward, in a good way, and flows easily. The characters are warm and I liked Trudy’s brave and giving personality. Seth had strong qualities too. There is good, natural tension between the newlyweds enhanced by light suspense in the expectation that trouble will eventually hit when truths are revealed.
The time period setting is described with wonderful detail, including a Memory Garden which is something I don’t recall ever hearing before. The story has a lovely, gentleness that evoked smiles while I was listening. There is a secondary story set up for Evie, the maid from the Mail-Order Bride home who is befriended by Trudy. Apparently there are more stories that cover several other brides and give some update on Trudy and Seth. I recommend this to readers who enjoy sweet, historical romance. I plan to keep this series in mind when I feel the desire for a another dose of sweet, light romance.
Audio Notes: Lara Asmundson does a very nice job with the narration. The voices are easy to follow and her narration makes this a clean, easy listen. I will look to listen to more in this series and more by Ms. Asmundson.
I selected this title from my Audible library (2015). It qualifies for Audiobook Challenge and M in Alphabet Soup Challenge.