I need to read a historical for one of my challenges and wanted it to be something other than Regency. I've had good luck with Harlequin books in the past and I love this cover, she is wearing pants!
Why yes, I am a gluten for a good cover. :-) But, the cover only gets the book picked up, it doesn't, usually, get it in the cart.
um...reading back cover.... sounds interesting and will fit several challenges (which is always nice but not necessary). In the cart it goes.
Michael advertised for a wife. He's in Idaho and she's in Kentucky. No problem, they exchange letters over several months before they're married by proxy and off she goes to Idaho.
The book starts at the train station. Turns out Selina can't read or write and her best friend didn't write what Selina said! I know it's going to work out in the end, it is a Harlequin novel after all, but how long is it going to take? Selina fell in love with Michael through his letters but so did Michael and it turns out the woman he loves is a lie! Selina had promised herself never to marry a man who didn't love her and even if he does, he better not be a rich man. She's seen what "rich folk" do and act towards, ahem, money-challenged and what a loveless marriage can do to a woman. She also can't stand to be told what to do...no way will the new husband bully her.
Not only does her new husband not love her, he's rich (lives on the ranch with extended family and they're all wealthy) plus, he's not happy she's in pants and wants to help him with the chores! She arrives with a flour sack of clothes and he tries to send her to the store with his mother so she can pick up material..."I'm sure my Mother will help you make some dresses."!
What to do, what to do? This is a Love Inspired novel so they both pray. Prayers at meal times, sure but they both pray for help with the mess they've found themselves in.
"...Why would You send me someone like Selina? Why? Please, help me to understand."
He listened for that still, small voice, but the only sounds he heard were coyotes howling in the distance..."
I like Michael even though he can be overbearing because we can read that he's really trying to understand what's happening and trying to refigure his dreams.
I like Selina. She knows who she is and is unwilling to change for anyone. That sounds harsh but they both had visions of what marriage would be like and while it looks like she'll compromise she's not going to change who she is. One morning she goes to the barn and does chores (feeding, cleaning stalls, etc) and when she goes back outside she stops to enjoy the sunrise. Not only that but out loud says Thank you Lord, that was mighty pretty.
I like Michael's family best. At least those I've met so far. They don't all know about the letter mix up and they love Selina because she's Michael's wife. Even the brother that does know, likes Selina.
Glad I bought this book. Prayers, so far, are just often enough for the story. Will enjoy reading it and won't hesitate to read another like it or by the same author.
The Unlikely Wife
by Debra Ullrick
Harlequin Love Inspired historical
mass market paperback
282 pages plus discussion questions
ages: publisher doesn't say but as it's a Love Inspired novel, I'm comfortable saying 14.
The arrival of Michael Bowen's bride, married sight unseen by proxy, sends the rancher reeling. With her trousers, cowboy hat and rifle, she looks like a female outlaw—not the genteel lady he corresponded with for months. He's been hoodwinked into marriage with the wrong woman!
Selina Farleigh Bowen loved Michael's letters, even if she couldn't read them herself. A friend read them to her, and wrote her replies—but apparently that "friend" left things out, like Michael's dream of a wife who was nothing like her. Selina won't change who she is, not even for the man she loves. Yet time might show Michael the true value of his unlikely wife.
copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2012