American History- 1880’s
Heat rating of 1.5 – Low to Moderate
Rating: 4 STARS
1887 Debutante, Julia Crawford endures a lifetime of subtle ridicule as the plump, silly daughter of a premiere Boston family. Julia strikes out on her own to gain independence, traveling to the Midwest to marry an aging shopkeeper and care for his mother. Julia finds her new home rough and uncivilized after the sophistication of a big city, while closely held secrets threaten to ruin Julia’s one chance at love. Jake Shelling was sixteen and grew up quick when his parents died from influenza on the North Dakota prairie. Left with a half-cleared farm and two young sisters, he spent little time on his own needs . . till now. At thirty-five, he figured it was high time to have some sons and a mail order bride would suit him just fine. No expectations of love, just a helpmate from sturdy stock, ready for farm life.
REVIEW BY LADY BLUE:
Julia has a privileged life, but she has been so beaten down by her family’s expectations that she no longer sees her own beauty or worth. In a desperate move to escape, she arranges a marriage with a safe, older man, and leaves home to start a new life. In the chaos of the train station, she meets a man with a similar name to her intended, who also arranged a marriage, but to a different woman. Wanting to waste no time, he brought the preacher with him to perform the marriage right at the station. After the ceremony has been performed, they realize what has happened, but agree to carry on with the marriage.
Julia has secrets. She confesses one of them to Jake right at the start, and he accepts what he hears. However, the second secret is much bigger (and I give the author credit here, because I never guessed what it was.) The marriage is going very well, and then Julia’s family from Boston comes to take her back home. While she resists, they exert pressure and are not above blackmail (having to do with the big secret.) The lovely future that they started to build is starting to unravel. Can they recover it and save their new love?
This book’s main strength is the realistic portrayal of its characters. You can feel Julia’s need to escape her family. You can also feel the pettiness and cruelty of her mother and sister. Julia and Jake both make mistakes with each other, as people do, but they both are willing to give a little ground for the sake of their relationship. I appreciate that all the compromising was not one sided. A recommended read.
** At time of review Train Station Bride is available from Amazon.com in ebook format for $2.99**
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Lady Blue is a mild mannered accountant by day, and feeds her fiction addiction at night, reading four to seven books a week.