By Cynthia Woolf
Isabella “Bella” Latham’s callous father sold her into marriage to settle a gambling debt. Rather than face life with a cruel man more than twice her age, she runs from New York and becomes a mail-order bride. Bella’s dreams are simple. All she needs to be happy is a home, children and an honorable man to love her.
Alex Hastings lost his wife in a riding accident two years before. Left with two adorable but mischievous twin four-year-old daughters, he’s convinced they need a mother to take care of them. Alex knows he must marry, but vows he’ll never love another woman.
Bella’s tenderness and fire melts Alex’s stone cold heart. But when her jilted fiancé from New York sends men to capture Bella, will Alex be able to get back his Stolen Bride?
This was my first ever Romance Western novel and I really enjoyed this, I think I picked well as it is not a long story but it flowed and kept my attention. I could imagine the era (it is set in the 1800’s) and the best thing for me was the sense of family and making new beginnings. I actually really enjoyed reading about their day to day activities and I want to make the cookies that are talked about in the book !!
There are some twists and turns, it actually jumps through time at the right moments especially when the Stolen Bride is returned to New York, I did not need to read about the two week return trip on the stage coach & train, so the author got it really right for a novice reader like myself.
Bella was a beautiful character, strong, resilient and probably true to the era of accepting your lot in life. She has such a need for affection and she was just a beautiful soul and immediately reached into my heart and grabbed hold until the last page. I so wanted her to get her Happy Ever After.
It was interesting to follow Alex’s struggles with opening his heart to a new woman and his actions I think were in tune with again the era I was reading about – they are real men in cowboy country and I loved it.
We meet characters from books 1 and 2 but it was easy to follow and they did not overtake the story as some returning characters do in other series books I have read. This can be easily read as a standalone.
A great novel if you are wanting to check out Western Romance for the first time!
The Stolen Bride (Hope’s Crossing #3)
Visit Author: Click Here