I feel I should make a public service announcement to any new readers of this blog. I normally do not read this much, this fast in any given week. Seriously. I'm a woman possessed right now. I wrapped up book #6 for this week yesterday:
The Unexpected Wife by Mary Burton (Harlequin Historical 708) - It should be noted that Burton is usually hit or miss with me because she tends to write heroes that I want to shoot. That said, she also writes really strong heroines, which is probably why I keep buying her books. This one is a fairly conventional mail-order bride story that stands out thanks to the heroine.
Heroine leaves behind San Francisco for a new life in Montana. After the death of her missionary parents, she goes to live with an aunt and uncle who treat her like a servant, and keep reminding her that she's lucky they didn't toss her out in the street after a perceived indiscretion with a smooth-talkin' ladies man. Heroine wants a husband and family - so answers an ad for a mail-order bride. One small problem though - the hero didn't write the ad, his meddling neighbors did. They feel he needs a woman to take care of his two sons, keep house and cook while he's working his growing horse ranch. He has vowed to never love again after his gentle wife died in child birth.
So there you go. I'm going to state up front here that the hero is a jackass and doesn't treat the heroine very well - but this girl has spunk and is the sort that will tell him to his face, "Hey asshole, you're being a jackass." She is a hard worker and has dreams of her own. Of course it takes the hero the whole blessed book to realize what a great woman he has standing in front of him - and for that reason alone, I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. Also, I like my jackass heroes to grovel a lot. He grovels, but not enough for my liking.
Still a very good read. Final Grade = B+