A Bride For All Seasons is a collection of four stories by authors Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher. They are divided into spring bride, summer bride, autumn bride and winter bride. (Hence the “for all seasons.”)
The stories do follow a formula and become predictable. However, in spite of this and even though there are no surprises, the stories are good. It is an interesting period in the history of the West, where young, unmarried women traveled across the country to marry a man they only know through letters. I do know that many of these women arrived to find a difficult situation. They had clearly been misled and unfortunately, many did not have the resources to leave. The brides in this book were more fortunate. Each one of them answered an ad in a mail-order bride catalogue creatively titled “The Hitching Post.” Each one of their letters, along with the letters from their grooms were revised and made more appealing by the owner of the catalogue, Melvin Hitchcock. This created some difficult but funny outcomes.
Each one of the women was different. I especially liked Megan, the winter bride, who relocated to a ranch in Wyoming. I loved the cozy, beautiful ranch house and I loved her feisty, Irish personality. The other three women were described as exceptionally beautiful. Megan was described as pretty and petite with her Irish corkscrew, red hair; but she had a big personality, was funny and had a strong faith.
I also thought the spring bride, Mary-Jo, was also appealing. She was beautiful and a talented seamstress. She came into a difficult situation when she arrived in Kansas as a bride-to-be. She was not well educated and had not been raised with “proper manners”; but I found her to be talented and spirited – very likeable.
The other two brides were enjoyable also; but I was struck by the courage it must have taken to get on the train and move to a brand new area of the country to marry a man who was basically a stranger. It s a part of our history along with the orphan trains that moved parentless children to new lives in the West. Like some of the brides, their new lives were horribly difficult while others thrived. I am glad that there are books being written about this historical period.
I recommend this book. If you enjoy historical fiction this is a good pick. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.
About the Book
Melvin Hitchcock of the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalog isn't dishonest---not exactly. If he tweaks his clients' applications a bit, it's because he's looking out for their best interests.
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces four Hitching Post prospects in the year 1870, each one eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they'll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
"And Then Came Spring" by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has been unlucky all her life. But who would guess she'd travel halfway across the country to meet her match . . . only to find him dead!
"An Ever-After Summer" by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she's not what Matthew ordered. And what's wrong with being a "Bible thumper" anyway? She's determined to show him she's tougher than she looks---and just the girl he needs.
"Autumn's Angel" by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn't come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. The trouble is, there's no money to send them back. . .
"Winter Wedding Bells" by Mary Connealy
David's convinced he's not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he's gone---nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?
About the Authors:
Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. @margaretbrownley
Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. Her books often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher
Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner, an a RITA, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. @MaryConnealy
Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra has her first book coming as a movie starring LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton