Broday’s Outlaw Mail Order Brides brings the grit and high emotion of the best western novels: outlaws and robber brides, love and betrayal, strong men and passionate women…all fighting for life and freedom in the old Wild West.
When three young children show up on outlaw Tait Trinity’s doorstep, he knows he can’t help them—a wanted man has no business raising kids. And yet he can’t bring himself to turn them away. At a loss, he sends for the mail order bride he’d been writing to, hoping the demure dressmaker will be the answer to his prayers.
Melanie Dunbar is nothing like the woman Tait was expecting. She’s rough and tumble…and hiding an ulterior motive. Dangerous men have taken her sister hostage, and if Melanie wants to see her alive, she’ll have to betray her new husband. There’s only one problem—the more time she spends with Tait, the more she comes to care for him. Yet as the noose begins to tighten, Melanie will have to make a terrible choice: save her sister…or the man she loves.
A sweeping historical western romance for when the West was wild and man’s law favored the few…an extraordinary mail order bride finds her way into the heart of an outlaw.
Love blooms between a desperate woman and an honorable outlaw in the electrifying third romance in Broday's Outlaw Mail Order Bride series (after Saving the Mail Order Bride). Melanie Dunbar, the daughter of a gambler who has skipped town and left her to face his criminal charges, begrudgingly cuts a deal with crooked Judge Ira McIlroy in order to save herself from a harsh sentence: Melanie will answer outlaw Tait Trinity's ad for a bride and go undercover to sniff out proof that Tait robbed a train. When Melanie arrives in Hope's Crossing, she discovers her husband-to-be has taken in his twin adolescent nephews and toddler niece following his sister's murder. The demanding children keep them busy as Melanie warms to the charming Tait while secretly attempting to unearth evidence of his criminality. Real affection grows between the two earnest characters, leading Melanie to finally admit her scheme to Tait. As they heal their broken trust, Melanie's father rolls into Hope's Crossing, leading to a climactic heart-stopping action sequence. This is another page-turning period romance from Broday.
Practical Romance. With a side of kids.
It’s no secret that I cherish my time visiting the town of Hope’s Crossing with Linda Broday. The town progresses – we have a newspaper now! – we meet new characters, and we fall in love over and over. This time around, we even have a visit from Stoker Legend and his sons (from the Men of Legend series). It’s always great to catch up Ms. Broday’s characters. (And dang. I just realized I never read Sam Legend’s story. I MUST fix that error on my part!)
Tait is still a wanted man when we meet him. A gunsliger with a large bounty on his head. I enjoyed Ms. Broday’s description of when Tait and Melanie first meet that he:
sauntered towards her, slow and easy like a wild animal stalking his prey
The visual description paints such a great picture for me that I can almost hear his boots as he walks towards Melanie. As Melanie (and the reader) becomes more acquainted with Tait, we really get a sense of his character. He may be a criminal in the eyes of the law, but really, he’s looking for justice, which is rather admirable. He steps up when needed to take in his niece and nephews. He’s willing to put his life on the line for those he loves, including his friends in Hope’s Crossing. I do seem to have a soft spot for bad guys who are really good guys!
When we meet Melanie, she’s between a rock and a hard place. She’s being blackmailed: her twin sister’s freedom in exchange for her new husband’s. She needs to make some difficult decisions, and those decisions really weigh on her shoulders. What I appreciate about Melanie is that she knows her mind and isn’t afraid to go for what she wants. She isn’t completely straight-forward with Tait with her motives at the beginning, but she isn’t afraid to speak up when it’s needed. Including in the bedroom. She really shines towards the end of the novel. I think Melanie is someone I would get along with.
The romance between Tait and Melanie is realistic and starts more as a business deal than love. I really appreciate this aspect. The insta-love in many romances feels inauthentic. Here, we really see how the love between these two characters slowly develops and grows as they get to know one another. And by the end of the novel, I was hoping for their own version of happily ever after.
Generally, I can take or leave kids in my romance books (Preferably leave. I know. I’m just not into kids.) But Ms. Broday does seem to have a way with making me feel for the kids in her novels. In the case of Mail Order Bride’s Secret, Tait’s niece and nephews really play an important part in the romance between Tait and Melanie and the plot of the novel. The twins, Joe and Jessie are rapscallions! And toddler Becky is just adorable. I chuckled over Joe’s initial description of Becky being not ‘housebroke yet’. I smiled while the kids were trapping and training animals for their circus. And had a large twig or something in my eye towards the end of the novel when redacted for spoilers occurs.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Mail Order Bride’s Secret. The romance progresses naturally. The characters are believable. Check this out if you are a fan of historical romance!