When the West was wild
And man’s law favored the few
These extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.
Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride’s expected arrival. He’s fought long and hard to drag Devil’s Crossing out of lawlessness…so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he’s heartbroken. There’s no woman in the world who’d stand by him now.
But Tally Shannon is no ordinary woman.
After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn’t mind that Clay’s home is dang near burned to the ground—not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it’s only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling…and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride—and the family they built together—to his very last breath.
What People Are Saying About Linda Broday:
“Fans of classic Western tales will delight in the rough-and-tumble world Broday creates...” —RT Book Reviews for To Love a Texas Ranger
“A shining example of the talent of one of the best historical western authors.” —Fresh Fiction for Forever His Texas Bride
“Broday’s Westerns always captivate with realistic settings, rugged cowboys and feisty heroines.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Forever His Texas Bride
Western romance star Broday (To Catch a Texas Star) launches a series with this lackluster historical romance set in late-19th-century Texas. Clay Colby and his crew of former outlaws are trying to go straight in their settlement, Devil's Crossing. Tally Shannon, Clay's mail-order bride, arrives after months of correspondence. She bears physical and mental scars from being imprisoned in the Creedmore Insane Asylum by her conniving stepmother. Clay and a frustratingly inconsistent Tally agree to a trial marriage and collaborate in caring for Tally's adopted daughter, Violet, a fellow Creedmore escapee who's blind, sweet, and hesitant to trust. Clay quickly rebuffs a posse from the asylum seeking Tally, including the sadistic warden Slade Tarver. Integrating newcomers to Devil's Crossing including Clay's former lover, saloon girl Rebel, and a desperado who recently tried to burn down the town brings melodramatic action and perpetual suspicion. After months and without clear impetus, Clay and Tally ride out to avenge her treatment at the asylum. Broday's crisp writing and cameos from her other series somewhat improve the languid plot. Her longtime readers may enjoy this tale, but others are unlikely to find it engaging.
The Outlaw's Mail Order Bride
I received a complimentary copy of this book and I also purchased a copy.
I am giving this 10 gold stars (meaning Out of this World!!!!!) What a wonderful way to kick off a new series! I adored this story of Clay Colby and a bunch of outlaws who are basically good men that life threw a curve ball at them. Clay dreams of building a town and starting anew in the Texas land. Unfortunately two other women have turned him down already. Clay hopes that this new woman will be the old to help him in his quest. Monday dawns bright and early but another set of outlaws have burnt down the few buildings that they have built. Good Lord, Clay hates Mondays!
Luke and Josie arrive with Talley Shannon. She traveled to marry Clay to get away from her past. Her evil stepmother kills her father and older brother before putting Talley into a mental institution with instructions to kill her but not before making her suffer! Talley was able to escape and lived amongst other escapees. Talley dreams of a loving home and agrees to marry Clay. When Talley leaves to meet Clay, another escapee, a young blind 8 year old girl, Violet becomes distraught. Talley brings Violet with her.
Life for the three of them is a challenging one. There are many hurdles they have to overcome to get to really becoming a family.
This book is written in a dual POV format. That helps me to really connect and identify with the characters. I was really saddened to see this story end but look forward to the next one.
This is a slightly sexy story. There was nothing graphic in nature and the scenes were beautifully written. I highly recommend this story if you adore the alpha male with an equally strong female. I adore historical romances and this one is one that you shouldn't miss.
Kudos for a great Western Romance
It’s no surprise (to me at least) that when a new Linda Broday book becomes available on the Lone Star Lit Tours, I jump at the chance to read it. This is the fifth book of Ms. Broday’s that I’m reviewing! Besides the obvious reasons to pick up The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride (which had me at Western Romance), the two aspects of Ms. Broday’s books that I love the most is that secondary characters from one series find their own happy endings in the next series and that we get to catch up with characters that we already know and love.
In this novel, we meet up with Clay from The Heart of a Texas Cowboy and Tally, the de facto leader of the women living in Deliverance Canyon after escaping from Creedmore Asulum. The two met through Luke and Josie’s mail order bride service.
Clay is a good man with a rough past. (I always love a good guy hiding behind a bad boy.) He’s looking for someone to share his burdens of establishing his dream town and starting a family. He’s romantic as well:
I’ll gladly work my fingers to the bone every second of every day if it means taking worry from you. I chose to care for you from the start and that hasn’t changed. This is what a true husband does for his wife. Never feel guilty for anything where I’m concerned.
Clay sees what his wife needs and provides it for her and their new family before anyone asks. Great husband material!
Tally is a strong woman. She had to be to survive the horrors at Creedmore and to care for the other women who escaped. She’s also always bringing home strays, children and adults alike. She puts her faith in herself, as she believes no one else is worth trusting. In spite of all she’s been through, I appreciate that she still finds it in herself to care for others. I admire her perseverance. But also, I admire her ability to still believe in love in spite of everything.
Both main characters show a great deal of growth and development throughout the novel, learning to trust and love throughout the novel. I especially welcome how Clay is willing to give Tally time. Time to heal, time to learn, and time to trust.
The fully developed secondary characters in Ms. Broday’s novels are just as crucial to the story-telling as our main characters. in The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride, we get to catch up with Luke and Josie, and the other Legend brothers. We also have an appearance by Dr. Mary. I love Dr. Mary! A strong character on her own, our resident doctor has great medical knowledge. Dr. Mary even makes me wonder if tattoo removal was actually a thing in 1879. We also get to know the other outlaws in town, a former saloon gal, Bullet the dog, and the most unlikely surrogate grandfather\granddaughter pairing of a blind girl and a crotchety old outlaw.
My one struggle with this novel is that the romance between Clay and Tally moves really fast. Yes, they did write letters back and forth before meeting in person, hence the Mail Order portion of the title. I did find the relationship and feelings between Clay and Tally to be real and believable. But still, the romance and feelings move fast. I would truly have liked to read those letters between Clay and Tally so I could see how their relationship builds.
I can see the prospective future stories with the other inhabitants of Hope’s Crossing and I’m eagerly anticipating them! And in case you are wondering, no, you don’t need to have read Ms. Broday’s other books to enjoy this one. But you may very well want to read them after finishing it!
Kudos to Ms. Broday for another great Western Romance.