I previously read three books by author Ruth Ann Nordin. Since I enjoy her writing, I easily added a freebie she was offering to my cart a Kobo. And I always review free books or books that I’ve won in a contest. Check out what I have to say about Wagon Trail Bride, book one in the Pioneer series, a historical romance.
Blurb: Richard Larson has secretly loved Amanda for years, but it wasn’t until she had nowhere else to turn that he had the courage to propose a marriage of convenience. Now as they make their way to Omaha, Nebraska for a new life, he wonders if she might ever come to return his feelings.
When Amanda married Richard Larson, it wasn’t for love. It was because he was rescuing her from a painful situation. When they married, they agreed to a marriage of convenience. She didn’t realize he secretly loved her until after the vows were exchanged. Now she doesn’t know how to act around him. And worse, a young man from her past is the one leading the wagon train to Omaha, and he has plans for them to run off to start a new life elsewhere.
I’ve read three books by the author, so when Wagon Trail Bride came up as a freebie at Kobo, I happily added it to my cart. Naturally, Ms. Nordin did not disappoint.
Amanda has been through hell, and she agrees to marry Richard when he helps her from a life-changing horror, and then takes her west on a wagon train. Lo and behold on said wagon train is Amanda’s former beau, Joe, who is leading the expedition. There is trouble brewing for sure.
As for Amanda, she is well written as a woman full of scars, trauma, and too many secrets. I felt for her, and highly understood why she did not trust anyone. The understanding and very patient Richard is the consummate hero who is by Amanda’s side, ready to aid her, or step to the shadows if she requires privacy. And he does this many times at the beginning of the novel. This man is a keeper.
The writing is wonderfully executed. The setting is detailed but not heavy, just enough to create a great setting and make you feel as if you’re on the wagon train. The dialogue is realistic and true to the times. As for the chemistry between the hero and heroine, it’s a slow burn romance that starts off as friendship. What draws them together is the trust they build while they are travelling together. Are they explosive couple? No. They are a couple who’s building their relationship from their past friendship. Well done, author.
Some might find the pacing slow, but I didn’t. I found each scene is required to roll this novel along, especially the ones with Amanda alone reflecting on her feelings. She is at odds, especially since her former beau is leading the expedition, and she is afraid he might make trouble.
I found the horror Amanda suffered in the past and then suffers in the present handled with sympathy and care. The poor woman has been through hell, after all.
As for the secondary characters, they fleshed out the book and added nice elements to the trials and tribulations of travelling on a wagon train.
This is a book I recommend, and I now want to dig into the rest of the series and see what happens to the rest of the travellers.
Have you read Wagon Trail Bride? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?