Series: Crawford Family #1
Published by Self Published on March 14, 2012
Genres: Historical Romance
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1887 Debutante, Julia Crawford endures a lifetime of subtle ridicule as the plump, silly daughter of a premiere Boston family. Julia strikes out on her own to gain independence, traveling to the Midwest to marry an aging shopkeeper and care for his mother. Julia finds her new home rough and uncivilized after the sophistication of a big city, while closely held secrets threaten to ruin Julia’s one chance at love.
Jake Shelling was sixteen and grew up quick when his parents died from influenza on the South Dakota prairie. Left with a half-cleared farm and two young sisters, he spent little time on his own needs . .till now. At thirty-five, he figured it was high time to have some sons and a mail order bride would suit him just fine. No expectations of love, just a helpmate from sturdy stock, ready for farm life.
Will fate and chance play a trick on Julia and Jake?
Julia Crawford, beaten down by her family’s ridicule, decided to respond to an ad for a bride by a South Dakota man. She secretly takes the train to Cedar Ridge and meets Jake Shelling who shows up with the the preacher by his side and marries her right there at the depot.
A bit of background
Julia comes from a wealthy, prestigious Boston family. Her mother is the ultimate Mommie Dearest only crueler. They won’t actually miss her but don’t want her to leave because it would be a society embarrassment. She has an older, beautiful sister who married the man Julia was in love with. Jake raised his two sisters following their parents’ deaths and now that they’re both married he’s ready to find a wife to take care of him and provide him an heir.
What I liked about the story
Julia is a wonderful character, despite her poor self image. She’s resilient, caring and empathetic. Jake is honest to a fault and despite his rocky start with her, he comes to adore all that’s right about her. Their romance was sweet and sensual, bolstered by the warmth and friendship of Jake’s family.
There are also several surprising twists, one coming at you in the very beginning. One I guessed in advance of the reveal, the other just catching me unaware.
The bottom line
I really enjoyed Julia and Jake’s romance and her journey to becoming a woman of her own mind and self love. I’m also a big fan of historicals set in America, especially in the Midwest. Its a wonderful change of pace, far from the ton in London.
I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!
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