Colleen Coble writes romances with a bit of suspense, most of the time, but this time, it's all romance. To Love a Stranger seems so familiar but yet, I couldn't remember reading it.
Bessie grew up in Boston in a "society family," but her younger sister, Lorene, wants to get married and their parents have said not until Bessie gets married first. Lorene has written letters to Jasper Mendenhall using Bessie's name, posing as a mail order bride. Lorene even married Jasper by proxie, also posing as Bessie. When Bessie gets to Wyoming to meet Jasper, he's angry and disappointed that the bride he got was not the bride he expected. Bessie was apprehensive because within three days of her arrival, they were moving to Arizona. On the way, Bessie finds a Navajo baby whose mother has died, so Bessie adopts her with Jasper's approval. After moving into their home, Bessie is bitten by a snake and one of Jasper's men takes care of her. When Bessie has Jasper help her move a chest, a nest of black widow spiders comes out and Bessie and Jasper take care of them with a broom and a shoe.
There are many funny scenes in this narrative, and many heart-wrenching scenes, but all of them together make this book worth reading.
This is a short novel, but the characters are quite developed; the plot moves at a steady pace; and the spiders, scorpions, and snakes make the story more interesting. This is a strong five star book, two thumbs up, and NO spiders, scorpions, or snakes.
Thomas Nelson provided the galley I was allowed to read and review.