TBR Challenge 2016: The Sweetest Mail-Order Bride by Jill Summers
TBR Challenge 2016 – Theme: We love short shorts!
I love mail-order bride stories, especially those with surprises. THE SWEETEST MAIL-ORDER BRIDE by Jill Summers earns its title from the story and the bride herself. It’s a novella available in digital and print formats.
Why was this book in Dorine’s TBR? I’ve been missing the old fashioned mail-order bride stories that I remember reading years ago and this one popped up on my freebies list. I thought it might give me a historical fix when I needed one and I was right. I’m glad it was lingering in my TBR when I needed something short while traveling New Year’s week.
Widow Clementine Parks hopes that she’ll move past the death of her son and husband when she marries Dr. Caleb Blake. Also a widower, Caleb has adorable sounding twin girls, based on their letters to Clementine. They’ve been writing along with their father, hoping Clementine will love them all. Clementine leaves her job and meager existence in Dakota Territory to build a new life in Montana Territory as a doctor’s wife and a new mother of twins.
When Clementine gets off the train in the town of Sweet Creek and is greeted by the twins, she realizes Caleb isn’t expecting her, nor does he know anything about the letters they exchanged. Will Caleb send Clementine back or accept his twin’s choice?
THE SWEETEST MAIL-ORDER BRIDE is a cute story that kicks off a series. I’m already curious about Caleb’s two brothers and their stories. Clementine has one of the sweetest dispositions, filled with light and a positive attitude, no matter the circumstances. I really wanted to know what happened to her. Her bright inner light and laughter made me anxious for her happy-ever-after.
Caleb’s father is also an interesting character with some surprises up his sleeve that I did not expect. I’m curious how much he’ll be involved in future stories, as I want to know more about him.
I grabbed this novella when it was offered as a freebie because I love mail-order bride stories and have never read this author. There were some moments that seemed a bit over-the-top for me with the twins, but overall I enjoyed this story. The twins are full of trouble so Clementine’s reactions are precious. I like the idea of three brothers getting mail-order brides which is an interesting concept for a series of novellas. I also love historicals that take place in Montana so I’m hopeful for more details in the coming books.
As novellas go, this one held my interest and didn’t seem to be lacking anything enough to make me want a much more detailed story. It did its job by showing the author’s talent and making me curious about future novellas.
If you’re a fan of mail-order bride stories, THE SWEETEST MAIL-ORDER BRIDE has an engaging heroine who suits this title perfectly. I don’t feel as if I got to know the hero as well because Clementine carried the story for me. Jill Summers also writes as Jillian Hart so you have many books to check out if you like this one. A quick and enjoyable fix for mail-order bride historical lovers.
Reviewed by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Freebie acquired through a promotion on Amazon.
The Sweetest Mail-Order Bride by Jill Summers
Series: Sweet Creek Brides, Book 1
Category: Historical, Release Date: February 22, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5
What book have you pulled from the depths of your TBR to read this month?
January 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm
How old are the twins? I confess, I’m leery of the ‘too adorable for words” plot moppets, so the existence of two of them, and in a short story no less, are strong points against for me.
January 20, 2016 at 9:12 pm
I don’t think that age was mentioned but I’m guessing around 7 or less. I agree. I have a hard time with plot moppets too but I think they were good at showing Clementine’s loving personality. They’re ornery little ones always in trouble, so her acceptance of them, when no one else would, helped the story along. It did get a bit over-the-top for me, but for the most part they worked. I think they did detract from being able to get to know the hero better, though. Thanks for stopping by and offering great commentary, Azteclady!
January 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm
Mail order brides can be a tough sell for me because I have trouble setting aside how difficult a life decision that must have been. If my best option was leaving home forever to go marry a stranger, things would have to be desperate. It can work in the hands of a good writer, though(and I’ve liked several), and this does sound like a sweet story.
January 20, 2016 at 9:16 pm
I think that’s why I like them so much, Lynn. It blows me away that someone could do this, especially during these times in a rough territory. I think the desperation in this story would work for you. There was no future for Clementine where she was, so I understood her desperation but still, she was in more trouble before she worked it all out. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion!
January 21, 2016 at 12:19 am
Plot moppets can go either way for me, but I tend to like the hellion kind, so they sound charming to me.
January 21, 2016 at 12:33 am
Hellions is a good description of them, Erin, their pony included. LOL Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂
January 21, 2016 at 2:12 am
I’m going to add this one to my TBR pile. I really like mail order bride stories but I’m always hesitant because of what LynnAAR said. It’s hard to find ones with the right balance but when you do, it’s fantastic. 🙂
January 21, 2016 at 9:25 am
Excellent, Lynn! I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it. Thanks for stopping by and chatting about it!
February 9, 2016 at 6:35 pm
Yes, I’m just now getting around to leaving comments on January TBR Challenge posts. Seriously, my life right now.
So I see Lynn from AAR commented, so she may not know this (Lynn and I both read a ton of Harlequins…) – but Jill Summers is another name for Jillian Hart, who wrote a bunch of books for Harlequin Historical, Love Inspired and Love Inspired Historical. I’ve enjoyed several of her books and this one sounds right up my alley. Great review!
February 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm
Thanks so much for stopping by, Wendy! I was thrilled to find that out as well about Jillian Hart because I have a collection of her books to read. Love the Harlequin Historical and Inspired lines. Glad we all have that in common. 🙂