REVIEW: Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott
An enjoyable historical romance that centers on Irish immigration to America and the Irish gangs that formed in New York City. These gangs push this family to begin anew in the logging frontier town of Seattle, Washington. Rich with historical Seattle detail, INSTANT FRONTIER FAMILY is perfect for those looking for an unusual story.
Maddie O’Rourke sends to New York for her brother and sister as soon as she has a home and business to provide for them in Seattle. Her brother and sister stayed with a friend while Maddie worked toward bringing them to her. Maddie has also paid passage for their companion, a woman who will work off her debt in Maddie’s new bakery.
Imagine Maddie’s surprise when the woman supposedly accompanying her siblings turns out to be a man! Of course, her brother and sister adore Michael Haggerty and expect Maddie to marry him. Maddie will not give up her independence for any man. But Maddie has never met someone like this charming, hard-working, sensible and brave Irishman.
I enjoyed the characters and the plot of this story. I was especially enamored by the Irish history which was excellently portrayed. There are so few historical romances that focus on Irish history in early America that this fact alone sets this book apart. But there is so much more to appreciate after the characters and plot draw you in. The characters are well-drawn and interesting, influencing the reader’s empathy to their plight. Maddie’s bakery and laundry business plays a key role in some subtle suspense while being very believable and realistic.
I am especially fond of Maddie. She represents the strong women who helped build the frontier towns. This particular character is a great example of female independence without sacrificing family, faith or love. Maddie’s sister Ciara reminds me of Nellie Oleson in the LITTLE HOUSE series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ciara gives Maddie quite a bit of trouble before she becomes repentant. Ciara thought Maddie left them with no intent of a reunion so Maddie has to earn Ciara’s trust. Maddie’s little brother doesn’t stand out quite as much as he’s much more respectful and behaved.
Ignore the cheesy cover and just dive into this book. It’s not about a happy family who lives in a cabin in the woods as the cover would have you believe. It’s a frontier story, but it’s more about working within a frontier logging community and making it a town. It’s about women fending for themselves without becoming the wife to the highest bidder. It’s about a dysfunctional family trying to find their way together once they’re reunited. Women were very much the minority and in high demand in the western towns during this time in history, but that doesn’t mean that women couldn’t make a viable path for themselves before they fall in love. This is that story.
Michael Haggerty is an unusual hero who isn’t too proud to do laundry and baking if it helps Maddie. Michael isn’t so good at picking trustworthy friends but in the end he’s a standup guy who protects his own.
If you’re looking for an unusual historical that beautifully portrays the Irish family and their solidarity, try INSTANT FRONTIER FAMILY. I was pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of the historical detail. If the previous books in this FRONTIER BACHELORS series are similar to INSTANT FRONTIER FAMILY, then I’ll be reading one after another myself. Just what I was looking for! My thanks to Regina Scott for the thoughtful, original, realistic and respectful portrayal of this Irish immigrant story.
I bought this book in print as part of my Love Inspired Historical reader subscription. If you haven’t read these books yet, try INSTANT FRONTIER FAMILY as proof of this imprint’s enjoyable, wholesome stories.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Book was purchased in print.
Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott
Series: Frontier Bachelors, book 4
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired (January 1, 2016)
Rated 4 out of 5
Do you enjoy wholesome historical romances that tell loving stories representative of early America?