Action, suspense, and passionate romance. Great read.
Reviewed in the United States on 8 May 2016
I really enjoyed this book, which is my favorite in The Mail-Order-Brides series thus far. I already knew that Hetty was a conceited, and not very intelligent brat from the two previous books. She thinks her beauty will get her whatever she wants in life, and now life is showing her that not only isn't it fair, but it can be downright hard and cruel, and it doesn't care who you are, or what you look like. Hetty agrees to marry Karl because she wants to help the two orphans she easily relates to, due to her own personally tragic family history. And also, Hetty needs a place to go, a roof over head, food to eat. After incorrectly assuming her husband must be the handsome one, she finds herself instead marrying Karl, the supposedly not so good looking one.
Karl is over whelmed by the breathtaking beauty of his mail-order-bride, but he is perceptive, and intelligent enough to realize that he is being lied to by his new wife and two supposed children, Grace and Griffin. And then his best friend, and partner, Dennis, on the upcoming logging job, boldly kisses his bride and tries to prove he can have her if he wants her, regardless of Karl's marriage to her. But Karl is determined to give this marriage a chance, to be patient with Hetty and the children, to prove his worth, but Karl is no one's fool either, as he shows in this great romance. And for my part, I thought Karl sounded the better looking of the two, not another stereotypical guy who has nothing but a few good features going for him.
Grace and Griffin added a lot to the story for me. Grace is a young girl, just blossoming into her womanhood, with a dark secret and a strong desire to get a home for her younger brother Griffin, and herself. A family. And Griffin is a boy forced to grow up too soon, and with to much experience with life's harsher realities. But Griffin finds himself with a dad he'd really like to have in Karl. But Griffin has a tendency to fall from one dangerous situation to the next hazard very quickly, and Karl finds himself saving and trying to teach Griffin, and falling for this seemingly troublesome, but tender, boy.
While Grace and Griffin find their way into their own, and certainly very unique family, Lin Bao stands in the background, guiding, and helping with his knowledge of medicine. It is Bao, Karl's closest friend, who sheds light, and helps to keep them all together.
Dennis was a typical, sneaky, underhanded, and over confident troublemaker.
I thought this was a page turner, with action, intrigue, passionate romance that grows stronger through the hardships, and love that shines right through the darkness of bad times, hard luck, and loss.
And I would be remiss not to mention the fantastic Alan Ayers cover art on this book. Karl looks awful good on this cover, for the 'supposedly' average looking, forgettable guy described in the story.
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