Historical Fiction, Review

The Mail-Order Brides collection

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The Mail-Order Brides collectionWhat kind of woman would answer an advertisement and marry a stranger?

Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl, or worse, pregnant.

The Outlaw’s Inconvenient Bride by Noelle Marchand
1881, Wyoming
After a gang of outlaws use a mail-order bride advertisement to trick an innocent woman into servitude, an undercover lawman must claim the bride—even if it puts his mission in jeopardy.

Train Ride to Heartbreak by Donna Schlachter
1895, Train to California
John Stewart needs a wife. Mary Johannson needs a home. On her way west, Mary falls in love with another. Now both must choose between commitment and true love.

Mail Order Mix-Up by Sherri Shackelford
1885, Montana
A mail-order marriage by proxy goes wrong when a clerical error leads to the proxies actually being married instead of the siblings they were standing in for. In their quest to correct the mistake, the two discover outlaws, adventure and even love.

To Heal Thy Heart by Michelle Shocklee
1866, New Mexico
When Phoebe Wagner answers a mail-order bride ad that states Confederate widows need not apply, she worries what Dr. Luke Preston will do when he learns her fiancé died wearing grey.

Miss-Delivered Mail by Ann Shorey
1884, Washington
Helena Erickson impulsively decides to take advantage of her brother’s deception and travels to Washington Territory in response to a proposal of marriage intended for someone else. How will Daniel McNabb respond when Helena is nothing like he expected?

A Fairy-Tale Bride by Liz Tolsma
1867, Texas
Nora Green doesn’t feel much like Cinderella when her mail-order groom stands her up. But could the mysterious jester from the town’s play be her Prince Charming?

The Brigand and the Bride by Jennifer Uhlarik
1876, Arizona
Jolie Hilliard weds a stranger to flee her outlaw family but discovers her groom is an escaped prisoner. Will she ever find happiness on the right side of the law?

The Mail Order Mistake by Kathleen Y’Barbo
1855, Texas
Pinkerton agent Jeremiah Bingham is investigating a mail-order bride scam bankrupting potential grooms. When unsuspecting orphan May Conrad answers his false ad, she becomes the prime suspect in the case.

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my thoughts

From the midwest to the southwest to the pacific northwest, preachers, Pinkertons, widowers, soldiers, doctors, and hardworking farmers and ranchers are seeking brides! This collection boasts a variety of mail-order bride circumstances (orphans, victims of abuse, widows, spinsters, and one spirited independent journalist) as well as calamities caused by criminal activities or life-threatening situations.

While I won’t take time to comment on each individual story (there are NINE of them after all and novellas are so easy to spoil), there are plenty of wild west adventures to go around! I was pleased to discover many of the stories have important lessons to impart to readers in addition to the happily ever after entertainment factor. These big juicy collections from Barbour are always a great place to meet new-to-you authors and I found a few here!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the authors

Kathleen Y’Barbo

Megan Besing

Noelle Marchand

Donna Schlachter

Michelle Shocklee

Sherri Shackelford

Ann Shorey

Liz Tolsma

Jennifer Uhlarik


also recommended

Seven Brides for Seven Texans romance collection The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection


What do you enjoy about mail-order bride stories, reader friends?

10 thoughts on “The Mail-Order Brides collection”

  1. Good morning Beth! Enjoyed your review.
    I really enjoy mail-order brides stories, however, not sure I would be courageous enough to do it myself. It is fun to see how the couples work things out…or not… I love the historical settings and the variety of the stories by the different authors.
    Blessings, Tina


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