Review: The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown

The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown
Series:  Cowboys & Brides (# 3)
Release Date:  February 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 383
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

She’s Got Sass…

Emily Cooper promised her dying grandfather that she’d deliver a long-lost letter to a woman he once planned to wed. Little does adventurous Emily know that this simple task will propel her to places she never could have imagined…with a cowboy who’s straight out of her dreams…

He’s Got Mail…

When sexy rancher Greg Adams discovers his grandmother Clarice has installed Emily on their ranch as her assistant, he decides to humor the two ladies. He figures Emily will move on soon enough. In the meantime, he intends to keep a close eye on her—he doesn’t quite buy her story of his grandmother as a mail-order bride.

A lost letter meant a lost love for Clarice, but two generations later, maybe it’s not too late for that letter to work its magic.


Review:   A laugh-out-loud story about a woman taking a lost letter to her grandfather’s old love and finding a love of her own.  Before Emily Cooper’s grandfather died, he asked her to take a box of letters across Texas to Clarice Burton, the woman he had exchanged letters with during WWII.  His last letter to her all those years ago just turned up, forgotten in an old mail bag.  He wants to make sure Clarice knows he hadn’t forgotten her, just hadn’t heard back, thus sending them both on a different path.  With Emily turning up at Clarice’s ranch settles the questions  Clarice had as to why her pen-pal love hadn’t proposed to her.

Anxious to hear stories about her former love, Clarice invites Emily to stay for her month’s vacation working around the ranch.  Emily has given herself a month to decide if she wants to try and make a go of the ranch she’s just inherited, or sell it to her cousin and begin a new chapter in life, so she agrees.  Doesn’t hurt that Clarice’s smokin’ hot cowboy grandson Greg will be there either.  Suspicious of Emily, and not sure he believes his grandma would have been a mail-order bride, he keeps a careful eye on Emily.  He can’t deny she’s a knockout, but what really surprises him is how hard she works, and she definitely knows her way around a ranch.  He also sees her great sense of humor, and how much she takes care of his own grandmother.

Greg and Emily are drawn to each other, and although they try to resist the attraction, one kiss hot enough to start a wildfire across the prairie leads them to a little romantic hideaway in the attic over the garage, where they explore each other’s bodies.  Work around the ranch leads them in different directions during the day, but the nights are theirs for each other.  Greg can’t get enough of Emily, and he wants more than just her body.   They’ve agreed not to sleep together under his grandma’s roof out of respect, but he finds it hard to leave her at the end of each day.  So he begins to write her letters.  Surprised and so incredibly touched, Emily begins to write him back, and they embark on a romantic correspondence, much like her grandfather and his grandma did so many years ago.

I really enjoyed this book.  The letters exchanged back and forth reminded me of the letters my husband and I wrote back and forth before we began dating, as well as the letters we wrote while he was stationed overseas for 16 months after we were married.  I treasured those letters, much the same way Clarice and Emily treasured the letters their loves sent to them.  Sometimes it’s hard to express out loud what’s in your heart, but taking pen to paper can get the point across so eloquently.  (Twenty-five years married, and I still have some of those letters!)

This story is told from Emily’s and Greg’s points of view for the most part, but a few scenes are from Clarice’s and her friend Dotty’s points of view as well.  Clarice and Dotty both decided Emily is the right girl for Greg, and they set out to make sure they stick together, so their POV help the reader see their machinations behind the scenes.

This is a darling plot, and there’s some great humor here.  Some of the dialogue was stilted, and the characters tend to jump around a bit, leaping from asking a question, not waiting for the answer before jumping to another subject.  Once I got used to the author’s habit of doing this, I could read around it, and I really did enjoy the story.

Throughout the book, Emily notices the yellow sticky notes plastering the refrigerator, and placed strategically around the house.  Each one is a note, and each one has an answering note on it.  The family keeps them as well, putting them in a shoebox so they become a time capsule of notes.  I thought this was the sweetest idea to leave notes around the house, and although they see each other every day, they still answer the notes.  The ending is absolutely the sweetest, and it does involve sticky notes and a proposal.  It’s a must read for that alone!

Favorite Quote:  “The standard preacher’s sermon lasted half an hour and she tried to listen.  But with Greg’s whole body pressed up against hers in the short pew, the preacher could have been reading straight from Fifty Shades of Grey or one of the sequels.”


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