From Publishers Weekly
Set in the 1850s, the introductory volume of The Brides of Wildcat County series trots out a bonanza of stereotypes. The title character (born Shelby Amelia Bruneau) is the prima donna daughter of a brutish Georgia plantation owner. Married off to a man she barely knows, Shelby feigns illness to avoid his nighttime advances. She runs away after reading a newspaper ad offering free passage to the "gold fields" of California for fine ladies wanting to meet gentlemen suitors. This premise hardly seems tailored for young adult readers, nor does the rest of the plot. Once on board the Panama-bound ship that will take Shelby and the rest of the "brides" on the first leg of their journey West, the young woman (who "has a talent for deceit") adopts the alias of Savannah and finds herself attracted to Eli, the leader of the expedition. In no time at all Eli has her (willingly) pinned underneath him on a deck chair where "her lips against his neck felt warm and greedy." But many miles must be traveled?and a handful of subplots unraveled?before this contentious duo has a final spat and then gets back together. For devotees of adult romances only. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10?A historical romance series that focuses on eight young women who travel to a muddy, gold-mining town in California in search of a new and better life. Shelby (a.k.a. Savannah) is running from a stranger she was forced into marrying, and Eden is hiding a criminal background. These two 17-year-olds head for Last Chance as potential brides to unknown miners, and eagerly look forward to the adventures they will encounter in the wilds of the frontier. Savannah finds her destiny in the arms of the youngest son of the owner of the Bullock Gold Mine; Eden is a beautiful card shark whose past threatens to pull apart her newfound love for Josiah Bullock, the oldest son of the richest family in town. Both of these novels transport readers away from contemporary romance series like " Sweet Valley High," "Sweet Dreams" (both Bantam), and "First Love" (Troll) to offer young romantics entry into days of yore. Watson takes them on a fiercely paced ride with people, places, and events covering each story like a wool shawl on a wintry evening.?Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.