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The Marshal's Bride (Brides Along the Chisholm Trail) (Volume 1) Paperback – May 19, 2017
About the Author
Maxine Douglas first began writing in the early 1970s while in high school. She took every creative writing course that was offered at the time and focused her energy for many, many years on poetry. When a dear friend’s sister revealed she was contracted to publish a romance it was all Maxine needed to get the ball rolling. She finished her first manuscript in a month’s time. Maxine Douglas writes in several genres but renewed her love of the westerns she grew up when she wrote The Reluctant Bride for a series to help celebrate the 150th Anniversary of The Chisholm Trail. A Wisconsin native, Maxine currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband. While Maxine and her husband may miss their family and friends in the north, they both love the mild winters Oklahoma has to offer. They have established a home in a town southeast of Oklahoma City. They have four grown children, two grand-daughters, two Quarter Horses (mother and son), and a German Shorthair Pointer. And many friends they now consider their OK family.
Top customer reviews
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The writing style seems more assured in this book, not as simple as I found it in the first one, which influenced my decision to buy. At first it seems as if Gabe Hawkins could have a few problems as he hadn’t realised his mail-order bride, Abigail (Abby) Johnson was a widow. [This isn’t a ‘spoiler’ as it is in the first book]. A few hours after Abby arrives in Dodge, Gabe and Abby marry; certainly not something Abby was expecting so soon. After their marriage, Gabe drops his bombshell. They are moving further west into Indian Territory. Need I say that Abby was angry upon hearing this? A rocky start indeed.
On their way to Indian Territory their relationship grows and there is a quite a lot of good-natured bantering between them. They do seem to be an ideally suited couple and I really like the way the author develops their relationship organically, rather than forcing it. Like any couple who are virtual strangers there are adjustments needed to be made by both, uncomfortable moments and issues to be resolved, give and take required. Quite an achievement in a short story.
When Gabe and Abby finally arrive at their destination, it is to find that there is nothing very much at all in Fred, apart from a trading post and a few houses. The description of the log cabin that is to be their home is fascinating and I truly think the real women who went with their husbands into “the wilds” must have been women of amazing courage and fortitude. I found Chapter 7 heart-wrenching and it is a fine piece of writing that should touch a chord in all but the most cynical and hard-hearted.
There are several brief descriptive passages of writing that enhance the settings the author is creating. There is some tension in this book, and it has more depth than Book 1.
Bottom line: I enjoyed this book and became immersed in it in a way I didn’t feel in Book 1. I feel the writing style is tighter and more sophisticated than I found in Book 1. I also feel the characters of Gabe and Abby are more real and rounded than Logan and Rose, and I find myself invested in them, so that I care what happens to them.
There are a couple of inconsistencies, and adjectives used instead of adverbs, typos and one homophone that I can recall. I am being a bit picky here I know, but they did catch my attention.
The road to a happy ending isn't exactly smooth for Gabe and Abby, as Gabe makes some pretty big mistakes right off the bat, but the real problems they face are deeper than I expected. I'd assumed, like in many other books, they'd have some trouble where they just needed to talk to one another and clear up a silly misunderstanding. Douglas lets the story unfold in an organic way, which ends up deviating from the standard romance plot in surprising places that I don't want to spoil. It was nice to watch the relationship between Gabe and Abby develop through the book as though they were real people, getting to know one another, adjusting to the awkwardness of a mail-order marriage, dealing with hardship and danger and terrible surprises along the way. In the darkest moments of the book, it's absolutely heartbreaking, but that makes the light spots so much sweeter.
This is the first book I've read by Maxine Douglass, but I don't think it will be the last. I want to know more about her other brides in the series!
Most recent customer reviews
And I truly wasn't sure what to expect, but since I love romance books, I thought it might be a book I would love to...Read more