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The Anonymous Bride

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Fun Read

The Anonymous Bride was a light enjoyable read. Vickie McDonough did a wonderful job developing each of the characters in the story. The brides were fun and kept you guessing. I highly recommend this if you enjoy a book that makes you smile.

posted by Debbie_Lynne on July 30, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Is this a review or the whole book?

Some reviews seem overly long and detailed. Please just tell me if you liked the book!

posted by Knitting-MomJP on October 21, 2011

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  • Posted October 21, 2011

    Is this a review or the whole book?

    Some reviews seem overly long and detailed. Please just tell me if you liked the book!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    Fun Read

    The Anonymous Bride was a light enjoyable read. Vickie McDonough did a wonderful job developing each of the characters in the story. The brides were fun and kept you guessing. I highly recommend this if you enjoy a book that makes you smile.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    Awesome plotting

    This book was crafted by an excellent plotter - absolutely no sagging middle! Twists and turns and conflict and tension throughout the entire novel - not too much, not too little, but perfect. The chapters were about eight pages - enough to make you read one or two more before turning out the light.

    I really got a sense of the peacefulness surrounding Lookout, Texas in the late 1800's. This novel dealt with some sensitive issues in a careful yet clear manner. And the spiritual threads were very believable. I highly recommend this novel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010


    Three mail order brides and his childhood sweetheart compete for Luke's affection in this often comical yet deeply moving faith based novel by Vickie McDonough. Luke Davis's eleven year absence from Lookout, TX ends when he accepts the position of town marshal. His feelings for his childhood sweetheart Rachel Hamilton are complicated by his inability to forgive her for unexpectedly and abruptly marrying his friend, James. The arrival of the three mail order brides his cousins Garrett and Mark sent for on his behalf forces Luke to fully put his newfound faith in God as he struggles to give Rachel the forgiveness they both so desperately need.

    The Anonymous Bride has no shortage of well-developed, charming characters. Rachel Hamilton runs a boardinghouse to support herself and her high spirited, tomboy daughter, Jacqueline, who prefers the more masculine name Jack. Rachel's deep and abiding faith shines through in her everyday actions as she sets aside her feelings for Luke and invites the mail order brides into her boardinghouse.

    Jack's rambunctious and humorous antics coupled with her heartwarming relationship with Luke keep The Anonymous Bride moving at an even pace as Ms. McDonough introduces each of the brides who answer the mail order bride advertisement. All of the ladies have compelling reasons for moving out West and facing an uncertain future with a man they have never met. The strength of Rachel's character is apparent in her selfless interactions with each of the women as she unfailingly helps them in their quest to win Luke's affection.

    Faith and forgiveness lie at the heart of The Anonymous Bride as both Rachel and Luke demonstrate their belief in the power of prayer. Their unwavering trust and faith in God is absolute as they unhesitatingly put their fate in His hands. Fans of historical romance do not want to miss this delightful romance that resonates with vibrant characters and a compelling story line.

    Originally Posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

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  • Posted October 4, 2010


    If you are a fan of Vickie McDonough's Heartsong books, you will like this one twice as much. It holds the same tenderness, charm, and lovable characters with even more depth.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    I'm glad I read it.

    Call me weird but my favorite character in this book was niether Luke nor Rachel. My favorite is fiesty little Jacqueline. Or Jack as she prefers to be called.

    I enjoyed watching tomboy Jack fall in love with Luke in spite of herself. Loved how she became a matchmaker to insure the right bride won the contests.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    "The Anonymous Bride" by Vickie McDonough

    Luke Davis was jilted by his betrothed, now Rachel Hamilton, the widow of his 'best friend.' He developed deeply-seated wounds from this rejection. He'd left Lookout and joined the cavalry for 11 years to escape the pain. He decided to return to Lookout, face his past issues with Rachel, and move on. Little did he know that Rachel was widowed. His anger and unforgiveness towards her continued to simmer deep inside regardless of her availability for marriage.

    Luke unfortunately told his two cousins that he would marry when the right woman came around. So under his name the cousins invited five women to come to Lookout as a mail-order bride, thinking only one would answer. When faced with three of the five invited mail-order brides, Luke was stymied as to what to do. To avoid embarrassment and a possible lawsuit, the mayor 'suggested' that Luke pick a bride and marry her-thus the contests for the women to prove their worthiness to be his wife. Rachel's rekindled love for Luke is being challenged by these three brides.

    I enjoy books about the 1880s and mail-order brides, but this one took the prize-not one bride, but three arrived, without Luke's prior knowledge. I found the method the town sought to remedy the situation for these women humorous. It sounded absurd when it was first suggested, but then I realized the time period and the dilemma these women were in, and it made sense.

    When you read about why these women came, you'll find some outlandish, yet understandable reasons for answering the call for a mail-order bride. The competition issues between the brides were portrayed so realistically. This was a fun read for these reasons.

    What hit home the most, though, were the issues of forgiveness and faith for Luke and Rachel. Some spoke directly to my own heart, as I'm sure they will affect many readers. The need for repentance and intense prayer also come forward. Vickie's weaving of these issues are so poignant and important to the story and to our own lives. Application of these truths can help all of to mature-albeit not an easy thing without the Lord's help. Vickie's great storyline and spiritual messages are what I look for in Christian novels. Great job, Vickie!

    This book was provide free by Angie, Publicist at Barbour Publishing, Inc. for my honest review.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    Fantastic Read

    The Anonymous Bride captured me on the first page. It is full of adventure, laughter, and heartache. It's been a long time since I've read a book that had me wishing there was more. I want to know what happens to the other brides in this book! How often do you read a book that has you asking questions and wishing the rest of the story was within the pages of the book you just finished? For me, it doesn't happen very often.

    Thank you Mrs. McDonough for a fantastic read!!

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Old Western Fun

    The Anonymous Bride is a fun filled Wild West adventure I couldn't put down and didn't want to end. I enjoyed everyone minute of reading this book. Vickie gets into the heart and truth about forgiveness, what it is, what it looks like and how we can begin to forgive ourselves and others in our lives. I'm so thankful for a review copy of such a fun and meaningful book.

    I instantly adored the characters who reminded me a little bit of how they related to one another of the Beverly Hillbillies-western style! I smiled whenever young Jacqueline, who insisted on being called Jack, spoke up. Here is what she says to the new Marshall, "You put that dog in jail? What did he do?"

    "Stealing and being a public nuisance." Marshall says forcing away a grin.
    "heard tell he snatched a pie right out of Myrtle Williams' kitchen window."

    "Marshall, what's gonna happen to the dog? You ain't gonna hang'm are you? Jack said in all seriousness.

    I loved Jack's zest for life, her innocence and how she wasn't afraid to tell people what she thought. Rachael Hamilton, Jack's mom who's lived in the town of Lookout most of her life, thought things were good until Luke Davis came back to town as the new Marshall. There were hurt feelings between the two of them and for good reason! Could Luke Davis ever forgive Rachael for her betrayal? Rachael didn't think so-could she take his daily rejection?

    Three young ladies show up in this little town claiming to be mail-order-brides for Marshall Luke Davis. Luke doesn't know anything about these ladies and the whole town explodes in excitement trying to make sense of it all. The Mayor suggests to a contest between the woman to win the Marshall's favor and create some fun for the town, that's when the fun begins.

    This is the first book in the Texas Boardinghouse series. The sequel Second Chance Brides will be released the Fall of 2010, I can't wait.

    Nora St.Laurent
    ACFW Book Club Coordinator

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  • Posted May 1, 2010

    A Mail-Order Bride Romp

    When it comes to prairie romance, the mail-order bride concept is always a draw. Hmm, how could a gal get herself into such a pickle? What could draw someone to want to head into the wild west and marry a complete stranger? These questions intrigued me, as they might any romance reader, Vickie McDonough must have asked herself the same thing when she penned her new book from Barbour Publishing, The Anonymous Bride. Her answers made the book a galloping read.

    At the heart of the story are ex-cavalryman Luke Davis and his one-time sweetheart Rachel Hamilton and her little girl. Rachel jilted Luke eleven years ago and married his best friend instead. Now Luke has returned to Lookout, Texas as the new town marshal, and he realizes that the bitterness he feels for her still runs deep, even though she's a widow.

    His cousins, on the other hand, aren't so sure he's over Rachel, and they devise a scheme that'll either get them back together for good, or will have Luke married to someone else. The next thing you know, there are not one, but three mail-order brides coming to town, and a fourth yet to show. A contest for Luke's hand ensues, but it's an anonymous bride's competition that really heats things up.

    The Anonymous Bride was a romp to read. I especially like the way Ms. Mcdonough writes the extra characters. The cousins were my favorite. Their dialogue is crisp, witty, and real. The girls coming as brides each had remarkable stories of their own. I found their situations believable - enough so that I would've considered being a mail-order bride myself if I were in their shoes. And, there's an outside threat that keeps the reader wondering, too.

    Spiritually, the author was committed both to the tale and to showing the characters' struggles with faith and forgiveness. Mostly this works, but there was a place or two where I felt that the spiritual battle was more tacked in than an indigenous to the story.

    The only other criticism I had was that I felt like Luke Davis agreed to his cousins' schemes too easily. Even though the mayor was pressuring him to choose a wife for his job's sake, I had a hard time thinking that a tough, good-looking man with Luke's life experiences would agree to do it. But then, maybe there's plenty that would.

    Still, fiction lovers have to have a willingness to believe, and despite these minor details, the story was fun and fast reading. Carly Payton's character as one of the "brides" was an especially good twist. You'll have to read it though, to see why!

    3 ½ Stars for The Anonymous Bride, first in the Texas Boardinghouse Series.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

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    Book One of the Texas Boardinghouse Series, The Anonymous Bride is an authentic Wild West story. Author Vickie McDonough has done a fabulous job of placing the reader in the Wild West setting. The readers will be transported back in time to Lookout, Texas in 1886 where the hero is the new Marshall and the heroine is his ex-fiance.

    This book has it all - captivating setting, characters that you will love (well, most of them, anyway), humor and faith. And the "choosing the bride contests" are funny! This is a great book for your summer reading list.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Mail Order Bride Novel!

    I love a good mail order bride story and THE ANONYMOUS BRIDE was such a fun one!
    Marshall of Lookout, Texas, Luke Davis, isn't looking to get married, not at least until three brides arrive, brides he never asked for!
    The laughs were abundant as Luke finds himself placed in the middle of one town's determination to see him married.
    While the premise might sound farfetched, the novel wasn't. Each step made perfect sense and the characters quickly became real. The tension between Luke and the woman he loves, was strong and magnetic. It's fast paced and lively and I just love the friction between the three brides and the woman who really loves Luke.
    The contest scenes were hilarious, but my favorite part was when the brides all showed up. I could see it unfold before my eyes; I wouldn't want to be standing in Luke's boots right then!
    I loved the different threads woven through the book. From a disobedient child to a murdering, kidnapping outlaw. It kept me turning pages and I am so thrilled I was given the chance to read this book.
    This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for a copy to influence.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Read

    This is the first book I've read by Vickie McDonough and it won't be the last.If you enjoy historal romance with a twist then this book is for you. As a suspense writer, I especially enjoyed the last part of the story. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    A Delicious Read by Vickie McDonough

    Such a fun story! McDonough creates a heartwarming town in Texas I'd love to live in, as long as I could get a room at the Hamilton Boardinghouse and enjoy some of Rachel's fine cooking! The tension between the new sheriff, Luke Davis, and his former love, Rachel Hamilton, sets the tone for a fascinating story with all the right stuff - including Rachel's precocious daughter Jacqueline, who adamantly prefers to be called "Jack." Toss in three mail-order brides who show up out of nowhere, each expecting to marry the new sheriff, and the plot thickens!

    Enjoy a visit to Lookout, Texas as I did and see what all the fuss is about!

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Heart-felt and humorous - a fun read!

    After 11 years away, Luke Davis returns to Lookout, Texas as the new town marshal. But during the first day of his new job, he runs into an old heartache - Rachel Hamilton. Aware that she broke Luke's heart, and realizing she's still in love with him, Rachel asks for forgiveness, but he cannot give it.

    While Luke struggles with the memory of Rachel's betrayal, his cousins decide the best way to help him heal his broken heart is find him a wife. With a shortage of available women in Texas, the cousins post an ad in the paper and bring a mail-order bride to town. The scheme begins to unravel when three brides arrive!

    Chaos ensues when the Mayor decides Luke needs to marry one of the girls and the cousins decide the best way to pick a bride is to pit the women against each other in a contest. While the brides prepare to compete, they stay in the town boarding house - owned by Rachel Hamilton.

    Can Luke and Rachel find a way to live in Lookout together with the pain of their past? Do they have a future? And what about the 'boarding house brides'?

    Vickie McDonough's first book in The Board House Brides series is a delightful read. It captured my attention and kept me interested. I admit it - I read the last chapter of a book first - but even knowing how the story ended I found myself unable to put the book down. Her characters are colorful and intriguing, and their adventures are both heart warming and humorous. I couldn't wait to read more about them. Anyone who enjoys western historical romances should pick up this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    Refreshing, Engaging

    Vickie McDonough adds a refreshing twist to the classic mail-order-bride story by providing readers with not one but three brides-to-be, a reluctant prospective groom and, of course, the anonymous bride. For a story filled with engaging characters, look no further than The Anonymous Bride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    sweet as pie!

    Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough is as sweet as the pie Rachel Hamilton makes to tempt new sheriff and unrequited old flame, Luke Davis. Rachel, worried that Luke will reject her even more if he really knew what that past entailed, pours her love and angst into the meals she prepares for him. Then when three new females looking for a husband arrive in town, she despairs of ever having a second chance with him. Luke must decide if he'll ignore the sweet and only focus on the bitter, and whether he'll keep his love for Rachel anonymous after all.

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  • Posted March 30, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Laugh and Find Love

    Luke hasn't been back to Lookout for eleven years, so he is not sure what he expects to see. Certainly not the welcome he received from his old flame Rachel's spunky daughter. But as Lookout's new town Marshall, Luke is determined to pick up the life he left off and get Rachel out of his system once and for all. And he's not alone - unknown to him, he has the help of his cousins Garret and Mark - they want to find Luke a woman to settle down with him. However, as beautiful women begin to arrive in Lookout, Rachel and Luke are forced to deal with their feeling for each other and slowly rekindle the love they once had.

    I have not read any of McDonough's novels before, but this book was sweet. The plot gets right into the heart of the story by the fifth chapter, so there's no long waiting for something to happen. It was fun to watch the whole town get involved with the boardinghouse bride situation, with scenes that made me laugh out loud. Rachel's daughter Jack is a treat to watch, always getting into trouble with the other local boys. Rachel overcomes some difficult and trying times, but does so with grace, making her an inspiring character. Her actions will remind the reader to think about their own.

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted October 12, 2011

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