A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas [NOOK Book]

Overview

Quench your craving for good fiction with this wonderfully written Old West adventure. Hoping to leave the shadows of her shady yesteryears behind, Adeline Reid is focusing on her photography career. But when her ex-boyfriend’s compatriot in crime shows up in Dodge City her entire past is threatened by exposure. Can Addie keep her secrets while helping to catch a killer? Deputy Miles Carr’s investigation into a shopkeeper’s murder leads him to Addie’s door. Will his attraction to this female photographer keep him...

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A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas

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Overview

Quench your craving for good fiction with this wonderfully written Old West adventure. Hoping to leave the shadows of her shady yesteryears behind, Adeline Reid is focusing on her photography career. But when her ex-boyfriend’s compatriot in crime shows up in Dodge City her entire past is threatened by exposure. Can Addie keep her secrets while helping to catch a killer? Deputy Miles Carr’s investigation into a shopkeeper’s murder leads him to Addie’s door. Will his attraction to this female photographer keep him from catching the true culprit? Or will Addie lead him off course in more ways than one?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In this book, Ms. Vetsch gives Dodge City a reputation of civilized gentility not often found in romances about the Queen of the Cattle Towns.  History in the hands of a master storyteller is displayed. With many deep emotions, in this work the author weaves a powerful tale of conflict, suspense and romance.  Kudos to Ms. Vetsch for capturing this historical era  and giving readers a novel filled with wonderful characters, several unique subplots, and a surprising twist on the last page.
 
Set against a backdrop of historic Dodge City, Erica Vetsch utilizes the town’s rich history to create an enthralling historical romance.
 
-Irene Brand, Bestselling author of inspirational romance novels including Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe

Erica Vetsch delivers a rollicking adventure, where greed blurs the line between good and evil, and secrets lurk in Dodge City alleys. Only forever love can salvage the mess brewing in the wild, wild West. You'll love this one!

Patti Lacy, author of The Rhythm of Secrets 

As rowdy as cowboys fresh off a cattle drive yet as subtle as trail dust over faded tracks, A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas offers the reader a powerful story of long-guarded secrets tucked behind photography props and deputy badges--desperate measures to hide the truth capable of destroying lives. Erica Vetsch indulges the excitement of the old west using charm and sensitivity with every click of the camera shutter, making the reader sigh and smile well beyond the last page.

-Audra Harders

Rocky Mountain Hero

Love Inspired, January 2011 

Labor Not In Vain - Faith Oygard

Ms. Vetsch skillfully paints each character in such a way that you can almost see them before your very eyes. Every character was unique and had their own kind of charm. It's not often that I find a book with such good character development of such a vast array of the characters...The pages turned swiftly, and I couldn't help but be completely transported by Ms. Vetsch's lively writing style, her word choices were spot on, and fit the situations to a "T."

Overall, this book has it all action, adventure, mystery, romance, and great characters. Someone would be hard out not to enjoy this book, I know that I did. A lot of research was obviously put into this book, with details that bring this book to life. I heartily recommend this book, and look forward to reading more books from this author in the future.

RT Book Reviews

Vetsch has such a great sense of humor and her chracters are charming, interesting and hard to forget.  During the period of the book, it was rare for women to be photographers, but Adeline see beauty in everything and goes after her dream.

— Patsy Glans

Labor Not In Vain
Ms. Vetsch skillfully paints each character in such a way that you can almost see them before your very eyes. Every character was unique and had their own kind of charm. It's not often that I find a book with such good character development of such a vast array of the characters...The pages turned swiftly, and I couldn't help but be completely transported by Ms. Vetsch's lively writing style, her word choices were spot on, and fit the situations to a "T."

Overall, this book has it all action, adventure, mystery, romance, and great characters. Someone would be hard out not to enjoy this book, I know that I did. A lot of research was obviously put into this book, with details that bring this book to life. I heartily recommend this book, and look forward to reading more books from this author in the future.

— Faith Oygard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607425489
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: Brides & Weddings
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 379,353
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves books and history, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul mate, and avid museum patron.

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Read an Excerpt

A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas


By Erica Vetsch

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Erica Vetsch
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61626-506-9


CHAPTER 1

June 1, 1878


Uncle Carl had taught her that the customer should be accommodated no matter what, but surely there were limitations. Addie Reid pressed her fingertips against her temple. "You want to do what?"

"I want my picture made with my horse." "Sir, this isn't a livery stable. I do serious portraiture." The cowboy—so prototypical of the breed as to be comical with his wide hat, sunburned face, and bat-wing chaps—waved a scrap of newsprint in her face. "Read this here ad. It says 'Come to Reid's Photography to get your portrait taken with your trail pards and best friends.' This is your ad, ain't it? You are Reid's Photography?"

A small pang twisted Addie's heart. She was now. What if I can't do this alone?

"Well?"

"Yes, that's my advertisement, and this is Reid's Photography."

"Good. Then I want my picture made with my trail pard and best friend. I've got good cash money. Trail boss paid us off an hour ago. I got spiffed up down at the barbershop and headed right here."

"But sir, a horse? The advertisement is intended for humans."

"That horse"—he pointed through the open door to a dusty animal dozing in the sun on Front Street—"is the best friend and trail pard I've ever had. He's smart and gentle and has forgotten more about cow work than I'll ever know."

Which was either an accolade for the horse or an insult to the cowboy. She blew out a breath. "I can't haul the camera out into the street." Though she wouldn't risk moving the Chevalier for a simple portrait, perhaps she could use her smaller Scovill. Though the print would be smaller, too.

"I don't want no outside picture. I want it taken in the studio with one of those fancy backdrops. And I want the picture to be about this big"—he held up his hands about a foot apart—"so it will look good in a frame on the wall."

That ruled out the Scovill. A print that size would need the bigger camera. Her mind trotted back to what he'd said, and her jaw dropped. "You intend to bring a horse inside?" Jamming her hands on her hips, she shook her head. "No. Impossible. I'll take your picture, and it will be a good one, but the animal stays outside."

He tugged the corner of his enormous moustache. "I reckoned as much. No gumption. Should've known better than to come to a woman photographer. A man would understand. Guess I'll go over to Donaldson's. He offered to do it for me, but I wanted to give you a try at it first, since you're new in town and all. He said you'd be too timid."

Stung, Addie straightened. "Wait. Don't go." Donaldson's Photography three blocks down would be her biggest competitor, and Heber Donaldson had been the most vocal about the new photography shop on Front Street stealing his customers. "We can work something out." But it would have to be worth her while. She hesitated then quoted him a price.

The cowboy grinned. "That sounds fine to me. Donaldson was almost twice that. Don't you worry. My old Mudslinger's gentle as a spring breeze, and he'll stand quiet." He removed his hat and smoothed his hair. "You got a back door or something? I can lead him in that way."

"No, he can't come in through the back. That door's blocked off." She eyed the paisley-scattered rug in her reception room. "I suppose you'll have to lead him through here." This was ridiculous. Why was she even contemplating such a crazy idea?

Money. Pure and simple. She needed customers and couldn't afford to turn one away.

The cowpoke jammed his hat back on. "I'll fetch him in." He hustled outside as if afraid she might change her mind.

Which she should do. A horse in the studio?

Old Mudslinger's hooves clomped on the boardwalk and through the doorway, muffled on the carpet. She winced to think of horseshoe-shaped marks on the pretty red and blue rug but shrugged. Worry about the bank manager. Worry about convincing him to let you assume the mortgage. And while you're at it, maybe you should worry about how you're going to get this beast to hold still long enough for the exposure.

"This way." She hurried into the studio ahead of the horse and cowboy. The animal brought with him a whiff of sweaty hair and barnyard, hay and leather. Lovely. "Don't let him near the camera." In the center of the long room, her pride and joy, a glossy new Chevalier, stood on a tripod, the black drape hanging nearly to the floor. She crossed to a bench along one wall and pulled her order book toward her. Snagging a pencil from a jar, she held it poised above the page. "Can I have your name, please?"

"Call me Cracker. Everybody does."

"Very well, Mr. Cracker." She wrote the name and the date. He guffawed. "Not mister. Just Cracker. It's a nickname I picked up because I love those little oyster crackers like they serve over at the Dakota House. Can't get enough of those tiny things. I been called Cracker for about as long as I can remember."

Cracker and Mudslinger. Fran was not going to believe this. "Cracker, I've three backgrounds you can choose from, but I would suggest the landscape." She crossed the studio and tugged on the rope that raised the canvas curtain painted to look like a drawing room and lowered the heavy drape painted to look like rolling hills.

"Say, that's dandy." Cracker rested his arm across his saddle. Mudslinger stood still, one hind leg tucked up a bit, his ears drooping. Perhaps getting him to stand still wouldn't be a problem. Might be more challenging to make him look alive. Addie wrestled a plaster pedestal and a wicker chair out of the way and quickly folded a fringed piano scarf and tucked it away on a shelf. "Just what did you have in mind for a pose?"

Cracker rubbed his chin. "I want you to get all of us in the picture. Head to tail and hat to hooves. And could you make sure you get my rifle in the picture, too?" He patted the gunstock sticking out of a scabbard on his saddle. "This picture's for my mama back in Uvalde."

Why a picture intended for his mother would need to be bristling with guns, Addie didn't know, but once again Uncle Carl's voice in her ear reminded that above all else, she must try to accommodate the customer.

"Lead him around here then, so the rifle is on the side facing the camera. Are you going to be astride?" She stepped back as Mudslinger's haunches came around. If the man wanted to be in the saddle, she'd have to move the camera back, which would reduce some of the detail ... Her mind slipped into working mode, and she began to consider the lighting and the exposure time, the focal point, and how to achieve depth of field.

"Naw, I'll just stand beside him." Cracker looped the reins over the saddle horn and placed his hand on the pommel. He lifted his chin, shoved his hat back so it wouldn't shade his face, and stared off into the distance. "Like this. Like we're standing on a hill looking over a herd and dreaming of home."

Addie hid a smile. Cowboys might like to be thought of as firebrands and fearsome, but most were just boys with romantic notions and fierce pride. "That will be fine. You wait here while I prepare a plate. It won't take me a minute."

She ducked into the darkroom at the back of the building, struck a match to light the lantern, and lowered the red glass covering. Rosy light bathed the room, the workbench, the trays, and the rows of bottles and chemicals necessary to her job. She closed the door, shutting out all sunlight, and reached for a large glass slide to begin the process. Uncorking bottles and preparing the wet-plate washes, she shook her head again. A horse in her studio. If word got out, she might have a stampede of equine customers. Would that make the bank manager more amenable to her taking over the mortgage?

Just thinking of the meeting with the bank manager this afternoon made her hands shake. In her haste, she splashed a bit of silver nitrate on her cuff and wrist. Grrr. Grabbing the ammonia bottle and a rag, she dabbed at her skin. If she didn't get it off now, it would turn blackish-blue and take ages to wear off. Twisting her lips, she scowled at the once-white cuff now blotched.

She took precious moments to roll up her sleeves like she should've done right away and donned her work apron to cover her straight, blue skirt. She wouldn't have time to go back to her boardinghouse to change before meeting the bank manager, so now, in spite of the warm day, she'd have to don the matching jacket to cover the stain on her sleeve.

Finally, she had a prepared plate in the lightproof box. Entering the studio once more, she noted that neither cowboy nor horse had stirred. "I'll just get this into the camera. You'll both have to stand completely still until the plate has been exposed for the proper length of time. If you move even a little, the picture will come out blurred." She removed the lens cover and ducked under the drape to peer through the camera. She emerged, backed the camera up about a foot, and sighted again. Perfect. After replacing the lens cap, the black drape stifled all light. Operating by feel, she slipped the glass plate into the back of the camera and closed everything up.

When she emerged from beneath the cloth, she took a moment to tighten the combs keeping her upswept hair from teasing her face and studied Cracker. She approached him for some final adjustments. "Put one foot a bit in front of the other and let your left arm hang loose. You'll look more natural that way." She smoothed his collar and tilted his hat a bit more. The sunshine from the skylight overhead should provide enough illumination that she wouldn't need any flash powder. Just as well. The pop and glare of a flash might startle even the dozy Mudslinger into bolting.

"Make sure you get my pistol and knife in the shot." Cracker patted his gun belt.

"Of course." This was for his mother, after all. "Now relax, but hold completely still until I give you the word." She stepped back, surveyed the tableau, trying to see things through the camera lens in her mind, to see the finished product and predict if it would please the customer.

Gently, she unscrewed the lens cap. "Hold it." She counted off the seconds, added two more because the horse and saddle were so dark, then replaced the cap. "There. You're done."

Cracker relaxed a fraction then grinned. "Great. When will it be ready?"

"You can pick it up tomorrow, but you'll have to pay for it today." Uncle Carl always required payment from a cowboy before developing the picture, and she intended to follow his example. If she waited until Cracker came to pick up the photo tomorrow, chances were his money would've disappeared, siphoned off in one of the saloons or gambling halls. What took the average cowboy three months to earn on the trail up from Texas could be gone in a matter of hours in a cow town like Abilene or Dodge City, Kansas.

Cracker dug into his pocket and produced a wad of bills. He peeled off a couple, grinned at her, and added a third. "There you go, lady. A little something extra for you. And I'm going to tell everybody I know to come here to get their picture made."

He grabbed Mudslinger's reins and tugged. The animal roused, shuffled his feet, and ambled toward the door. When he came abreast of her camera, he paused. Addie let out a shriek.

Cracker yanked on the reins, but it was too late. "Whoops. I sure am sorry about that. He ain't exactly housebroke, you know."


* * *

An hour later, Addie had scrubbed the studio floor and her hands several times. Praying none of the stable odor lingered on her clothes, she stepped into the Dodge City Bank. The sturdy, brick building faced Front Street, as her own shop did, the main artery into and out of town bisected by the Santa Fe Railroad tracks. North of the tracks only about half the businesses were saloons. South of the Santa Fe rails, saloons, gambling dens, dance halls, and houses of ill repute abounded.

The smells of ink and beeswax furniture polish drifted over her. Everything in this bank bespoke prosperity, from the shiny woodwork to the burgundy velvet wallpaper to the gleaming brass hardware. A row of teller windows took up the left-hand wall. Patrons stood patiently in line waiting for their turns, and Addie took her place at the tail end.

Lord, please let the bank manager understand, let him give me a chance to prove I can do this. Because, truthfully, I have no idea what I'll do if he says no.

"Miss Reid?"

Someone touched her arm, and she realized she was standing in the middle of the bank with her eyes closed. Warmth spread across her cheeks, and she looked up into the bank manager's stern visage. "Mr. Poulter." She forced his name past her constricted throat.

"Please come this way. I'm glad to see you believe in being prompt. I despise being kept waiting." He sounded like he had a lemon rind stuck in his throat. Sour and raspy.

She followed, her pulse beating loudly in her ears. He led her to the half-wall that separated the civilians from the cash and held open the gate. Not a squeak from the hinges. Darting a glance at his intense expression, she doubted the gate would have the nerve to sound off.

"Please be seated." He waved her to a straight-backed and uncompromising chair set square before his immense desk. Behind the nameplate and blotter, Mr. T. Archibald Poulter settled into leather luxury. "I'm afraid I'm not sure why you wished to meet with me, Miss Reid. I am sorry for your loss, but I've looked over the agreement between this establishment and your deceased uncle." He spoke slowly, as if she might have trouble keeping up with his words. "The terms are very clear. As I told you at the funeral, in the event of your uncle's death, the mortgage is due in full. If you cannot pay the loan, the collateral will be forfeit."

She hadn't forgotten how he had approached her as she walked away from her last relative's burial service and given her the news. He couldn't even wait until the next business day. Word had it that Archie Poulter had a heart of pyrite. Cold, yellow, and pretty much worthless.

Try nice first. The reminder, floating through her mind from a long-ago schoolteacher, surprised her. Trouble was, Miss Ambrose had never met this bank manager.

"I, too, have read the documents, Mr. Poulter." Though it irked her to be treated as if she had no more sense than a prairie chicken, she kept her voice reasonable and professional. "I understand the terms of that agreement. I am not here to dispute them. I'm here to negotiate a new agreement with myself as proprietor of the business. I wish to assume the loan at the current terms."

His thin brows shot down over his hawk-like nose. "Yourself as proprietor?" He shook his head. "I'm afraid that would be impossible. The bank has never loaned money to an unmarried woman to finance a business. Unless ..." He leaned back in his chair and studied her. "Unless you have a male relative or business partner who would be a cosignatory on the loan?"

Addie moistened her lips and stifled the urge to roll her eyes. "No, there's no one else. But if you call in the mortgage now, all you'll get is photographic equipment and an empty building. The studio itself is collateral for the loan. Surely it would be in your best interest to let me continue running the business and paying on the mortgage."

He steepled his fingers under his chin. "Ordinarily, I would agree with you. It would be better to have another merchant assume the note. However, Heber Donaldson was in here just this morning, and he indicated he would be interested in purchasing the repossessed equipment from the bank. And a building on Front Street is never difficult to sell or rent. The bank wouldn't lose any money by calling in the loan."

Heber Donaldson. A thorn in their flesh from the moment she and Uncle Carl had stepped off the train three months ago. She throttled her handbag in her lap, clenching her fingers to stop them from shaking. "Mr. Poulter, please. The studio is my livelihood. It's all I know how to do. Without the studio, I have no way to support myself. I assure you, I'm a very good photographer. I know the business from the ground up. Photography, developing, bookkeeping. I've helped my uncle for years. If you won't give me a new loan, will you please give me time to pay of the debt? I'm only asking for six months." She'd have to live sparingly, and the summer season would have to be better than good, but she'd scrimp and save and scratch and claw to keep the studio. Six months would be pushing it, but she could do it if he'd only give her a chance. "Six months?"

"Just until the end of this year. By January 1, I'd be loan-free, and the bank would have the entire mortgage repaid with interest."

He squared up some papers on his immaculate desk and appeared to consider her request.

Hope sprang up when he didn't automatically shoot her down, but as the minutes crawled by, worry began to blot out that feeble hope.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch. Copyright © 2011 Erica Vetsch. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Fun!

    Quick witted, fun writting style, adorable romance. The author weaves history in with just the right touch and keeps you guessing how it all will end. I'll be looking for more bythis author.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Dodge City Comes Alive

    This historical view of Dodge City is realistic and gives in depth information about photography processes of the time, and the descriptions are in fine detail. The reader feels they are walking the streets of Dodge City. The characterization is well-written and we get several characters’ points of view as it is important. We see our hero’s insecurity, yet also see him as a strong character. The heroine is someone to fall in love with and we learn more of her past as we read. We also see that she can stand up and be strong. I enjoyed that the author brought in a historical figure, Bat Masterson. This was a figure I grew up hearing about through history classes and readings, and Ms Vetsch remained true to the historical character, yet made him real.

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  • Posted November 22, 2011

    wonderful story of overcoming the past

    A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch is a story about the lives of two people who are ashamed of their past; a past that binds them together in unexplicable ways. Ms. Vetsch pulls you into the thoughts, fears, and trials of Adeline and Miles with her excellent writing. We get to see how they overcome their own fears by focusing on the well being of others instead of just themselves.

    Well-written books allow us to see through the eyes of the characters and this one falls easily into this category. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end and look forward to reading more of this author's work.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Fun-filled Old West Romance

    A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch is delightful-doubly delightful in fact. Not only does the reader enjoy the tale of spunky photographer Adeline Reid and hunky deputy Miles Carr, but that of a second deputy and his shopkeeper's assistant sweetheart as well. Vetsch has crafted engaging characters I liked from the start. Addie's strength is admirable, but its her sheltered heart that drew me in. Miles is bold on the job, but he harbors doubts about his new-found faith that give him an endearing, vulnerable side. Vetsch brings Dodge City to life with her vivid imagery and does an excellent job with historical detail, weaving it in seamlessly. There's plenty of action and mystery to keep a reader flipping pages to find out whodunnit. And the touches of humor are a real treat. If you enjoy an Old West romance with plenty of heart-and a healthy dose of heart-pounding action-this is a story you won't want to miss.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    I enjoyed this book

    This interesting book might take place in Dodge-but it's not "Gunsmoke."
    The setting is not the Long Branch Saloon, with its "attached" brothel. Much of this book takes place in a photography studio, the sheriff's office, the mercantile, and the Wild West's streets.
    The leading man does carry guns on his hips, and he's a deputy working for the legendary Bat Masterson. Of course, the leading lady is the photographer.
    But another deputy, a gal that works at the mercantile, a slick handsome gambler that says he works for the railroad, also play a big part.
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a western like this written by a blacksmith, but a female wordsmyth who creates a symphony with words while she wraps the reader around her plot's baton?
    The whole book has a voice and style I enjoyed. The description is vivid and the characters so believable I probably will think of them when I pass through Dodge again.
    Here are a few samples of Erica's writing:
    Page 15: The smells of ink and beeswax furniture polish drifted over her. Everything in this bank bespoke of prosperity, from the shiny woodwork to the burgundy velvet wallpaper to the gleaming brass hardware. A row of teller windows took up the left-hand wall. Patrons stood patiently in line waiting for their turns, and Addie took her place at the tail end.
    "Lord, please let the bank manager understand.."
    Page 47: Miles' chest squeezed. Just because something was legal didn't make it right. The gambling, drinking, and immorality of Dodge City flew in the face of everything his newfound faith and God's Word told him.
    Page 255: Miles stared down at the unconscious form now sprawled across the bunk in the first cell. "I'm surprised you stood it for as long as you did. He had no call to say those things about Fran. He's sloppy drunk, and he's mean afterward." And more slippery than a pickled onion.
    This is one of those books that caught me in its pages and I found myself reading late into the night and once during a meal.
    I love this era, and I enjoy good writing. I definitely will be interested in reading more of Erica Vetsch's books.
    NOTE: I was provided a review copy of this book.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating Read!

    Nothing brings Addie Reid more pleasure than standing behind her Chevalier and capturing the potential of a person, and no place proves to be a more opportune locale for her portrait studio than Dodge City, Kansas--Queen of the Cattle Towns. When a dangerous acquaintance from her past steps into Dodge City, everything she has worked to build--and conceal--is threatened. Just sworn in as a deputy of Dodge City, Miles Carr longs to prove himself as a lawman. He also longs to court the beautiful female photographer. When a shopkeeper's murder occurs, Miles's investigation leads him to the portrait studio. As he works to unravel the truth behind the murder, he uncovers pieces of Addie's past that not only threaten to expose his own secrets, but that threaten to tear him and Addie apart. A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City is both entertaining and engaging. Erica Vetsch is careful to never reveal anything too early as she takes readers through unpredictable twists to unravel a plot with layers that will keep you hanging on every word. She constantly raises the stakes, continuing to plunge us deeper into the lives of characters who are just as much a mystery as the plot the itself. Her careful research of the early processing techniques and art of photography is meticulous, and she skillfully takes advantage of every detail she hands the reader. I especially loved the use of early photographic forensics in this novel. While it makes a minor appearance in the pages of this story, its use is fitting and written naturally into the plot. The romance element isn't as strong when compared to most historical romances, but she still arouses the reader with a heart-pounding affair. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves historicals and mysteries. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

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    Great Read!

    A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch ISBN 978-1-61626-506-9 Erica brings the reader to Dodge City, Kansas in 1878. We see cowboys who just brought cattle in, hear the music and ramblings from the saloons, laughter and drinking. We meet Sheriff Bat Masterson. And we meet Deputy Miles Carr, Deputy Jonas Spooner, Addie Reid & Fran Seaton and there is where the story is. Addie Reid has a photography shop and a deep secret. Uncle Carl and Addie had to leave Adeline and start over. Uncle Carl died and Addie takes the blame for having their lives ruined and the stress of everything. She is determined to pay the mortgage and continue her photography. She has to as it is all she knows. If her secret ever is found out she would be ruined once again. And seeing Vin Rutter in town could be an end to all she has. Miles Carr has just be deputized under the great Bat Masterson. He is going to shake his past history of being connected with the wrong people, not that he will let anyone know. He holds his secret close so he won't be judged or hung because of his past. Fran works at the Mercantile. The more she flirts with the cowboys the more they buy and the happier Hap and Wally are. The two cousins inherited the store from their grandfather. They fight often and Hap is a great guy but he'd rather gamble then help out in the story. Fran is looking for that tall dark stranger to come and give her the adventure she craves but her four protective brothers only trust Jonas, boring unexciting Jonas. Jonas has loved Fran and always prayed she would one day be his. Frustration and jealousy hit him every time he walks in the store to see her flirting with another cowboy. When she gives her attentions to Vin Rutter it really bothers Jonas as something about the man seems untrustworthy. On the fourth of July a series of events changes the lives of these four people in big ways. A fire in livery causes Miles to leave his post, when he returns a man is dead. Later that evening they go in the Addie's shop to find everything destroyed and the next night her room in the boarding house is as well. This is well written and she keeps the reader guessing on who done it. Book received through NetGalley for review

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas

    Adeline Reed is photographer in Dodge City, Kansas. She has a past that is less than savory past that she wants to keep buried.
       Deputy Miles Carr also has an unsavory past that he hopes will never get out despite his convictions about not telling.
       When the general store owner comes up dead, Miles is put on the case to find the killer. Addie takes a picture of the scene of the crime and it might hold secrets as to who the killer really is. So they work together to solve the case and find how it's connected to the break ins at Addie's business and boarding room.
    --------------------------
       This is a pleasant read. The descriptions draw you into the story and don't let you go until the very end. But, because it draws you in, you don't really realize until you pit it down that the action didn't start until almost the end.
       Addie and Miles' romance is sweet and somewhat simple, while the romance of Fran and Jonas is complicated and requires a rescue by Jonas for the romance to get a shove.
        The suspense part of the book isn't really suspenseful, it doesn't really leave you wondering or even make you stay up all night reading or thinking about it. The reason: it's predictable. I figured out who the killer was about halfway through the suspense portion of the book, but I won't tell who just in case you don't know. Also the killer wasn't a believable one.
       The story did end well though, it tied up all the loose ends nicely, but it just didn't wow me. In fact, I opened this book with high hopes of a suspenseful romance only to close it feeling jilted.
       Overall, it's a nice romance, but the mystery is predictable and unbelievable. I'd recommend this book for teens and adults. I give this book a three out of five.

    I received this book free from NetGalley and Barbour Publishings for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

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