Heartbreak Creek (Runaway Brides Romance Series #1)

( 20 )

Overview

From Kaki Warner comes an exciting new series about four unlikely brides who make their way west-and find love where they least expect it...

Edwina Ladoux hoped becoming a mail-order bride would be her way out of the war- torn South and into a better life, but as soon as she arrives in Heartbreak Creek, Colorado, and meets her hulking, taciturn groom, she realizes she's made a terrible mistake.

Declan Brodie already had one flighty wife who ran...

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Heartbreak Creek (Runaway Brides Romance Series #1)

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Overview

From Kaki Warner comes an exciting new series about four unlikely brides who make their way west-and find love where they least expect it...

Edwina Ladoux hoped becoming a mail-order bride would be her way out of the war- torn South and into a better life, but as soon as she arrives in Heartbreak Creek, Colorado, and meets her hulking, taciturn groom, she realizes she's made a terrible mistake.

Declan Brodie already had one flighty wife who ran off with a gambler before being killed by Indians. He's hoping this new one will be a practical, sturdy farm woman who can help with chores and corral his four rambunctious children. Instead, he gets a skinny Southern princess who doesn't even know how to cook.

Luckily, Edwina and Declan agreed on a three-month courtship period, which should give them time to get the proxy marriage annulled. Except that as the weeks pass, thoughts of annulment turn into hopes for a real marriage- until Declan's first wife returns after being held captive for the last four years. Now an honorable man must choose between duty and desire, and a woman who's never had to fight for anything must do battle for the family she's grown to love...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warner (Chasing the Sun) kicks off her Runaway Brides western series with this solid romance set just after the Civil War. With her family's Louisiana plantation to be auctioned off for back taxes, Edwina Ladoux answers an ad for a mail-order bride and journeys with her half-sister, Prudence, to the tiny town of Heartbreak Creek, Colo., to meet her new husband, widower Declan Brodie. Declan wants a "sturdy" woman to help run his ranch and raise his four children, and the thin Southern belle isn't what he expected. Edwina and Declan aren't sure their arrangement will work, but the two soon fall in love. However, things turn deadly when Lone Tree, an Arapaho with a grudge against Declan, decides to get his revenge via Edwina. Despite a bit of a deus ex machina, Warner delivers an engaging read full of likable characters and lovely descriptions of the rugged countryside. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425241226
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Series: A Runaway Brides Novel Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,028,963
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest. Although she now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, Kaki actually grew up in the Southwest and is a proud graduate of the University of Texas. Kaki now spends her time gardening, hiking, reading, writing, and soaking in the view from the deck of their hilltop cabin with her husband and floppy-eared hound dog.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another winner

    How do you top a series like The Blood Rose Trilogy by Kaki Warner? The men were wounded heroes worth sighing over. The women were strong enough, interesting enough, to stand beside their men without being overshadowed. The details were richly drawn and story both exciting and heartfelt. As I cracked the first page of Heartbreak Creek, the first book in Warner's new series, I held my breath, hoping for the best but knowing my expectations were high. I need not have worried.

    Everything I loved about Warner's writing is present in Heartbreak Creek, the first of the Runaway Brides books. While Warner originally won me over with her Blood Rose heroes, it is the heroines who captivated me this time. Four unique women head west seeking stability, adventure, lost loves or new lives. They bond through shared experiences and circumstance in spite of their differences. The seeds of their hopes, dreams, and future relationships are planted in the fertile ground of an unlikely setting: Heartbreak Creek, a decrepit mining town about to be changed forever.

    In the opening book, the stage is set as Edwina Ladoux flees the troubled Deep South with her half-sister, Prudence. Edwina hasn't been totally honest about her ability to be the rancher's wife her husband by proxy, Declan Brodie, needs and expects. Humorous and heart-tugging moments resulting from Edwina's lack of skill, her need to tame but also protect Declan's children, her loyalty to her sister and perseverance in spite of her flaws had me cheering for Edwina from the beginning.

    Declan is not what Edwina expected either but he was everything I hoped for as a reader. Larger than life, troubled but caring, the rancher who wanted a sturdy farm wife gets a challenging handful of a woman instead. His befuddlement with her is endearing. His insecurities and past history are intriguing. As Declan's relationship with Edwina evolves, more and more layers of his facade are stripped away, his past explained. I fell in love with him just as Edwina does.

    As much as Edwina and Declan shine, the strong secondary characters and story lines add to the appeal of this historical western romance. Prudence, Lucinda and Maddie are wonderfully written, without overshadowing Edwina. The town is a character all its own, facing its own challenges. As the series continues, I look forward to seeing the town evolve as much as I want to find out more about these four women. Heartbreak Creek is an excellent start to the Runaway Bride series. The next book can't come fast enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The fabulous first Runaway Brides western romance contains a strong cast

    In 1870 in war ravaged Louisiana, Edwina Ladoux signs over Rose Hill Planation to the bank in order for the land to be auctioned to pay back taxes. Answering a mail order bride ad, she and her half-sister Prudence Lincoln leave the South taking the train to Heartbreak Creek, Colorado where she is to marry widower Declan Brodie and help raise his four children.

    After meeting Maddie and Lucinda, Ed gets Declan to agree to a three month courtship as she fears she is not cut out for life on the frontier since she can't even cook and he knows his first wife ran away before being killed. As she and the Brodie quintet fall in love, his dead first spouse Sally comes home. Also arriving is Lone Tree seeking vengeance against the rancher from when Brodie was a sheriff.

    The fabulous first Runaway Brides western romance contains a strong cast and a vivid description that establishes time and place. Edwina initially seems like a fish out of water, but Ed wins over everyone she meets with her energy and élan. Although a late unhealthy contrivance abates some of the conflict, sub-genre readers will welcome this strong post Civil War romance.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Tess to Tim

    "If you ever read this im saying goodbye. You can find me at Dusklops result 3. Ask for me there. We might have moved. I love you. She ki.sses him one last time. Bye Tim..."

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Overall Rating: 4.85 // Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 4.5 / Romance: 4.

    Overall Rating: 4.85 // Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 4.5 / Romance: 4.0 / Sensuous: 1.0 / Suspense: 3.0 // Historical Flavor: 4.0 // Laughter: 13 / Grins: 3 // Tears: 3 / Teary: 1

    Heartbreak Creek: 4.85:
    Kaki Warner has another winner on her hands.  *Heartbreak Creek*, the first book in 'The Runaway Brides Trilogy' is a humorous, emotional, intriguing read -- from the first page until the last.

    Hero: 4.5:
    Robert Declan Brodie: It was so easy to fall for this tall, handsome, determined, rough, stubborn, silent rancher who also served as the town sheriff.  Warner peeled back the harsh layers that encased Declan to reveal that he recognized his own shortcomings and did, indeed, need a helpmate rather than a "sturdy" housekeeper.  You have to admire Declan for persevering in spite of the heavy weight of responsibilities he shouldered with a bit of humor, a compassionate and understanding nature, and a gentle touch when need be.

    Heroine: 4.5:
    Edwina Pricilla Whitney Ladoux: It was so easy to dismiss this piece of fluff when she was introduced, but Warner skillfully revealed a woman with a steel-spine and the perfect personality to save Declan and his children from a life of drudgery.  You couldn't help but fall in love with her as well.

    {quote} Ed -- the crazy, courageous woman who had worked her way past his bitterness to wrap her gentle, joyful spirit around his distrustful heart."  (Declan, page 260)

    Story Line: 4.0:
    Warner used the premise of making a desperate, destitute southern belle with few skills but flirting a mail-order bride to an overworked rancher, who needed help with his house and children.  The story worked when these totally opposing personalities clashed upon their initial encounter, but as Declan and Ed spent more time together, they learned there was more underneath the window-dressing and that they were perfect for each other.  He gave her security and she gave him hope and joy.

    Action: 3.5:
    Even though this story was not filled with 'wild, wild west' kind of action scenes, there were enough everyday calamities to keep the story moving at a strong, steady pace, which inspired constant interest.

    Emotion: 4.5:
    One of Warner's greatest gifts is her ability to inspire an emotional connection to her characters.  She addresses emotional issues that bring forth tears and then relieves the tension by inserting snarky thoughts and well-written scenes that bring forth, deep, heartfelt peels of laughter.

    Romance: 4.0:
    Declan and Edwina may have initially been disappointed in each other, but Warner is definitely skilled at causing them to be aware of the other as the story progressed.  Warner builds the romance by inserting lust and desire in entertaining ways, like Edwina complimenting Declan on his hand-crafted bedroom furniture.  And Edwina finds that Declan's kisses are nothing like that of her fumbling, young first bridegroom.

    Sensuous: 1.0:
    The biggest disappointment in Warner's romance books is that she closes the reader outside the bedroom door during the lovemaking scenes.  As a result, the spicy, sizzling sensuality factor is missing from the story.

    Suspense: 3.0:
    Warner keeps a nice aura of suspense permeating the book as she introduces contrasting personalities, force majeure, a villain bent on vengeance against Declan, and the specter of the first wife.

    Secondary Characters: 4.5:
    Warner created a tighter weave into the story line by adding wonderfully-developed, interesting secondary characters; namely, {1} Prudence "Pru" Lincoln, Edwina's mulatto sister; {2} Thomas Redstone, Declan's mostly Cheyenne friend; {3} two new girlfriends with whom Edwina and Pru exchanged girl talk, {a} Lucinda Hathaway and {b} Madeline "Maddie" Wallace; {4} Declan's unique children, {a} stoic "R.D.", (13-y-o), {b} prankster Joe Bill (9-y-o), {c} reserved Lucas (8-y-o), and {d} tomboy Brin (6-y-o); plus a number of other minor secondary characters to round out the story.

    Historical Flavor: 4.0:
    Warner is very talented when it comes to describing what the landscape of Colorado must have been like in the 1870s.  And she gets the clothing, method of travel, and structures right but for some reason she lets modernistic language leave the mouths of her characters.

    See Wolf Bear Does Books for a more in-depth, detailed review of *Heartbreak Creek*.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it! I have enjoyed everything I have read by Kaki Warner.

    Loved it! I have enjoyed everything I have read by Kaki Warner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    Blondie

    VERY good book - the laugh-out-loud kind!

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Winner, Winner, Winner!

    My first Kaki Warner and looking foward to reading more. The story of a former southern belle struggling after the civil war to find a safe haven for herself and her sister who was a former slave on her fathers plantation is full of rich characters and great plot twists. Go for it.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    Higly Recommended-must read

    Love this story can't wait for more in the runaway brides series

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    Good read!

    If you are looking for a little historical romance, but not too much 'history', then check this book out. Very nicely written. Kept me turning pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Great start to a new series!

    Kaki Warner is the master at the diamond-in-the-rough leading male character! One of the best aspects of this book is that the characters are flawed. The author doesn't try to pass them off as being two perfect protagonists who come together in the perfect relationship. The flaws add a sense of reality to this wonderful story which is well worth the read!

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