Second Chance Brides

( 23 )

Overview

Fans of The Anonymous Bride, will feel for Shannon O’Neil and Leah Bennett who are stranded in Lookout, Texas, without husbands or future plans. Thankfully, the marshal has ordered the rascally Corbett brothers to pay for the women’s lodging at the boardinghouse, but will the brothers’ idea of hosting Saturday socials really bring these women the kind of loves they long for? Will Shannon choose to marry just for security? Will Leah reject love when the challenges mount?

...
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Overview

Fans of The Anonymous Bride, will feel for Shannon O’Neil and Leah Bennett who are stranded in Lookout, Texas, without husbands or future plans. Thankfully, the marshal has ordered the rascally Corbett brothers to pay for the women’s lodging at the boardinghouse, but will the brothers’ idea of hosting Saturday socials really bring these women the kind of loves they long for? Will Shannon choose to marry just for security? Will Leah reject love when the challenges mount?

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Editorial Reviews

RT Book Reviews - Angie Howatt

This is the second book in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, but the author quickly brings the new reader up to speed, and gives a sweet, heartwarming story with lovable characters. Readers will sympathize with Shannon and Leah and their desperation to improve their lives. Painting a descriptive picture of small-town life, this book is an easy escape into a historical setting.
Midwest Book Review - Suzie Housley

Vickie McDonough has done a magnificent job in writing Second Chance Brides - Texas Boardinghouse Brides, Book 2. For those who may have missed the first books in the series never fear this book can easily stand to be read alone. Characters such as Shannon and Leah warm a reader's heart, you hate to see the last page end for you know that you will have to say goodbye. I look forward to seeing the next installment in this highly addictive series.
Never A Dull Moment - Angela Robinson

I really enjoyed Second Chance Brides and can't wait to read the next book in the series. If you enjoy sweet romances then I would highly recommend not just this book but this series. :)
TitleTrakk.com - Nora St. Laurent

This is a book I devoured and had so much fun reading. You’ll enjoy Vickie’s fun and memorable characters, along with a story that kept me entertained and thankful I live in this time period.
RT Book Reviews
This is the second book in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, but the author quickly brings the new reader up to speed, and gives a sweet, heartwarming story with lovable characters. Readers will sympathize with Shannon and Leah and their desperation to improve their lives. Painting a descriptive picture of small-town life, this book is an easy escape into a historical setting.
Angie Howatt
Midwest Book Review
Vickie McDonough has done a magnificent job in writing Second Chance Brides - Texas Boardinghouse Brides, Book 2. For those who may have missed the first books in the series never fear this book can easily stand to be read alone. Characters such as Shannon and Leah warm a reader's heart, you hate to see the last page end for you know that you will have to say goodbye. I look forward to seeing the next installment in this highly addictive series.

— Suzie Housley

Elaine McAfee

This book was easy reading, and just the right mix of drama and laughter due not only to the difficult situation Shannon and Leah found themselves, but also because of the other mixture of characters they come across in their journey.I definitely recommend that you take the time to read this book.
Never A Dull Moment
I really enjoyed Second Chance Brides and can't wait to read the next book in the series. If you enjoy sweet romances then I would highly recommend not just this book but this series. :)
Angela Robinson
TitleTrakk.com
This is a book I devoured and had so much fun reading. You’ll enjoy Vickie’s fun and memorable characters, along with a story that kept me entertained and thankful I live in this time period.

— Nora St. Laurent

RT Book Reviewss
This is the second book in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, but the author quickly brings the new reader up to speed, and gives a sweet, heartwarming story with lovable characters. Readers will sympathize with Shannon and Leah and their desperation to improve their lives. Painting a descriptive picture of small-town life, this book is an easy escape into a historical setting.
Angie Howatt
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781624162626
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Series: Texas Boardinghouse Brides , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 481,134
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher,

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Read an Excerpt

Second Chance Brides


By Vickie McDonough

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Vickie McDonough
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60742-202-0


CHAPTER 1

Lookout, Texas

August 1886

* * *

Any moment, the wedding would commence and signal an end to her dreams. Shannon O'Neil cast a longing glance back toward the safety of the boardinghouse. Whoever heard of a mailorder bride attending the wedding of the man she was to marry—especially when he was marrying someone else? "We should not be here." Her voice trembled almost as much as her legs.

Her gaze flitted over the huge crowd gathered in the open field next door to the church. Only because her friend Rachel had requested her presence had she agreed to come. "People are staring at us."

Leah Bennett sidled up beside her, mouth twisted to one side. "They've gawked at us ever since we came to town. Besides, we've got just as much right to be at this wedding as anyone else. Even more if you ask me. All things considered."

Shannon shored up her apprehension and forced her steps forward. She squeezed through the group of men clustered around an array of makeshift benches and hurried toward one of the few remaining spots on the back bench.

Several men gaped at them and whispered among themselves. That was nothing new, since she and Leah were mail-order brides without a groom. She'd been in Lookout more than a month but still hadn't gotten used to being the focus of attention. Shannon dropped her gaze to the ground, but that did nothing to silence the loud murmurs. Leah sat next on her left, her nose pointed in the air, not in the snooty way it sometimes was, but in a way that dared anybody to challenge her right to attend the wedding.

"I can't believe they had the nerve to show up," a man to their right slurred, his tone dripping sour like unsweetened lemonade.

"They'll ruin everything," another said.

"Of all the nerve. This is Luke and Rachel's special day, not theirs."

Crushing the handkerchief in her hand, Shannon willed her trembling to cease. But her efforts were futile. She leaned toward Leah. "Perhaps 'twould be better if we left."

"We're staying put. Rachel wants us here, and that's what matters. If those folks don't like it, they can leave." The sternness in Leah's voice made Shannon feel like a scolded child. If only she had Leah's boldness, perhaps her future wouldn't look so bleak.

Shannon peered up at the ash gray clouds—clouds that mirrored her future. Clouds that swirled in waves, taunting and threatening like a schoolyard bully.

Never had she seen clouds such as these, not in all of Ireland nor during the seven months she'd lived in America.

The oppressive heat sent streams of sweat trickling down her temples, back, and chest. A canvas canopy erected to protect the bride and groom in the event of rain lifted on the breeze and deflated as if it were a living, breathing being.

Let it rain. At least if showers fell, no one would notice her tears.

Men stood in a rough half-circle around the benches their womenfolk and children filled—benches they had constructed over the past few days. The pounding of their hammers had resembled a death knell to Shannon, with each whack bringing her closer to the end of another dream.

She looked around at the growing crowd. Nearly the whole town had turned out to see Lookout's marshal, Luke Davis, marry Rachel Hamilton, the owner of the boardinghouse—the very same boardinghouse where Shannon resided. The very same marshal she had expected to marry. Shannon's chin wobbled.

"Don't you dare cry, you hear me?"

Shannon blinked her moist eyes, stiffened her chin, and glanced at Leah. She, too, had come to town, expecting to marry the marshal, although she seemed less distraught than Shannon felt over losing him. She clenched her hands. What was she going to do now? Would she never have a home of her own?

Leah leaned closer, her lips puckered as if she'd eaten a persimmon. "If I can make it through this wedding without weeping, so can you. We're Texans now, and you're gonna have to find a backbone if you plan to survive here."

Leah was right. Crimping the handkerchief tighter, Shannon turned to face the front where the parson had taken his place. A fiddler off to the right zipped his bow across the strings, playing a lively tune she'd never heard before. The trees shimmied and swayed, dancing in the brisk breeze, cooling Shannon's damp neck.

Leah might be in the same boat as she, but the pretty blond had a family to return to—she just chose not to do so. Shannon would give anything to have her parents back, but no sooner had they stepped onto the shores of America than they'd come down with influenza and died. With her three siblings already dead and buried back in Ireland, she was completely alone in a foreign country.

Why hadn't God healed her parents when she'd begged Him to? Her throat stung as if she'd run a race in winter's chill. But the only thing cold in Texas was her future.

Sympathetic glances swept her way, along with the others. How was it possible to be so alone in such a large crowd?

Leah leaned toward her. "Here he comes."

The murmurs silenced as Luke Davis strode past the front row of townsfolk and took his place next to the parson. His two conniving, hooligan cousins, Garrett and Mark Corbett, followed, along with the old yellow dog that rarely let Luke out of his sight. The dog sniffed Luke's shoes, sending chuckles rippling through the crowd. Jacqueline, Rachel's ten-year-old daughter from her first marriage, sat on the front row. She smacked her lips, and Max lumbered over to her and laid down at her feet. Jack, as the mischievous child preferred to be called, would benefit from having a kind man like the marshal for a father.

A sigh of longing slipped from Shannon's mouth as she pulled her gaze back to Luke. He looked so handsome in his new suit and hat. He was a comely man, in a rugged way. But her marriage to him had been doomed before she ever set foot in Lookout. Just imagine—three women coming to town to marry him when his heart already belonged to a woman who'd stolen it more than a decade before. Now, two of the marshal's mail-order brides were stuck in Lookout while the third was locked up in a jail in Dallas for bank robbery. Shannon shook her head and clutched her handkerchief to her chest. What a kettle of nettles.

And now that the marshal was marrying, she was stranded in one of the smallest towns she'd ever been in outside of Ireland. But this wasn't the first time, and if she had managed before, she could do it again. She dabbed at her eyes and stiffened her back. The music grew louder, and heads turned toward the rear of the crowd. Shannon stood along with the others, but her gaze didn't search out the bride. How could one feel happiness and sorrow at the same time?

Rachel passed Shannon's row and walked toward her groom, looking beautiful in the cream-colored dress her aunt had brought from Kansas City. The bride held her Bible in front of her, and on top lay a bouquet of daisies tied together with flowing rose and lavender ribbons that fluttered on the gusty breeze. Shannon sighed at the joyful smile on Rachel's face.

If Shannon ever doubted the marshal's love for his bride, she did so no more. His face all but glowed, as if he'd battled a hard-fought race, come out the victor, and won a coveted prize. Would a man ever look at her with such love in his eyes?

"I now pronounce you man and wife." A cheer rang throughout the crowd, and Shannon jumped. She blinked, realizing she'd been lost in thought and had missed the whole wedding.

"Well, that's the end of that." Leah stood and looked around. "There are plenty more unmarried men we can set our bonnets for."

Leah might be snippy and bossy at times, but Shannon admired her determination. They'd once been competitors, but being the losers of the bride contest had put them in the same wagon, and they were becoming friends.

Shannon studied the townsfolk swarming the newly married couple, offering their congratulations. Men outnumbered women ten to one. "Aye, there's truth in what you say. There surely are many men in Texas."

"I suppose we should make our way over to the refreshment table and help serve. I know Rachel was hesitant to ask for our help, given the situation and all, but it seems the least we can do."

Shannon nodded and followed Leah over to the west side of the church, where a makeshift table had been erected with sawhorses and wooden planks. A lacy white tablecloth hid the ugliness and boasted the biggest cake Shannon had ever seen. "Miss Dykstra surely outdid herself makin' that lovely cake."

Leah nodded. "Don't know as I've seen one so big before. Why, it must measure three feet across."

"Aye, and 'tis so colorful." Lavender and yellow flowers dotted a green ivy vine that encircled the cake. Large letters saying, Congratulations to Luke and Rachel, along with the date, filled the center of the cake, which she hoped would serve the whole crowd. A haphazard collection of plates in various colors and designs were stacked on one end, as well as a collection of mismatched forks. It looked as if every family in town had donated their plates and forks to be used for the wedding.

A trio of ladies Shannon recognized from the church stood behind the table, awaiting the guests. All three cast apologetic glances at her and Leah. Shannon doubted a soul in attendance didn't know her odd circumstances. She glanced down at the ground and felt a warm heat on her cheeks. She despised being the center of attention and hoped that with the marshal now married, chatter about the boardinghouse brides—as she and Leah had been dubbed—would die down.

"You ladies need any help?" Leah offered.

Sylvia Taylor, the pastor's wife, smiled. "We just might at that. There's quite a crowd here today, and we need to hurry before the storm lets loose."

"Yes, that's true. I suppose everyone wanted to see for themselves that the marshal was truly marrying Rachel Hamilton and not one of you two," Margie Mann said.

Mrs. Taylor's brow dipped, while Agatha Linus's brow dashed upward.

"Now, Margie, I don't think that's a proper topic of conversation today. These young ladies are well aware of the importance of this event." Sylvia, always the peacemaker, Shannon had learned, tried to calm the turbulent waters Mrs. Mann had stirred up.

"Well"—Leah looked around the crowd—"I don't think we'll have much trouble finding another man to marry."

"It's true that there are many unmarried men in these parts," Mrs. Taylor said, "but don't jump into anything. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, and you want to be sure you marry the man God has set aside for you. You're both still young and have plenty of time to find a good man to marry."

Shannon pursed her lips. Plenty of time, aye, but an empty purse and no way to survive had driven many a woman into the arms of a less-than-acceptable man. That was why she had agreed to marry the marshal before meeting him. A man who enforced the law must be honorable and upright. Only she found out later that it wasn't Luke Davis who'd penned the letters asking her to come to Lookout to marry him but rather one of the Corbett brothers pretending to be Luke. Her gaze sought them out and found them plowing their way through the crowd, making a path so the bride and groom could get to the cake table.

The Corbett men were quite handsome, similar but different. They both had those sky blue eyes that made a woman's heart stumble just looking into them. Blond hair topped each brother's head, but Mark's was curly while Garrett's was straight. Mark's face was more finely etched than Garrett's squarer jaw. But they were pranksters, full of blarney, the both of them. Jokers who'd turned her life upside down. She clutched her hands together at the memory of that humiliating bride contest. Four women competing for one man's hand. Who'd ever heard of such shenanigans?

Mrs. Mann cleared her throat, pulling Shannon's gaze back. "I don't mean to be rude, but it's probably best that you not help serve." She glanced at the bride and groom, halfway to the table, with Rachel's daughter holding on to the groom's right arm and grinning wide. "It might be distressing to the Davis family, what with all that's happened."

Leah scowled but nodded and turned away. Shannon realized what the woman meant. What bride wanted the women who'd competed for her husband's affection to help with her wedding? She slunk away and found a vacant spot under a tall oak tree, whose branches swung back and forth in the stiff breeze. Holding her skirts down, she searched for Leah and found her talking to a stranger.

A man cleared his throat beside Shannon, pulling her gaze away from Leah. A heavy beard covered the short man's smallish face, and dark beady eyes glimmered at her. "I was wonderin'." He scratched his chin and looked away for a moment. Shannon couldn't remember seeing him before. He captured her gaze again. "I ain't got a lot, but I do have a small farm west of town and a soddy. Since you ain't marryin' up with the marshal, I was hopin' we could get hitched."

Shannon sucked in a gasp. Was the man full of blarney? Why, he had to be twice her age. His worn overalls had ragged patches covering every inch of his pants' legs. He scratched under his arm and rubbed his beard again. She hated hurting people's feelings, but she could not marry this man, no matter how much she longed for a home. "Um ... thank you for your generous offer, sir, but I don't plan to stay in Lookout. I'll be leaving by the end of the week."

His mouth twisted to one side. "I didn't figger you'd wanna marry up with me, but I had to ask. Guess I'll try that blond, though she's a might uppity for my taste."

With a mixture of relief for herself and pity for Leah, Shannon watched him approach her friend. Leah's eyes went wide, and then she shook her head. The poor farmer shuffled away and disappeared into the crowd.

As the last of the people wandered toward the refreshment table, a mixture of glances were tossed her way. She felt odd being at the marshal's wedding, and yet she'd wanted to support Rachel, who'd been so kind to allow the brides to stay at her boardinghouse. How difficult that must have been for Rachel when she was still in love with Luke.

Pushing her way through the people, Shannon drifted to the edge of the churchyard. She'd done what she felt was needed, and all she wanted to do now was to get away from the gawking townsfolk. She walked toward the street, feeling relieved to have made her getaway.

* * *

Mark shoveled cake into his mouth and watched Shannon O'Neil wander through the crowd, looking lost and alone. His gut tightened. With her auburn hair and pine green eyes, she reminded him too much of another pretty woman—of a time he'd just as soon forget. But he couldn't forget Annabelle any more than he could ignore his brother.

He tore his gaze away and handed his dirty plate and fork to the preacher's wife, knowing it would be quickly washed, dried, and returned to the cake table for someone else to use.

"Some wedding, huh? And pert near the best cake I've ever eaten," Garrett said. "Think maybe I'll get Polly to bake one up for your birthday."

Mark shot a glance sideways at his brother. "Just so you don't go orderin' me a bride like you did Luke."

Garrett grinned wide. "You ordered one, too, if I remember correctly."

Mark's lips twisted up on one side, and he ignored Garrett's comment. "It's good to see Luke and Rachel finally wed."

"I wondered if he'd ever get around to marrying. You suppose our ordering those brides had anything to do with it?"

Mark shrugged, wishing he'd never allowed himself to get caught up in his brother's scheme to marry off their cousin. If he hadn't, he never would have written to Miss O'Neil on his cousin's behalf, and she wouldn't be stranded in Lookout right now, stirring up rotten memories. "I reckon the Lord wanted Luke and Rachel together. Our messing with things just made them worse. Kind of like when Sarah in the Bible gave Abraham her maidservant."

"Oh, I don't know about that." Garrett rubbed his chin with his forefinger and thumb. "We've got two more pretty women of marrying age in Lookout than we had before. That can't be a bad thing."

Mark shook his head. From the tone of his voice, Garrett was scheming again, and this time Mark wanted nothing to do with it. They'd be out plenty of money before Miss O'Neil and Miss Bennett found a way to support themselves or got husbands, since the marshal had ordered him and Garrett to pay the ladies' room and board. Never again would he let his brother sway him into one of his schemes. Pranks were meant to be fun, but people kept getting upset at them.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Second Chance Brides by Vickie McDonough. Copyright © 2010 Vickie McDonough. 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
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2010

    Fantastic Read

    Second Chance Brides centers on Leah and Shannon, the two rejected mail-order brides from Vickie McDonough's The Anonymous Bride. Stranded and penniless, Leah and Shannon are still living in Rachel's boardinghouse following Rachel's marriage to Luke. Both women find their faith in God strengthened as they learn that while it may not yet be apparent to them, He has a reason for bringing them to this small Texas town.

    Shannon O'Neil is an Irish immigrant whose parents died soon after their arrival in America. An only child, Shannon eagerly accepted the opportunity to create a new family for herself by becoming a mail-order bride. Now that Luke is happily married to Rachel, Shannon realizes that she, too, wants to marry for love. With few prospects for work, Shannon finds herself working for the two men who brought her to Lookout, Mark and Garrett Corbett. Shannon is beginning to fall in love with Mark, but a secret from his past prevents Mark from acting on what is in his heart. Will Mark find a way to forgive himself for past actions before he loses Shannon forever?

    Leah Bennett chose to become a mail-order bride to escape an unwanted marriage to a man twice her age. The oldest of eleven children, Leah's childhood was consumed by caring for her younger siblings. She and livery owner Dan Howard quickly fall in love and plan their wedding. However, unforeseen circumstances threaten their future, and Leah finds that God's plan conflicts with what she has envisioned for herself.

    Friendship becomes a central theme in Second Chance Brides. Now they are no longer vying for Luke's hand in marriage, Rachel, Shannon, and Leah have become steadfast friends who provide spiritual and emotional strength for one another. Rachel's daughter, Jack, find herself questioning her loyalty to friends that involve her in situations that often conflicts with her Christian beliefs and upbringing.

    Second Chance Brides is faith based historical fiction at its best. Ms. McDonough's characters are engaging and authentic as they incorporate their faith in their day to day lives. Fans of inspirational historical romance will not be disappointed in this wonderfully plotted, fast paced novel that quickly works its way into the reader's heart.

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    Delightful Sequel

    If you read Vickie McDonough's first Boardinghouse Brides book, you know there were two disappointed mail-order brides. This delightful sequel to The Anonymous Bride answers the question of what happened to them. Starting with a bang - actually, a tornado - it's a fun-filled story of love, faith and second chances that will leave you saying, "more, please."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Read!

    I really enjoyed this quick read. This is the second book in the Texas Boardinghouse Series. Shannon O'Neil a beautiful Irish orphan, and Leah Bennett a lovely woman who has been mothering children since she was a little child. They are the leftover brides from the first book, and the Corbett brothers are now responsible for their lodgings.
    Loved the twist and turns of this story. Some of the happenings will bring you chuckles and others you will need tissues. What all of the characters have to learn is to trust in God. They need to have forgiveness for others and for themselves. They need to follow their hearts and accept the paths the Lord has chosen for them.
    You can read this book without reading the first book, things are explained enough that you won't feel you are missing something.
    I was provided a copy of this book by the Publisher Barbour Publishing, I was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    Wonderfully fun!

    Vickie is a master at making her characters come alive. Not just her hero and heroines, but her secondary characters jump off the pages. In book two of her Boardinghouse Brides series continue to follow the lives of the people of Lookout, Texas. She brings back the characters you fell in love with in the first book and continues to weave the stories of their lives. Vickie did a fabulous job in not only the characters, but in making you feel like you are living the history. If you are looking for a good series, look no more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2010

    Double the Trouble and Twice the Romance

    Shannon O'Neil and Leah Bennet came to Texas looking for husbands only to find out they've been tricked. Their matrimonial prospect up and married someone else. Now they're down and out, stranded and loveless, and everyone in town knows about it. Can the troublemakers who started it all redeem themselves and maybe lose their hearts in the process? McDonough writes yet another warm tale of romance and hijinks, which is why she'll always be one of my favorite authors.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough

    With a great premise, Vickie McDonough does it again in this sequel to The Anonymous Bride.
    What do you do with two leftover mail-order brides? Well, Shannon and Leah find out in this delightful historical romance. The author takes you to Lookout, Texas and with humor and intrigue shows us the answers. Great characters, from the kids, especially Jacqueline, to the towns people, and then of course the Corbett brothers, are found throughout the story. I am looking forward to the third offering in this trilogy. Dare we hope it is the story of Jacqueline?

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    Two Romances for the Price of One

    Fans of Vickie McDonough's Anonymous Bride will adore this second installment of the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. Shannon and Leah, two of the mail-order brides from book one, were left in Lookout, Texas with no prospects and no means of providing for themselves. However, in the opening of Second Chance Brides, a tornado whips through the small town and stirs up more than just dust as these two women come to see how God's provision can lead them to something even better than what they first imagined.

    Spunky Leah has definite ideas about what her future should look like and has to make a tough choice about whether to hold on to her old dreams or let God grant her some new ones. Shy Shannon develops feelings for the last man in town she should consider, but will his past keep them apart?

    Vickie McDonough crafts a fun read with characters I enjoyed getting to know more intimately after reading book one. Lighthearted and fun, with spiritual themes that resonnate, this is a book her fans will love!

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    Great Characters, Multiple Plot-Lines well-woven

    I think I liked this book even better than The Anonymous Bride, Ms. McDonough's first book in the Texas Boardinghouse Bride series. When I finished book one, I'd become especially enamoured with a pair of secondary characters, brothers Mark and Garrett Corbett. This lively, well-crafted pair deserved their own story, and now they have it in Second Chance Brides.
    They created quite a debacle when they sent for mail-order brides -- three of them -- for their cousin Luke in book one. Of course Luke could only marry one bride, and as it turned out, two women were left unaccounted for, stranded without home, husband, or prospect in the tiny town of Lookout Texas. The ladies now have to think of something quick, or remain dependent on the Corbett brothers for the foreseeable future. Of course, in 1800s Texas, women are in shortage, and there are ample opportunities for them to wed. But both of them hope to wed for love alone.
    In the meantime, one of the Corbett brothers has an unshakeable past that keeps him from being able to take hold of the future, a future that could involve one of the left-over brides. As for the other bride, her determination to stick to her own notions of freedom could cost her the love of her life.
    Ms. McDonough did a fine job of interweaving several story lines together. With a broad cast, and more than one central pair of characters, she had the difficult task of making us care about each character's story. In the meantime, there is the sub-plot of a young girl who is encountering difficulty and heartaches in making right choices while facing peer pressure, and what it means to have integrity and be a friend.
    Even though Second Chance Brides is, on some levels, a simple prairie romance, it goes beyond many romances which are formulaic. For readers, it tackles themes of moving beyond the sins of the past to embrace the fresh beginning God offers, and of being willing to seek God's plan, even if it's different than the one we had in mind. For writers, it gives good examples of weaving multiple characters and plot lines into a tight fabric that keeps readers turning pages.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    Love Abounds in Lookout, Texas!

    Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough is a lovely sweet romance that picks up where The Anonymous Bride left off. Shannon O'Neal and Leah Bennett are stranded in Lookout, Texas after they came as mail order brides for the same man...the Marshall. The Marshall has chosen and married Rachel, a woman from his past, leaving Shannon and Leah without a husband and no where to go.

    Ordered by the Marshall to pay for the ladies room and board, the Corbett brothers organize Saturday socials to provide opportunity for the ladies to meet and marry nice gentlemen. Sometimes plans go according to plan, and then, sometimes they don't.

    Vicki McDonough writes a delightful tale of love's journey and the importance of trusting God. She weaves in conflict and romantic tension beautifully, and takes you to a satisfying end.

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  • Posted October 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great story!

    What a situation. A wedding, a tornado during the reception, and two single women who were brought to the small Texas town of Lookout, with no idea of how they will live or what they will do.

    Brought to the town under false pretenses by the Corbett brothers as a joke on their cousin Luke, Shannon O'Neil and Leah Bennett find themselves to be the center of nearly all the male attention in town. Now that the truth has come out that the Corbett brothers were only playing a trick on their cousin, and that cousin has married his childhood sweetheart, the two ladies are stranded in a town with no family, no jobs and are being supported by the two men. It is all proper, they are staying in a boarding house and the Corbett brothers are paying their room and board until they know what they are going to do, since it was their fault the ladies were even in town.

    Shannon and Leah, love the little town of Lookout, and the people and Shannon has no family left to return to, and Leah has too much family, and a daddy who would sell her off to the highest bidder as a bride, they neither have a desire to leave the little town, but how will they survive, and what will they do in such a small town to make a living?

    They both find themselves falling for local men, but will this be the answer to their troubles, will marriage be the answer?

    A wonderfully written book, easy to read, and quick moving you will laugh at the antics of the Corbett brothers, you will cry in dismay with Shannon and Leah as their situations look dire. A great story, for a nice afternoon of reading. 319 pages $12.99 US 4 stars

    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

    Learn more about the author Vickie McDonough at her website.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I'm glad I read it.

    Call me weird but my favorite character in this book was neither of the brides. Just as in The Anonymous Bride, my favorite is fiesty little Jacqueline. Or Jack as she prefers to be called. We were left hanging though, in thread about her tangle with Butch. I hope we learn more about this relationship in the next book. Don't get me wrong, Vickie did a good job describing the troubles with the two major romances of the left over brides and how they managed to cope after Luke chose Rachel for his wife. Vickie threw in some surprises I wasn't expecting. Both Shannon O'Neil and Leah Bennett had to learn to lean on God to make right decisions.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Wonderful Read!

    Second Chance Brides by Vickie McDonough begins where book one in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides ended. I was pleased to have Rachel, Luke and Jack return in this sequel. I enjoyed reading of the escapades of young Jacqueline Davis and her adjustments to having a new father.

    Vickie McDonough shares the stories of Shannon O'Neil and Leah Bennett in this captivating sequel. I love the twist that Vickie used in this continuing story of the mail-order brides. I found this book to be a wonderful read and highly recommend it.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    AN AMAZING WONDERFUL INSPIRATIONAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE SET IN 1886 LOOKOUT, TEXAS!

    SECOND CHANCE BRIDES by Vickie McDonough is an Inspirational historical romance set in 1996 Lookout, Texas. It is the second in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides.It is well written with depth and details.It is fast paced, page turner that will leave you wanting to learn more on these enchanting, interesting characters. It has drama, romance, forgiveness, faith, courage, acceptance and following God's plan for your life.

    Two mail order brides,(Shannon and Leah) find romance, acceptance, a family of their own, faith, and their true love in this small Texas town of Lookout. Mark,(in the freight business with his brother) and Dan,( the livery owner) fall in love with Shannon and Leah, but have a hard time showing them their interest. Dan finally lets Leah know how he feels, Leah is falling in love with Dan too. They have a few difficulties to overcome, but find their way. Mark is falling in love with Shannon, but due to some things in his past doesn't believe he deserves her in his life. Shannon, however, has fallen in love with Mark, but after he tells her he can never marry, decides to marry the first man who proposes to her.With a heavy heart she does just that, but will Mark realizes he is in love with her decides to stop her from wedding. He kidnaps her and proposes to her. What a wonderful story this is, showing us our dreams can come true if we only trust in our heart and our faith. I would highly recommend this book. It is a story that will capture your heart and the characters will keep you interested, hoping their dreams come true. This book was received for review from Net Galley. Details can be found at Barbour Publishing and My Book Addiction and More.

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