Heartbreak Creek (Runaway Brides Romance Series #1)

Heartbreak Creek (Runaway Brides Romance Series #1)

by Kaki Warner

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Four unlikely brides make their way west—and find love where they least expect it in award-winner Kaki Warner’s heartwarming series, one “as stellar as her Blood Rose trilogy…”* For fans of Linda Lael Miller and Jodi Thomas...

Edwina Ladoux hoped becoming a mail-order bride would be her way out of the war-torn South, 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 for a practical farm woman who can 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, allowing them time to get the proxy marriage annulled. Yet as the weeks pass, thoughts of annulment turn into hopes for a real marriage—until the unspeakable happens, and suddenly Declan is torn between duty and desire, and Edwina has to fight for the family she’s grown to love…

*The Romance Dish

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101516522
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Series: A Runaway Brides Novel , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 120,155
File size: 514 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and longtime 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 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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Heartbreak Creek
“I love and adore everything that Kaki Warner writes.”—USA Today
“[A] solid romance…An engaging read.”—Publishers Weekly
“A must-read…[It] captures the imagination and leaves you wanting more.”—Night Owl Reviews
“All-around wonderful…This book is just fabulous.”—Smexy Books
“Another extraordinary book from Kaki Warner.”—The Romance Dish
“Kaki Warner once again succeeds in bringing the Old West to sprawling and vivid life…An entertaining Western romance and a great series starter.”—BookLoons
“Highly entertaining.”—Romance Reviews Today
“Lovely and exciting…I was unable to put it down.”—Fallen Angels Reviews
“[A] heartwarming love story…Sweet and touching…A must-read for fans of historical romance!”—TwoLips Reviews

More praise for the novels of Kaki Warner
“Readers may need a big box of Kleenex while reading this emotionally compelling, subtly nuanced tale of revenge, redemption, and romance, but this flawlessly written book is worth every tear.”—Chicago Tribune
“Romance, passion, and thrilling adventure fill the pages of this unforgettable saga that sweeps the reader from England to the Old West. Jessy and Brady are truly lovers for the ages!”—Rosemary Rogers
Pieces of Sky reminds us why New Mexico is called the land of enchantment.”—Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author
“What an excellent series…A warm, romantic read.”—Smexy Books
“No wonder Ms. Warner is garnering rave reviews for her work…This is Western historical romance at its best.”—The Romance Reader
“A fitting end to one of the best Western historical romance series I’ve had the pleasure of reading.”—BookLoons
“A love story, a family drama, and a tale of the Old West…[A] don’t-miss trilogy.”—Romance Reviews Today
“[A] sweet nineteenth-century Western…Fans of the series will enjoy another visit to the Wilkins clan, while new readers are sure to admire Warner’s vivid descriptions of love and life in the land of enchantment.”—Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

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Heartbreak Creek 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Sis_Steel More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
tillyd1 More than 1 year ago
A really, really good book, except for the ending. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up all night and 1/2 of the next day reading it. Everything was great, except the ending seemed slightly abrupt.
tillyd1 More than 1 year ago
A really, really good book, except for the ending. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up all night and 1/2 of the next day reading it. Everything was great, except the ending seemed slightly abrupt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this book. Literally could not put it down, so enjoyed it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Sparky_Patches More than 1 year ago
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*.
VenusM More than 1 year ago
Loved it! I have enjoyed everything I have read by Kaki Warner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VERY good book - the laugh-out-loud kind!
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kronan1 More than 1 year ago
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.
heidilt More than 1 year ago
Love this story can't wait for more in the runaway brides series
BudNH More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"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..."