Mail-Order Bride

Mail-Order Bride

by Maureen McKade

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062202024
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 320,668
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Currently living in North Dakota, I appreciate the traquility and rich history of the northern plains. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, traveling, golfing, birdwatching, hiking, and camping.

Outlaw's Bride is my fifth historical romance. My first book, Winter Hearts, was nominated for both the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart and RITA awards. My fourth book, Mail-Order Bride, was also offered through Doubleday Book Club.

I live with my husband (an Air Force officer), one very spoiled cat, and our newest family addition, a French Brittany Spaniel, which our cat thinks is the dumbest creature on earth.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Orion, Colorado

The first thing Kathleen Elizabeth Murphy noticed when she stepped off the stagecoach was the bustling activity. The second thing came quickly on the heels of the first, and Kate immediately covered her nose and mouth with her palm.

"You'll get used to it, ma'am," assured the man who'd helped her down.

Kate doubted it, but didn't argue. "What is it?" she asked, her voice muffled by her gloved hand.

He shrugged. "The worst of it's the stamping mill down the road. That's where the ore is broken down. The wind's just right so we're gettin' a good whiff of it today, ma'am. It ain't usually this bad."

Kate said a silent prayer of thanks. She lowered her hand but breathed through her mouth, and hoped she didn't embarrass herself by losing the contents of her churning stomach.

Turning her anxious gaze to the muddy street, she searched for her betrothed among the bustling people and mule-drawn wagons. Grimy men wearing duck trousers with holes in the knees and heavy brogans coated with mud stepped with purposeful strides down the boardwalks and crisscrossed the street. Two Chinamen dressed in baggy black pants and tunics walked with their heads bowed, taking a wide berth around anyone they passed.

Where was he? The last letter John Samuels had sent had said he would meet her stage when it arrived. Surely he hadn't forgotten about his mail-order bride. Maybe he'd had second thoughts and decided he didn't want to marry a woman he'd never met. Or more likely, he'd seen her get off the stagecoach and been scared off by her exceptional height. Hadn't her father always told her no man wanted a tallwoman?

The stage handler tossed the baggage down from the rack, and the man who'd helped Kate from the stage caught the valises and set them on the ground. Kate picked up the single portmanteau which held all her belongings, including her most prized possession — Outlines of Astronomy — and clutched the handle tightly.

She'd traveled nearly three days with only a few hours of snatched sleep aboard the stage. What if Mr. Samuels didn't show up? He'd paid for her one-way ticket to Orion, but Kate had only a few dollars left after buying a new dress for her wedding — not nearly enough to purchase a ticket out of Orion. Besides, where would she go?

"Cave in! Cave in at the King Mine!" a man shouted as he ran down the street. A bell clanged in the center of town, electrifying the air. Men raced toward the far end of town. The few women Kate noticed lifted their skirt hems and followed them.

"What's going on?" Kate asked the stage handler, who'd jumped down from the coach.

"I reckon one of the mines just caved in, missy."

Kate frowned. "I don't understand."

The unkempt man looked at her as if she'd sprouted a third eye. "One of the mines collapsed and more 'n likely there's some men who ain't ever gonna come up again."

"You mean they were killed?" Kate asked, aghast.

He nodded. "If not right away, they'll be dead soon enough without no air."

She stared at him, shocked by his disregard for the lives of the unfortunate men.

His grizzled face softened slightly. "Look, missy, this here is a mining town, and accidents are a fact of life." He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "You need any help with your bag?"

Kate shook herself free of her shock. "Is there a safe place I can put it until I can find my-my fiance.

He pointed to the express office across the street. "I can take it on over if you want."

She studied his lined face, trying to decide if she could trust him. Reluctantly, she handed him the bag. "Thank you. Could you tell me where Jason Cromwell's mine is?"

His laugh sounded like the bray of a mule. "Which one? He owns about a dozen." His humor faded, and he added somberly, "The King's one of his, too."

"You mean the one that just — ?"

The driver nodded.

Her breath caught someplace between her lungs and mouth. "Where is it?"

"About a half mile south of town," he replied.

She hurried down the street, following in the wake of the others who'd stampeded in the same direction a few minutes ago. Her bonnet came off her head and bounced against her back, held by the ribbon around her neck. Ignoring the stitch in her side, Kate drew in ragged breaths and continued her flight toward the King Mine.

Her heart pounded so hard she thought it would come out of her throat, and she couldn't seem to get enough air. Gasping, she paused at the edge of town and leaned against the comer of a weathered building. What in the world was wrong with her? Then she remembered what one of the stage passengers had told her: the air was thinner in the mountains and it would take her a little while to grow accustomed to the altitude.

Regaining enough breath to continue, Kate went on at a pace that was slower but no less frantic. A few people passed her — a woman wearing a patched coat over a faded black dress and tugging along three crying children; two men dressed...

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Mail-Order Bride 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much boring detail and super slow at the beginning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My only problem with this book is the punctuation. I will read this author again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good story with an interesting plot. The characters were fantastic. The version I bought on my nook was frustrating because it was missing ALOT of punctuation and had several spelling errors. I thought the story itself was really good, and I plan to read more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
MAIL-ORDER BRIDE Kate Murphy traveled by coach from Kansas for three days to Orion, Colorado to meet her fiancé, John Samuels. When she reaches the town, she learns that a mining disaster has occurred. Having some experience with injured people, Kate helps, only to learn that John died in the cave-in. Trev Trevalyn worries about the surviving families of the four deceased miners and what will happen to Kate, a widow before she was even married.

A widower, Trev goes to pick up his two young children Annabel Lee and Brynn at Mrs. Flanders¿ place, but finds them neglected again. He offers the baby-sitting job to Kate who wants to earn enough cash to get to Denver and ultimately to study astronomy. Desperate, Kate reluctantly accepts though she has no experience with children, let alone an infant. Trev and Kate are attracted to one another, but neither wants to explore their feelings until he sees the tender care she gives his two children. As father and the baby sitter fall in love, mine disasters force them to look inside their hearts.

MAIL-ORDER BRIDE is an interesting Americana romance that brings to life the danger of mining in the mid-nineteenth century. Kate is a wonderful heroine and Trev struggles to do what is best for his children, the miners, and the miner¿s family. However, their relationship never seems to reach the stars in spite of both of them being fully developed characters. The secondary cast augments the tale with their varying relationships to the lead couple. Maureen McKade provides historical romance fans with a vivid nineteenth century Rocky Mountain romance.

Harriet Klausner

kronan1 More than 1 year ago
It was OK