Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.
Is it possible to marry the wrong man?
When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .
More from My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla's Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella's Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
About the Author
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her online at www.susannedietze.com and subscribe to her newsletters at http://eepurl.com/bieza5.
Read an Excerpt
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho
By Susanne Dietze
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2017 Susanne Dietze
All rights reserved.
May 1866, Owyhee County, Idaho Territory
The dimming afternoon sky outside the stagecoach window was thick with flat-topped clouds, but the reverberating crack was no clap of thunder. Rebecca Rice knew a rifle shot when she heard it.
She scuttled across the empty carriage to peer out the far window as the coach skidded to a stop. Men on horseback, four if she counted right, circled the coach, brandishing long guns and pistols. All wore bandannas over their noses and mouths, obscuring their faces.
Lord, You are my guard. Still, she'd prepared for something like this, gartering a bone-handled paper knife to her calf. Her fingers shook when she untied the dainty blade and tucked it up her undersleeve.
Too far — the metal tip poked the inside of her elbow. Wincing, Rebecca curled against the door to hide, her wide bluebell skirt tangled around her ankles. She shoved her reticule beneath the seat, and then her fingertips found the knife handle. If some two-bit bandit thought he could paw at her for the few valuables she possessed —
The door yanked open behind her. She fell out, landing on her backside in the dirt. Dust puffed around her, clogging her throat and sullying her Sunday dress. Some impression she'd make on her fiancé now.
If she lived that long. A sweat-drenched oaf, his head almost too small for his muscular frame, glared at her with close-set eyes. His thick finger rested on the trigger of his shotgun. Behind him a brawny fellow rifled through her valise while a lankier bandit trained a pistol on the coachman.
The smallest of the bandits crawled into the carriage, then hopped out, empty-handed. "Where'd you stash your handbag, lady?" His voice wasn't all that deep. He must be a boy.
Pity he'd started a life of crime so young. "There's nothing in it to interest you."
The coachman, an unshaven fellow of middle years by the name of Mr. Kaplan, sent her a pleading look. "Best do what they say, ma'am. It'll be over soon, and they'll get what they want whether we cooperate or not."
He had a point. Maybe this would be over once they took her bag. The sooner she got to Ruby City, the sooner she'd get married. Then she could get something good to eat. The thought of roast chicken or mashed potatoes or even a stinky tongue sandwich set her stomach grumbling. Even at a time like this.
"Shoved under the seat," she said at last.
The young bandit disappeared back into the coach and returned with her reticule, shaking it to make the coins inside jingle. That was all he'd find, except for a pencil stub and her mother's lace-trimmed handkerchief.
"I hope it's worth it to you." Rebecca's tone was vinegary as a pickle.
"Everything's worth something to someone." The young bandit wandered to where his compatriot emptied her bag, dumping Rebecca's underthings on the dirt. The young bandit pulled out Rebecca's toilet case and then, oh dear, the bundle of letters she'd tied with a pink ribbon. Bad enough these criminals mauled her unmentionables and stole her toiletries, but she had no other heirloom to give her future children than the sweet legacy of those letters.
"You can't have those." Rebecca lunged. Her hand batted air as the bandit stepped away from her, holding the packet aloft.
The pink ribbon fluttered to the dust as the brigand shook the envelopes. "Any money in here?"
If there was, she wouldn't be this hungry. "Not a dime, so give those back."
The bandit flipped through the letters anyway. Then his gaze lifted to Rebecca's, his eyes narrowed and his forehead furrowed like he recognized her name. Impossible. Her interpretation had to be incorrect, and sure enough, he let the letters fall from his fingers to the ground, like they weren't worth the effort to fling aside.
The muscular bandit hauled the strongbox over his shoulder. "All set?"
"I dunno." The robber with the broad shoulders and small eyes stared at Rebecca. "She could have money hidden under her dress."
Let him try. She'd have her paper knife out before his thick fingers touched her.
"Her clothes ain't that fine and she's lean as a starvin' coyote." The young one tipped his pistol at her. "Leave her be."
The beady-eyed criminal reached for Rebecca's bodice anyway. Rebecca yanked the paper knife from her sleeve and slashed.
The oversize robber jerked back, but he wasn't the one bleeding. A red gash marred the back of the young fellow's hand. Had he tried to protect her by pulling his companion away? He seemed none too happy with her, the way his dark eyes glared at her over his bandanna.
Rebecca's lunch of stale crackers crept up her throat. He'd punish her for injuring him, no question. Her grip tightened on the paper knife.
The beady-eyed goliath rubbed his hands together. "This'll be fun."
"I said let her go. We got what we came for." The boy-bandit scooped the coins from her reticule and then tossed the bag to the dirt. "Let's ride."
Rebecca's boots seemed nailed to the dirt until the quartet of criminals mounted their horses. Then, the moment they disappeared down the sagebrush-scattered hill, she almost fell, crouching to gather her letters. Thank You, God.
Mr. Kaplan retrieved her reticule. The tiny purse she'd embroidered with pink peonies dangled off his wrist, an amusing sight, but Rebecca couldn't muster the strength to laugh.
"Those must be important." He pointed at the letters.
"They are." She brushed a clod of dirt from one of the envelopes. There, now she could read the return address: Theodore Fordham, Ruby City, Owyhee County, Idaho Territory. "They're from my intended. I'm on my way to Ruby City to make his acquaintance."
Her hand flew to her mouth. Why not just tell Mr. Kaplan every embarrassing detail, like how she'd advertised in a newspaper for a husband and Mr. Fordham had answered, and in his fifth missive he'd proposed and she'd agreed? Mortified, she scurried to stuff her petticoat back into her valise.
If the news that she was about to marry a man she'd never met shocked the driver, however, he had the grace not to show it. Instead, he secured her trunk to the coach again. "Sorry we were set upon like that. This can be a wild land in every way, ma'am. Best you know that afore you swap vows."
Wild land perhaps, but she'd not be marrying a wild man.
Rebecca couldn't repress a smile, thinking of the quiet life Theodore described in his letters, a life of safety in the cozy, warm rooms above his mercantile, where he made a sound living selling goods to the miners who flocked here by the score.
A life, he admitted, that could seem boring, with the same tedious routine day after day, returning to the same hearth every night after a full day's work.
She grinned as she climbed back into the coach. Boredom sounded wonderful.
* * *
On the remainder of the journey, Rebecca cleaned her face with her hankie and the rest of the water in her small canteen, so she'd be somewhat presentable. As the coach ascended the rugged, uphill road, the sagebrush gave way to fir, juniper, and mahogany — a beautiful sight.
It didn't seem long before she descended from the stagecoach in front of a two-story edifice with a balcony rail on the upper floor. The signage proclaimed it to be the Idaho Hotel. A few men lounging outside the doors eyed her, so she turned away, getting her first full glimpse of her new community. Nestled into a small valley, Ruby City boasted a wide street lined by framed buildings: a barbershop, bank, and a restaurant, but where was the mercantile? She'd like to meet Mr. Fordham first thing.
Movement drew her gaze. A man hurried up the street, shoving a light-colored, flat-brimmed hat on his head with one hand and tugging a coat in place with the other. A few fellows followed after him, patting his back and guffawing, but his gaze fixed on her as he hastened toward her with a sure gait.
It was him. Her intended.
Not that she could tell by his looks, of course. They hadn't exchanged photographs. He hadn't minded that she couldn't afford to sit for a carte de visite, and considering photographers didn't pass through this way too often, he couldn't send her an image, either. All she had to go on was his description of himself, which had been decidedly slim on details: brown hair, hazel eyes, medium build.
The description hadn't done him justice. His square jaw was clean-shaven, and his smile was wide. From under his hat, coffee-dark tendrils curled over the collar of the dark blue frock coat he'd just donned, which fit well over his lean frame.
But it wasn't his looks that thrilled her. It was the way he'd come out of that door pulling on his coat, as if he took pains with his appearance to meet his bride. To get married.
He was her fiancé. She didn't need a photograph to know for sure. She knew it by the way her heart battered her chest like a wild bird was caught inside her rib cage.
Should she smile? Mercy, she shouldn't. It revealed her crooked bottom teeth and — who cared? He'd see plenty of her teeth throughout their marriage. They'd share tooth powder, after all. Married couples shared such things. Except she was now out of tooth powder, thanks to the bandits. Did Theodore have some? Of course he did. He owned the general store.
Tooth powder? Rebecca shook the silly thought from her head. I'm babbling like a brook and I haven't even opened my mouth yet.
Trailed by the gaggle of menfolk, her fiancé stopped a full three feet away, a respectful distance, and removed his hat. "Ma'am, are you just arrived on the stage?"
His voice was smooth and attractive as a polished gemstone.
"I am. Are you Mr. Fordham?" She might be about to marry him, but it seemed forward to call him Theodore first thing.
He nodded, twiddling his hat brim in his hands. "And you're Miss Reese?"
"Rice," she corrected. "Like the grain." The spelling should have made the pronunciation obvious. Maybe he was as nervous as she.
"I'm mighty pleased to meet you, ma'am. I've been waiting for you for days."
His eagerness sent a little sizzle of heat through her. She hadn't been due to arrive until today, so he must have been counting the moments, just as she had.
Mr. Kaplan tossed her carpetbag at her feet, and the thud dragged her gaze from her intended. Then the coachman thrust out his hand to her fiancé. "Ah, Fordham. This's yer bride?"
"I daresay she is, Kap." Mr. Fordham smiled. There went that sizzle again, right down to the holes at the toes of Rebecca's stockings.
Mr. Kaplan grinned, as if he approved. Then he swiped his nose with the back of his hand. "You should know, we got held up by the Gang o' Four. They took the strongbox but there weren't nothing in it, which they should've figgered since I didn't have a guard with me."
"What?" A grim line replaced Mr. Fordham's smile. He peered down at Rebecca. Then he took her hand, but not in a romantic gesture. Instead, he gently pulled her arm so it extended fully. A red stain the size of a half-dollar blotched the inside of her blue, pagoda-style sleeve. "You're bleeding."
Oh. That. "I hid a paper knife up my sleeve and nicked myself. Nothing to cause alarm." Except that her best garments were now bloodstained. Maybe she could soak both the dress and her undersleeve in cold water before the stain set. Her dust-caked skin and hair wouldn't mind a soak, either. She hadn't bathed in over a week, at one of the stops on the Overland Trail.
She probably still looked better than Mr. Kaplan, whose dirt-streaked countenance made the whites of his eyes look bleached. "When yer bride pulled the knife on the handsy one, I thought we were goners."
Mr. Fordham's jaw tightened. "One touched you? Rebecca — Miss Rice — I'm so sorry —"
His use of her Christian name sent a tiny thrill down her spine, but she'd have time to relish the moment later. She shook her head with vigor. "One tried, but the boy stopped him and I slashed him by mistake."
"There's a boy with them?"
"Not a child, but a youth. He's thin and not much taller than I am, and his voice is still soft. I'm grateful he intervened when the big fellow reached for me, but I didn't realize defending myself could make things worse."
Mr. Kaplan spat a stream of tobacco juice near her skirt. "Just give 'em what they want, nobody gets hurt."
This sentiment earned a rumble of approval from the men who'd followed Mr. Fordham up the street. Didn't they have some mining to do?
"No, Rebecca — Miss Rice — I'm glad you defended yourself. Even more glad that you're unharmed." Mr. Fordham's squeeze to her fingers was gentle, but she felt a spark even through her gloves. "This gang has been terrorizing the county for three months, but they've left most of the stagecoaches alone. I hate that this happened, and I hate that I have to leave you alone already, but I should go after the Gang before they get too far."
Mr. Fordham wanted to protect her! Gallant, yet absolutely unacceptable. The last time a man in her family rode off with a posse, he'd never come home. Rebecca's stomach twisted.
"Is it truly necessary for you to go?" Let the local lawmen go. Let somebody, anybody else do it. Not her fiancé, not today, not ever.
Mr. Kaplan shook his head. "No use, Fordham. They're long gone by now. 'Sides, you got more important things to do right now than ride out with a posse." His bushy gray brows wiggled.
Rebecca shivered but not from chill. She was about to get married, after all.
A dry, warm wind tickled her nape and sent a strand of her pine-yellow hair curling into her nose. Her pins had loosened! She shoved the lank tendril behind her ear. If only she could remove her straw bonnet and repin her hair before the ceremony. Except she didn't have a comb or hairbrush anymore —
"I guess you're right." Mr. Fordham expelled a long breath through his nose, clearly conflicted between the twin desires to avenge her and marry her. "Kap, could you do me a favor and take Miss Rice's bags to the county offices?"
"Sure thing, Fordham."
Mr. Fordham smiled down at her. "Miss Rice, would you care to take a walk first?"
"A walk would be agreeable." Her muscles were stiff from sitting in the jostling coach, and the time to get to know him better would be welcome, too. So would the opportunity to speak without an audience. He offered his arm. It felt firm and pleasant under her hand.
"Aw, you can talk right here." An eavesdropping fellow with gray-brown hair and too-big britches hanging from stained suspenders shook a grimy finger at them. "You don't want to lose track of time and miss Orr."
"Orr?" Rebecca couldn't remember if Mr. Fordham had written of the fellow.
"The justice of the peace."
Oh, yes. The circuit preacher wasn't in town but once every season, and no church had been built.
"Thanks, Ulysses," Mr. Fordham said to the eavesdropper.
"Can I come to the weddin'?" Ulysses yelled after them.
"Maybe," Mr. Fordham said over his shoulder as he led her back the way she'd come, past the end of the street and rows of miners' tents to a canopy of junipers. Along the way, he asked about the trip and noted the promise of rain in the thunderheads to the west — nothing too personal. If his intention was to set her at ease, he did a good job, for she almost forgot the awkwardness of the situation. In minutes, they stood by a gurgling creek, where purple wildflowers and white-blooming bushes thrived among the grass.
"Lovely." Rebecca took a deep breath. The world smelled like spring — grass and flowers and the lingering scent of sage. "I can see why you love it here."
"It'll be cold, come winter." He said it like a warning, as if giving her an excuse to back out of their engagement.
But she'd given her word, and she had nowhere else to go. No home or job back in Missouri to return to, and she wasn't sure if her brother Johnny still lived at that California mining camp anymore. Now that she'd met her Mr. Fordham in person, however, she knew this was where she was meant to be. With him, wherever that was.
So she smiled. "You've got access to a stove, don't you?"
"I do, at that." He laughed, a pleasant sound she wouldn't mind hearing for decades.
Rebecca moistened her lips. "I'm fine with it, by the way. Marrying fast, like we discussed. If you still wish it."
"I do." The way he said it was like a vow. He didn't know her beyond their letters, couldn't possibly love her yet, but he intended to be a good husband and provider. And maybe, just maybe, he saw her and liked her as much as she liked him. "But it doesn't have to be today. Orr will be back in a day or two, if you'd rather wait."
Excerpted from My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho by Susanne Dietze. Copyright © 2017 Susanne Dietze. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze, © 2017 Ruby City, Idaho ~ May 1866, Owyhee County, Idaho Territory My Review: Rebecca had a surprise when she got to town! This stagecoach stop will change her life and those nearby. Knowing she was to be a mail-order bride is one thing ~ being one is another! Quickly married, she finds she has the wrong intended. Both women with the same pronunciation ~ Rebecca and Rebekah ~ sought by two Ruby City cousins. The first one there gets her! The shopkeeper is a little too tardy on his arrival. Rebecca bit her lip. "I arrived and he was there to greet me, a Mr. T. Fordham waiting for a Rebecca." --My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight, 23 Unraveling the mix-up becomes a chore ~ or is it a time to get acquainted? This story will keep you on your toes. What will happen next? Past experiences cause a delay in being open to the present. Very well written, this author has put in a lot of turns and great secondary characters who bring charm to this Rebecca's life. A sweetness that she discovers unarms her defenses. Just as you think you have it all sorted out, another adventure begins changing the whole scope of things ~ one thing that keeps them all together is the great eats at Mrs. Croft's restaurant. A lot of action takes place there besides the cookin'. I loved this story. Very active and expressive with deep thinking and plans set aside for Truth. A dividing of intent and purpose becomes the very supportive realization pulse. People matter. I liked how it was all sorted out giving care to those who deeply needed it. ***Thank you, Barbour Publishing, for inviting me to join Barbour's Review Crew for this terrific story by Susanne Dietze! So enjoyed it! This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze I enjoyed Rebecca's Plight. It is filled with fun characters, the situations they find themselves in and the interesting and often surprising decisions they make. I was laughing and smiling during much of the story. Mistaken identities, mail-order bride marriage mishaps, a gang, the ruggedness of Idaho, surprises and likable characters make this a heartwarming story.
The premise for this story is such fun and so creative, as is the setting in Idaho in the old west. The characters are so carefully crafted that I could envision them clearly and felt I knew them. I enjoyed Rebecca’s take-charge attitude and the way she looked at her problems and solved them the best way she knew how. The delightful humor and plot twists and turns added to my enjoyment of the story. I will definitely be looking forward to more stories from Susanne Dietze. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinion are my own.
Thanks to my fondness of all things Idaho, this book cover immediately caught my attention! I couldn't resist this unique spin on one of my favorite romance tropes, the marriage of convenience (and a mail order bride to boot, yes!) From the bumpy stagecoach ride to marital misstep, Rebecca Rice has a rough road to travel. Her past is littered with hardships and heartache yet she has a generous and compassionate heart. Deputy Thaddeus Fordham is an honorable man and I like him very much! The author filled Ruby City with all sorts of colorful characters and saturated every aspect of the story with an excellent "old west" vibe. Although it might sound far-fetched from the blurb, this story unravels fluidly from Chapter One and has a great blend of romance, adventure, humor, and faith elements. I will definitely be on the lookout for more titles from Susanne Dietze! I requested the opportunity to read this book through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
My Heart Belongs In Ruby City, Idaho is about love and wanting to be loved, falling in love, trusting, mistaken identity, and learning where love comes from - the heart. This book is abounding in love, bustling in the brides by mail order business, chivalry in how Tad stands up for his wife, defenseless when Rebecca got robbed on the train, embarrassed when Tad and Rebecca realize they married the wrong person - Rebecca was suppose to marry Tad's cousin Theodore - Will Tad and Rebecca stay married? Will they fall in love? Will Theodore get involved? What serious and I do mean serious problems do the notorious gang of four cause our characters? This book is amazing, touching and so so good and I love it and so will you.....I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley; all the opinions in this review are all my own.
What a fun, clean book! Author Susanne Dietze does a great job of letting you into the lives of her characters. Mayhem ensues when mail-order bridge Rebecca lands in Ruby City and marries the man of her dreams. Or so she thinks. With a lot of twists and turns, the story will keep you turning the pages to see how things are going to work out. Personalities are well developed, and the story is light and charming. Old fashioned manners are practiced, and the main characters learn to trust God with their lives. If you enjoy western fiction mixed with romance you will enjoy your visit to Ruby City. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.
I have never read one of Suzanne Dietze's books until now and I have been missing out! She has a way of crafting a story that leaves the reader wanting more. Her characters are complex, yet ones that her readers can relate to. I love the show, I Love Lucy, and this book reminded me of that show. It is full of wit and humor, but it also has it's serious moments. I believe you will truly enjoy your trip to Ruby City, I know I did! Rebecca knows what it's like to be without. Her dad was a lawman, killed in the line of duty, one of her brothers died in the war and the other left to go out west and mine without so much as a backwards glance. She was tired of being at the mercy of others so it made sense to answer a marriage ad in the paper. Her journey was long and not without its trials, as her coach was held up by the gang of four before reaching Ruby City. Yet, Rebecca has faith that God has called her to marry Mr. Fordham and she can't wait to belong to a family again! I admired Rebecca's gumption. To make the decision to marry a total stranger in order to make a life for herself. Sure, they exchanged letters, but that's not enough to truly know someone. She had backbone and fire, she had to in order to survive all she endured, including the gang of four. She even pulled a knife on one of her attackers! Even though she's had more than her fair share of hardships, Rebecca refuses to allow it to make her bitter. She is the first one to extend grace to some of the least desirables in town. The first to rush to someone's aid regardless of who they are or what they've done. I truly admired Rebecca and hope that I can be more like her, quick to help and slow to judge. Thaddeus Fordham can't believe he married the wrong woman! Not only is she not his Rebecca, his lady spells it Rebekah, but she is Theodore's intended! He and Theo have been at odds ever since they fought to win Dottie's affection. In the end, she chose neither of the cousins, but the rift she caused appears to be permanent. All he wants is to do the right thing, get a quick annulment and find his Rebekah. Surely Theo can understand that, but when tempers go awry and the gang of four on the loose it appears that the annulment will be anything but simple. You have to hand it to Thaddeus, I'm not sure I could keep my composure with so many things going wrong at the same time. He is definitely attracted to Rebecca, but he is determined to do the right thing and get the annulment so she can be with Theodore, no matter how much it might break his heart. He even goes to great lengths to mend the rift this mishap has caused between Theodore and Rebecca. He's a stand up guy who puts everyone's needs before his own. Maybe it's because of the way Dottie played him and Theodore, but he seems determined to do the right thing no matter the cost. He's hard working, driven, and a man of faith, anyone would be lucky to have him, but he only wants one woman, and unfortunately she's promised to another. I truly enjoyed my "trip" to Ruby City and meeting all of it's residents. They were definitely a colorful but loyal bunch. I hope Ms. Dietze continues the series. I'd love to know what happens to the other budding romances in the town. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Is it possible to marry the wrong man? This story proves it is.. Loved how Rebecca married the wrong T. Fordham and then found that she loved the new life she was fitting into waiting for an annulment. Action, some very interesting characters and the sweet romance.. Enjoyed this from start to finish and I hope there will be another story in Ruby City. I was gifted a copy and my review is voluntary.
Cute and fun read... My Heart Belongs in Ruby City Idaho Rebecca's Plight By Susanne Dietze Rebecca Rice is headed to a new and better life in Ruby City, Idaho. At least that was her plan - she was headed for a marriage with a Mr. Fordham, Ruby City's shopkeeper, a man she had become acquainted with through an exchange of letters. When bandits hold up the stagecoach that's carrying Rebecca to her new life she more than a little relieved to arrive more or less unharmed in Ruby City. And she's even more relieved to find her intended awaiting her arrival. And before the sun had a chance to set Rebecca was the lawful wife of Deputy Thaddeus (Tad) Fordham. All too late Rebecca discovered she had made a horrible mistake - she had married the wrong Fordham! And the worst part of the day is there is no easy way to undo the mistake - they have to wait for the area judge to return before this mess can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, or so they hope. But with Rebecca married to the wrong cousin and without funds due to the holdup she finds herself in a most unexpected situation. As they wait for the judge to return to Silver City, Rebecca begins making a life for herself in Ruby City. But as she gets to know both Thaddeus and Theodore she is left wondering if Theodore is truly the man she should marry. Mistaken identities, feuding cousins, and a gang of bandits make Ruby City, Idaho, a place of interest in this story set in 1866. This is a fun and diversionary story that is the perfect foil to the heat of summer. Get ready to sit back and be entertained with this marriage mishap that just may the best thing to happen to any of the parties involved. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
From the first words of this book to the last, the reader is drawn into an unusual love story. What starts as a mail-order-bride (Rebecca) meeting her intended (Tad) and marrying within an hour, blossoms into a weird love triangle. The bride married the wrong husband—or did she? Ruby City is a silver mining town in the early development of Idaho. There are unruly miners, stage coach robberies, shootings and a bank robbery. Along the way, Rebecca must choose between her love for Tad and her obligation to his cousin (Ted). Ted was the intended husband through the mail order. Rebecca has a strong faith in God and seeks His guidance in solving the dilemma. But Rebecca learns that the simple solution she and Tad decided was not the plan God had for them. I found this book very interesting with all the twists and turns that occur. It is well written with an easy to read style. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I struggled with rating My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight, at 3 stars. I wish there were half stars because I think it's a solid 3 1/2. I enjoyed the premise of the story. You know how they say that there's nothing new under the sun, well, this one was a little different. I liked the mix-up on the names and the bride/groom combo. The relationships and family dynamics were interesting, as was the historical aspect. I just felt the story fell a little flat. It was slow in spots and easy to put down. I wished for more--development or energy maybe? Don't get me wrong, this is a decent book and I would recommend it, just not to everybody. I can see in other reviews that people really liked it. It is a clean and easy read. I will take a chance on the author again if the opportunity arises. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Wow this book was so enjoyable. I loved the whole premise and plot and fell in love with the characters. They seemed so real. I am now going through withdrawal. The Inspirational thread was also great. Learning to trust God instead of worrying. This will be a book I will want to read again.
I really enjoyed this My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho. It is what I would call a cozy romance and is set in the west of 1866. The characters were charming and the storyline plausible, given the time frame. I laughed, I cried, I worried and I rejoiced! Good job, Susanne Dietze I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing & was under no obligation to post a review.
I love reading about mail order brides and the challenges they faced. This book is a wonderful example of some of those challenges and how different life could be than what was expected! I really loved the characters in this story and I couldn't wait to see how their stories unfolded, but I also loved how faith and trust in God influenced their lives, beliefs and decisions. This is a very well written story and I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and I was not under any obligation to post a review.
Oh my goodness, this is a unique and attention grabbing story line! I loved it from the first page when Rebecca is on the stagecoach – I sure wouldn’t want that to happen to me. It kept me thinking “how on earth is this going to be resolved?!” The banter between all the characters is written well and makes it a page turner. The twists!! Oh my, I really did not want to put this book down. And who wouldn’t love Ulysses! Many times I was so into the story that I wanted to smack both Tad and Ted and even secondary characters like Corny! This author has now become a favorite because of such a beautiful well-written story. The ending so satisfying and heart tugging that I didn’t want it to end. These people became friends and family to me. Thank you Susanne for a fabulous read!! I got a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I have enjoyed this "My Heart Belongs" series, even though it's not my "usual" genre. I like getting to know Barbour Books' new-to-me Christian authors, and Susanne Dietze is no exception. This story set in Ruby City, Idaho is a bit predictable, but none the less enjoyable because of that. Lonely and destitute Rebecca Rice wants security above all else, so she places a matrimonial ad and travels across post civil war America to wed a prosperous storekeeper. But a mix-up soon has her world turned upside down, and she has to learn that there's more than one kind of safe - "...there's feeling protected behind a bolted door, and then there's the peace that doesn't depend on locks or the law. It comes from love and trust." Slowly, Rebecca realizes she wants more out of life than a fully belly and a quiet homelife. As she becomes involved in her new community, she invests herself in the lives of others, and begins to accept risk as part of her new normal. After facing down danger, she finally found the strength to turn down the marriage she thought she wanted - only to find true happiness where she least expected it. I liked the characters in this story, even if they were a little caricatured at times. I was grateful to receive a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. If you enjoy tales from the old west and/or Christian fiction, pick up a copy of this little gem by Susanne Dietze for some pleasant summer reading.
I really enjoyed reading My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho. The plot was great & the characters were interesting. I loved how the author developed the romance between Rebecca & Tad. The story was well written. I have read several of the "My Heart Belongs.." books & have enjoyed them all. Looking forward to more great stories. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing & was under no obligation to post a review.
Rebecca Rice is a mail-order bride heading to Ruby City, Idaho to marry shopkeeper Mr. Fordham when her stagecoach is assulted. She is anxious to get to her distination now that she has no money. Exiting the stagecoach a Mr. Fordham introduces himself and off they go to get married but she wonders why the justice of the peace calls her intended Tad and not Theodore and uses the title Deputy before his name. Shortly after the I do and a kiss the newlyweds realize their error due to similar names. Tad is waiting for his mail-order bride Rebekah Rhys while his cousin's intended is a Rebecca Rice. An annulment is needed but the judge is not expected back for a month! Theodore is not happy about the mishap and seems more worried about his shop and appearances than to how Rebecca is coping. Rebecca uses the month to learn more about shopkeeping, helping her landlady and the people of the town. She also wants to see justice for the group of bandits who robbed her stagecoach and continue to terrorize the surrounding area of Ruby City. What will happen at the end of the month? Will Theodore and his cousin Tad overcome their differences? When their old flame, Dottie, returns to Ruby City will the cousins fued flare back up? Don't miss reading Susanne Dietze's "My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
I believe that my life would have to be very horrible for me to ever be a mail order bride. This was how Ruby felt. She leaves her home to travel to Ruby City, Idaho to marry a shopkeeper. I don't know what I would have done if I ended up marrying the wrong person. At least you thought you knew who you were marrying through the letters that were written. This story made me laugh and cry a little. I received a copy of this book from Barbour for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
This book had me at the synopsis and it was a really fun read. You had a very testy, if not a bit humorous situation where a mix up of names causes a mail order bride to marry the wrong groom. Not only is that a problem, but her husband-to-be is his cousin. This makes for a difficult time for Rebecca as her now husband is a deputy and this mix up is putting the safe and secure life she has dreamed and hungered for on a very long hold. What’s a girl to do when she actually starts liking her husband more than her fiancé? Do they continue to try a legal way to end the marriage? Yep, this story was right up my alley and the author filled theirs and the town’s conversations with some fun and witty banter. I could have told Rebecca from the start she got the right guy when it all came down to it, but then there would have been no story. The author really brought this small mining town to life with a whole host of characters and to top it all off she threw in a renegade band of thieves who were progressively getting more dangerous; and drop in the ex-love interest of both cousins and you have the makings of a great story. This was Wild West fun with heart. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. The views and opinions expressed are my own.
This book is full of twists and turns from page one and makes you want to read one more page before closing. After a mix-up with names, a mail order bride finds herself married to the cousin of her intended husband. Matters are made even more worse because the two men are already feuding because of a previous woman in both of their lives. As the author weaves through the story, she shows how God will direct our paths and work everything for our good if we allow Him. She also shows how reaching out to lonely people with kindness can change someone's outlook on lief. For anyone who enjoys a good clean romance with some action and twists, this book is for you. I am looking forward to reading more books by Susanne Dietze. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I really enjoy reading a book that leaves me wondering how everything will work out, and this is that type of historical novel. Rebecca finds herself in quite a predicament almost as soon as she steps off the stage coach in Ruby City, Idaho. In a whirlwind she is married to Tad Fordham. Within minutes, she realizes she has married the wrong Mr. Fordham when the right one appears. You may wonder how a mistake like this could happen. Rebecca is a mail order bride, and both Tad and Ted are waiting for their brides. Of course, these cousins do not know that about each other as they have a very strained relationship. It doesn’t help matters that both mail order brides have similar sounding names, Rebecca Rice and Rebekah Rhys. Will the marriage be annulled? Will she marry Ted? The rest of the story unravels with many interesting situations that Rebecca finds herself a participant in. There aren’t too many quiet moments in Rebecca’s life, but in the end, she finally listens to her heart. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This book was so fun to read! It was very clear to me, even from the beginning, which man should hold Rebecca’s heart. Sometimes it was hard for me to watch Rebecca flounder and allow worry to grab hold of her. She allowed that fear to keep her from seeing and grasping hold what God was giving her. Reading this book over the fourth of July was really nice and ended up tying in with the story covering the same time of year. That was fun! Rebecca’s was a journey from fear to faith, learning where she belonged, and allowing herself to accept God’s abundant blessings. This story was definitely one worth reading! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
She married the wrong man...or did she? I've kinda gotten hooked on this historical romance series, each book set in a different location around the U.S. I picked it up because one of the books was by a favorite author of mine and now I've been reading each of them as I get the chance. My Heart Belongs In Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight was a sweet and interesting read, populated with some quirky characters, and with elements of comedy, mystery, western, all in addition to the historical romance. There were some poignant moments and some moments I just had to chuckle out loud. I had fun trying to puzzle out the mystery elements, and even got tossed a few curve-balls. Susanne Dietze is a new-to-me author but I enjoyed this slim novel so I doubt it will be the last story of hers that I read. If you like historical romances, enjoy series that are tied together by location-by-state, you really should try Rebecca's Plight and the other titles in the My Heart Belongs In... series. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
What a great read! I really enjoyed this one. It was entertaining and had some good twists! ;) It was a little more drawn out than I would have personally liked it to be, but the both funny and amazing scenes more than made up for it. Rebecca is such a cool character, and I feel she shows true Christian love in her actions. I LOVED Tad! He is so sweet! The whole situation is unique and entertaining as they learn about their mistake and how to deal with it among thieves and a band of hilarious characters! This was the first book I've read from Susanne and I can't wait to read more!!! I recommend this sweet and adventurous read!!!! P.S. It's a GREAT 4th of July read! ;) Songs: "He Leadeth Me" by the Cluster Pluckers Songs etc. May be changed and/or added in the future. ~ASC Jeremiah 29:11 ~ASC *I received this book from Barbour for the purpose of reviewing it. This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight. ~ASC