Pinkerton detective Maggie Cartwright is tasked with going undercover as a mail order bride. Her “fiancé” is widower Garrett Thomas, aka the suspected Whistle-Stop Bandit. No sooner does Maggie arrive in Arizona Territory when she’s confronted with an early wedding date—the clock is ticking on her detective work or she may end up a criminal’s wife! As the day of the wedding draws near, Maggie begins to panic. The problem is that the more she gets to know Garrett and his two adorable children, the harder it is to keep up the deception. Can a man as kind and gentle as Garrett really be the Whistle-Stop Bandit?
About the Author
Bestselling author Margaret Brownley has more than forty-five books to her credit. She has won numerous awards, including the Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice award and Romantic Times Pioneer award. She is also a two-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. Her books have been published in nine languages, and she has written for a daytime soap. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence. Margaret can be reached through her website at margaret-brownley.com
Read an Excerpt
Undercover Ladies Book Two
By Margaret Brownley
Barbour Publishing Inc.Copyright © 2015 Margaret Brownley
All rights reserved.
Arizona Territory, 1882
Maggie Taylor spotted the thief the moment she stepped off the Southern Pacific train and onto the open-air platform.
As a Pinkerton operative, she'd dealt with her share of pickpockets through the years, but this one put the profession to shame. He made no attempt at discretion; he simply bumped into a male passenger and walked away with the man's gold watch.
Normally Maggie wouldn't hesitate to pursue the culprit, but today she had bigger fish to fry. Chasing after a third-rate thief could jeopardize months of hard work and careful preparation, and she couldn't take the chance.
That is, until he targeted a young mother with three small children. Maggie changed her mind. He had to be stopped.
Threading her way through the crowd, she reached the woman ahead of the thief and picked up the drawstring handbag she'd carelessly left next to a carpetbag.
"Your purse, ma'am. There are thieves around. Better keep an eye on it."
The harried mother took the bag from her. She looked no older than nineteen or twenty. "Thank you," she murmured, as if thieves were the least of her problems.
Satisfied that the pickpocket's latest attempt at larceny had been thwarted, Maggie pushed him from her mind and swung her gaze over the crowd. Never before had a new assignment filled her with such anxiety. But then again, never had she attempted such a daring venture.
Would she recognize the suspect on sight?
According to Pinkerton files, Garrett Thomas stood six feet tall, was forty-five years of age, and had dark hair and blue eyes. His one outstanding feature was a scar along the side of his face — a war wound. He was also extremely clever. Some said even lucky. A suspected thief and murderer, Thomas had endured the Battle of Gettysburg and a year in the Andersonville rebel prison — an impressive record of survival by anyone's standards.
Though he was suspected of committing a daring train robbery, his most notable achievement was evading Pinkerton's best detectives for nearly two years. We'll see how long your luck holds out this time, Mr. Thomas. Eventually even a cat runs out of lives.
After checking that her feathered hat was angled just right, she pushed a strand of auburn hair behind her ear and smoothed the bun at her nape. Her wardrobe had been chosen with utmost care, and her demeanor meticulously polished.
The goal was to look fashionable but not ostentatious: to act domesticated without appearing dull. At all times she had to be charming, well spoken, and industrious. In matters of politics, religion, and finances she must take care not to express a contrary view as she was often inclined to do. In other words, she had to look and act like a woman that any man would be proud, indeed anxious, to wed.
Given her somewhat opinionated and independent spirit, curtailing her impulsive nature would be her greatest challenge. She couldn't afford to do or say anything without careful consideration of the consequences. Not this time.
Not only did she have to make a fine impression but one that would throw no suspicion her way. "Dazzle Thomas with your charm and good looks," Mr. Pinkerton had said. "He won't suspect a thing."
In her current state, she'd be lucky to dazzle a horsefly. She was hot and she was hungry and more than anything, travel weary.
Despite the desert heat, she donned her kid gloves and smoothed the wrinkles from her blue velvet-trimmed suit. Steam hissed across the platform, and passengers sidestepped the heated blast.
A barefooted boy of nine or ten raised a folded newspaper in the air and yelled something about a fire. "Readallaboutit!"
A man bumped into her and almost knocked her off her feet. Regaining her balance, she pivoted just in time to see the same thief she'd spotted earlier snatch the paperboy's money bag and dart into the crowd. The nerve! It wasn't bad enough trying to steal from a young mother, but a child?
The youth's face turned red. "That man took my pouch!" His eyes brimmed with tears, though he tried not to let them fall. "Now I gotta pay the money back."
Maggie hesitated. If only the boy didn't look so needy. His tattered shirt was a size too small, and his threadbare trousers fell six inches short of his dirty bare feet. "Stay here!" she said and took off after the robber.
The thief moved at a fast clip, but the crowded platform and a limp kept him from altogether running. His long dark coat was more suitable for cold weather, and it made him stand out among a crowd dressed mainly in calico dresses and boiled white shirts.
Something was definitely wrong with his left leg. He dragged it along, toes pointing away from his body. She'd almost caught up to him when a dark-skinned porter pushed a cart of baggage in her path, momentarily blocking her way.
By the time the cart moved, the pickpocket had vanished. She ran to the end of the platform and immediately spotted him lumbering along the railroad tracks. Had he been physically able to run she might have given up the chase, but he looked like an easy mark.
Jumping to the ground, she raised her skirt above her ankles and took off after him. Here I go again, tossing common sense to the wind. But she couldn't seem to help herself. Not where children were concerned.
Running on the gravel in high-button shoes and a straight skirt wasn't easy, but she quickly gained on the man. She just hoped he didn't force her to pull out her pistol.
No more than a couple of yards separated them when the heel of her boot caught on a wooden railroad tie. All at once her feet flew from beneath her. Arms and legs windmilling, she fell facedown on the ground.
The wind knocked out of her, she fought to gather her wits. Now look what she'd done. Grimacing, she ever so slowly pushed to her feet and squinted against the blazing sun. On the left side of the tracks a bleak desert stretched for as far as the eye could see. Since the thief was nowhere in sight, he'd probably ducked through the adobe brickyard that paralleled the tracks on the right.
What kind of town was this anyway that a man could steal from a young boy in plain sight and get away with it?
Gritting her teeth, she stared down at her stylish blue traveling suit now covered in dust.
She brushed herself off with quick angry swipes and straightened her feather hat. When would she ever learn? One impetuous moment could jeopardize six months of careful planning.
The sound of crunching gravel made her whirl about. A tall, broad-shouldered man stood but a few feet away staring at her with eyes the color of a deep blue sea.
"Is everything all right, ma'am?"
Her mouth fell open, and her hand flew to her parted lips. The red scar slicing down the side of his handsome square face told her he could be no other than the suspect Garrett Thomas, the man she had traveled all this distance to wed.
* * *
Maggie's mind scrambled. Normally able to think on her feet, she had a hard time coming up with a plausible explanation for standing on the railroad tracks. God, don't let me mess up this job. Not like she did the Madison case, which had landed her in jail. This time she would get her man if it killed her. Reminding herself to "dazzle," she lifted her chin with a brilliant smile.
"I'm quite all right, thank you." Taller than she'd expected, he towered over her five-foot-seven-inch height by more than six inches. He was clean shaven with high cheekbones and a straight nose. His brown hair, neatly trimmed to just above his collar, was combed from a side part.
"Mr. Thomas, right?" she said, extending a gloved hand. At least the Pinkerton report got the color of his eyes right, though listing the color as merely blue hardly did them justice.
He stared at her for a brief moment before his hand swallowed hers in a firm grip. His wide shoulders filled his boiled shirt and low-cut vest with no room to spare. A large-brim hat shaded his face.
"And you must be Miss Taylor."
"Yes." She smiled and lowered her lashes as she imagined a woman meeting her fiancé for the first time might do. Under Allan Pinkerton's guidance, she had answered this man's advertisement for a mail-order bride and corresponded with him for nearly six months.
Much to her dismay, he didn't look particularly dazzled. Instead he frowned. "What are you doing here on the railroad tracks?"
"I was hoping to ... convince a thief to return his haul." Sticking as close to the truth as possible was the key to creating a realistic illusion. She'd worked long and hard to arrange this meeting and would play her role to the hilt.
As if suddenly aware that he still held her hand, he released it. "And how, exactly, did you intend to do that?" His eyes shone with amusement. "Convince him, I mean."
With a strategically pointed gun, if necessary. Of course she couldn't say that aloud. "With charm and goodwill," she said instead.
He hung his thumbs from his vest pockets and grinned. "I don't know how it is in your hometown, ma'am, but here in Arizona, charm and goodwill won't get you the time of day."
So much for the principal's dazzle theory. "What will?" she asked, feigning a look of innocence.
"A firearm and a good left hook."
She would have felt a whole lot better had he said it with a smile like the one she'd seen before, but he looked serious. Dead serious. Nevertheless, she maintained her composure. "I didn't know that Arizona was so ... civilized."
This time he did smile, which only emphasized his nicely shaped mouth. "Oh, we're civilized all right. We haven't had a shootout since last Wednesday." He crooked his arm and inclined his head. "Shall we? My rig's over there."
She slipped her arm through his and forced herself to breathe. It hardly seemed fair for a suspected killer to be so attractive, but she wasn't about to be fooled by his charm or good looks.
She willed the knot in her stomach to go away as they approached his horse and wagon. Her bout of nerves was annoying and totally uncalled for. He had no reason to suspect she was anyone other than who she pretended to be: an innocent farm girl and mail-order bride.
All she had to do was act like the perfect little fiancée until she found the proof to put him away and she'd be home free. It sounded easy enough during the planning stages, but now that she'd met him in person, something told her that nothing about this man would be simple.CHAPTER 2
Garrett Thomas was surprised to see his Aunt Hetty on his doorstep later that day. Yesterday she was on her deathbed declaring, "This really is the end." And here she was no more than twenty-four hours later, dressed in her Sunday-go-to-meeting best and looking spry as a young hen.
Normally he would be delighted to see her up and about, but he knew from experience that any time his aunt donned feathers and silk midweek, it was never a good sign. Either this really was her last day on earth or she was about to put her nose where it didn't belong. The appearance of Reverend Holly could mean either one of his suppositions was correct.
"Don't tell me you're planning your funeral again," Garrett said wryly, bracing himself for her usual long and tiresome list of physical complaints, or what he called her "organ recital." Her last recitation started at the big toe and worked up from there to the cranium.
But she surprised him. No palpitating heart complaints today. No sciatic grievances. Nor any rheumatism updates. Instead, his aunt pushed past him in a cloud of rustling brown silk and lavender perfume.
"No, but now that you mention it, I do wish to make some changes." She pulled off her kid gloves as she spoke and gave them an emphatic shake. "I'll not have that awful Grace Lytton sing at my funeral." Aunt Hetty was a small, birdlike woman whose sharp tongue had, at one time or other, alienated everyone in town.
The minister splayed his hands and shrugged before following her inside the house with an apologetic air. He was a short, barrel-chested man with a goatee. Red suspenders held up his trousers, and his shirtsleeves were rolled up to the elbows. His one concession to formality was his ever-present bow tie with the pointed ends.
His aunt planted herself on the divan as if intending to take root, and the minster took the nearby upholstered chair.
Before Garrett had a chance to find out what was really going on, his five-year-old daughter, Elise, ran into the parlor, her face bright with delight.
"Aunty!" she squealed.
Aunt Hetty wrapped her arms around the child's small frame, but other than a quick glance at Elise, her attention remained on Garrett. "Be careful of my back, precious, and watch my bad knee. Oh, and we must do something with your hair. We can't have you looking like a waif for your father's wedding."
Garrett stared at his aunt. So that's what this visit was about. He should have known.
"What's a waif?" Elise asked.
Garrett kept his irritation in check, as much for his daughter's sake as for the man of God. He didn't have much use for the church, but the reverend deserved respect, as did any guest in his household.
"I'll tell you later. Now run along like a good girl." She patted Elise on the backside. "I wish to speak to your father."
And Garrett wished to speak to her.
Aunt Hetty meant well, but he and he alone would decide if and when he married. Miss Taylor's letters had looked promising; she wrote with intelligence, warmth, and wit. But after meeting her in person, he had grave concerns about her lack of judgment. Chasing after a thief, of all things ... She could have gotten herself killed. In the name of Sam Hill, what had she been thinking? And what other character flaws did she possess?
He waited until Elise had left the room. "As I explained the other day, Miss Taylor and I wish to wait until we've had time to get to know each other." Selecting a new wife was not a task to be taken lightly, especially when his two children were involved.
"Wait too long and I might not be around to enjoy your wedding. You know how my back has been acting up and —"
"A bad back is not generally a cause of death," Garrett argued.
Aunt Hetty stared down her pointed nose. "That's not all that's wrong with me and you know it."
The minister, apparently sensing she was about to run through another shopping list of ailments, interrupted. "Speaking of weddings, when do we get to meet the bride-to-be?"
"Good question." Aunt Hetty leaned forward, both brown-spotted hands atop her cane. "We stopped at the hotel and the clerk told us there was some sort of mix-up."
"There was a mix-up all right." The room he'd reserved for Maggie a month ago had been given to someone else. "No rooms are available."
"Hmm. How odd." Aunt Hetty gave him a questioning look. "So where is she staying?"
"Right now she's staying here."
Her eyebrows shot up. "Then there's no time to waste. I won't have you living in sin around my grandniece and grandnephew."
The reverend mopped his damp forehead with a handkerchief but refrained from comment.
Aunt Hetty sniffed. "It's a good thing I dragged myself out of a sickbed to come over here. I probably shortened my life by —"
"You shouldn't have done that," Garrett said.
"Nonsense. I promised your dear mother that I would take care of you."
"And no one could have done a better job than you." His widowed mother died when he was six, and his aunt devoted herself to his upbringing at great sacrifice. That's what made it so difficult to stand his ground now.
"Surely you see the advantage of getting to know my bride first before we tie the knot. Let the children get to know her."
"Hogwash! There'll be plenty of chances for the children to get to know her after you've made an honest woman of her."
The reverend tucked his handkerchief in his pocket. "It seems to me that the bride should have something to say about this."
Garrett inclined his head toward the bedroom where Miss Taylor had been closeted since they'd arrived home. "She's resting from her journey."
"Did you tell her about Toby?" his aunt asked.
Garrett inhaled. His eight-year-old son had become a sore subject between them. He wasn't a bad kid, just curious and adventuresome and far too active for his aunt to handle.
"There's nothing to tell."
"Tell me what?"
Excerpted from Undercover Bride by Margaret Brownley. Copyright © 2015 Margaret Brownley. 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Maggie Cartwright is a woman who takes her job very seriously. Indeed, she’s not just a Pinkerton operative working in the male-dominated 1870’s, but one who is willing to go undercover as a mail-order bride to prove a suspect guilty. And her willingness to do just that may mean she’ll be getting married to protect her cover...Will Pinkerton catch their man and will Maggie close the case before wedding bells ring? As the story opens, we meet Maggie, who has just arrived in the Arizona Territory to meet her betrothed, Garrett Thomas. Or at least that’s what Garrett thinks. He also thinks he is meeting Maggie Taylor, his mail-order bride. Garrett is suspected of being one of the bandits who took part in the ‘Whistle-Stop Robbery,’ in which one man was killed. Garrett matches the description of one of the bandits given by an eyewitness and it’s Maggie’s job to prove his guilt. Gaining Garrett’s trust by masquerading as a potential bride, and being able to move about his house without suspicion was a brilliant move on the part of the Pinkerton agency, but for Maggie…not so much. You see, Garrett is handsome, smart, and gentle, and has two adorable children who manage to wiggle their way into Maggie’s heart. Before long, she realizes that she is falling for this man and is determined to prove his innocence. I have not read the first book in the Undercover Ladies series, Petticoat Detective, but had no problem jumping right into this tale. Each book is a stand-alone cozy, so no need to hesitate on buying this book if you haven’t read the first. The characters are well-developed for a cozy mystery, with my favorites the indomitable Aunt Hetty and a fellow Pinkerton detective who helps Maggie solve the case. Disguises flourish, plots to expose the guilty are planned (including a few that real Pinkerton detectives were known to use) and you may just learn a little history along the way. Throw in a light dose of Christian themes, and you have the perfect ‘gentle’ cozy. Undercover Bride is a delightful change from so many of the hard-core crime mysteries on the market today. Quill says: A fun, easy-reading, quick moving Christian cozy that will keep the pages turning and the reader guessing until almost the last page.
This is a stand alone novel in Margaret Brownly's Undercover Ladies series. I love the spunk she puts behind all the books I have read from her. The women have strong personalities, and a good sense of humor. Maggie Cartwright, AKA Maggie Taylor, is undercover as a Mail order bride. As a Pinkerton detective she has had to play many different role's, however this may be her toughest one yet. She is a strong opinionated detective yet feels a bit under qualified to pull off this job. She has no domestic natural abilities and to take on the job of wife and mother all while trying to solve a crime may be more than she bargained for, especially when the heart may get involved. Garrett Thomas just wants someone to take care of his children. When he meets Maggie he wanders if he has made a huge mistake. Yet the more he gets to know her the more he wonders if this is a good or bad thing. Maggie and Garrett must learn to trust God more than anything else. When Maggie gut tells her one thing and the evidence points to another, which will she believe and will the truth ever be revealed? This book is full of twist, turns, excitement, romance and love. If you enjoy reading good, clean, spunky, historical, detective romance type books this one is for you. I want to thank NetGalley and the author for this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Maggie is a detective for Pinkerton. She goes undercover as a mail order bride for a case already two years old. Her soon to be husband Garrett is actually suspected of being the “ Whistle Stop Bandit “. Garrett is a widower with two children - Toby, and Elise. Maggie discovers she is very attracted to Garrett as he is her. Yet could she actually be attracted to a killer? Also where is the money he got from the train robbery? I really loved this story and plot. So fun to read had me laughing out loud and not wanting to put it down until I had read the very last page. I loved the characters especially the twists and turns Maggie and Garrett went through. I highly recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
I totally enjoyed this humorous read which I could not put down, I ended up staying up to 3 in the morning until I could not keep my eyes open anymore. I found it to be a very intriguing with Maggie being a Pinkerton detective and all the messes she gets into trying to help raise a very strong willed boy who's mind is ahead of his time can be trying. Maggie agreed to become a mail-ordered bride to catch the team who stole the money two years ago from a train all leads go back to one man her attend. What she finds is a truly wonderful family man that she finds hard to believe he would have taken the money. With two adoring children, one aunt that has moved the wedding up within weeks of the time of her arrival she must work fast to find the guilty person. This is one author that had me laughing out loud at all the mishaps this family gets into. The aunt is a mess that will keep you laughing as she pushes forward the date to marry these two off. She has more pains an aches than a person should have with one foot in the grave her time on earth isn't long. You are so going love her and her nosy ways. Toby is a delightful young boy who gets his self in to messes as he has plans to go to the moon that will keep you in stitches waiting to see what he comes up with next. Garrett is a wonderful man who just wants a wife to help take care of his family. He doesn't care if it is a marriage in name only that is until he sets eye on Maggie. It really is hard to believe this wonderful caring family man could be a killer and train robber. He has had a hard life, at one time he had big plans until war broke out. It changed his life forever as he comes home a broken man. He marries only to lose his wife one night in a storm. Two years later he is ready to move on into a marriage with no love. It is the safes things he never wants to feel that lost again. When Maggie turns up she rocks his world and shakes his life up from the moment he sets eyes on her. His life is about to change in more ways than one. Maggie is such a go getter as she takes on man after man to bring the bad man home. She has always brought her man in as she serves justices. She and her partner make a great team as the work to find the person responsible for robbing the train. Just everything isn't falling into place as easy as it should. With this new case she must put all her acting skills to work as she finds she is falling for this crazy wonderful family. She is finding it hard to believe such a man could be a killer. Maggie is a lovely character who has a trying past that keeps pushing her to be the best detective she can be. When the time comes to bring Garrett in will she be able to or will her new found love for him and his family get in his way? I love the mystery and the plot as the author spins a wonderful tale and gives a very funny read that keeps you turning the page. The author gives you at times a very emotional read with characters you cannot help but love. I found it to be very well written as the author shows why she is a bestselling author as she gives you a delightful Christian read. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and it sure will not be the last. She keeps her readers very entertained as she gives you a story you won't be able to put down.
If you love a good Western romance, you'll want to get this one in your sights, 'cause with Margaret Brownley it's sure shootin'! The dry hot Arizona Territory harbors the elusive Whistle-Stop train robbers, and Pinkerton detectives are hired to flush them out. Maggie Cartwright just wants to do her job, then head onto her next assignment, but deep down all she really wants is a family of her own. How can she stay detached when there are two sweet kids and their gentlemanly father in the mix? Is he as innocent as he seems? Quirky characters, witty dialogue, and plenty of action are ahead as the story heats up, including some courtroom drama, plus a sweet romance that seems doomed from the start. Who knew that chess could be so romantic? Some faith references, prayers and church scenes put this firmly in the Christian romance genre, but it's not too preachy making it appealing to anyone looking for good clean historical fiction. An enjoyable read from beginning to end! 4.5 stars (Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the book provided in exchange for my unsolicited honest review.)
What I liked: I have read a few books about Pinkerton detectives and they are quite enjoyable and this book does not disappoint. Maggie has done her research yet she is caught of guard by Garrett. She finds herself drawn to him and his kids as well as his crazy aunt. I loved all the characters. The supporting characters such as Aunt Hetty and Maggie's partner Rikker(and all his funny crazy disguises) made this a well rounded and fun book to read. What I didn’t like: Not much to complain about in this book. This book did a great job of mixing romance and suspense. This is the 2nd book in the series but very much stands alone and I am excited to read the final book in the series when it is released.
Undercover Bride is the second book in Margaret Brownley’s, Undercover Ladies series, though they each stand alone quite well. I’ve read a few of Margaret’s books, though I have to be honest and say that while I’ve enjoyed all of them, she isn’t on my must-read list. Her books are generally cute, engaging, and make me laugh. I can say the same of this one. The historical details are well done and I had fun peeking into the life of a Pinkerton operative. Unfortunately, it took me almost half of the book to become really interested in the story. The pacing was so slow, that I kept checking to see how much I had left, hoping it would pick up soon. It did about half-way through and I didn’t want to put it down as I was quickly coming to the climax. I confess, I wondered for a while if this was a novella and I had become confused. Her writing style reminded me of one I had read. Days are passed over with little comment and the writing is very surface, if that makes sense. Just when it seemed something important was about to happen in Maggie and Garrett’s relationship, the scene would end. This frustrated me more than anything. I wanted to “see” something happen between them, rather than just having them think about it. I’m more of a show, than tell kind reader. Characters are definitely her strong suit. I adore the quirky secondary characters she creates, as well as the main characters that are so realistic. This book is no different. I loved Maggie and was cheering for her the entire story. She is kind and sweet with the children, while also being strong and stubborn. Garrett was also a compelling character, though the story doesn’t come from his point of view that often. Which I actually found rather frustrating. I’m assuming she wrote it like that because he is suspect, but as everyone knows how it’s going to end, I really found leaving him out unnecessary. The mystery was interesting and probably one of the main things that kept me reading. I enjoyed following Maggie and her fellow operative as they attempted to piece together the evidence and find the real criminal. It definitely upped my appreciation for modern technology and the pioneers in the field of law enforcement. I hadn’t considered how much more difficult it would have been, until reading this book. Another part of the story I enjoyed was the spiritual aspect. This is a Christian novel and reflects those beliefs. I appreciated the emphasis on how important church is and Maggie’s desire to teach the children about God. I also appreciated that Maggie and Garrett’s individual struggles with faith were not glossed over. On the contrary, there is no swift conversion, but rather at the end, we’re still left with Maggie working toward forgiveness. That realism is sometimes rare to find, as most of us love all of the loose ends neatly tied up (I do). I will end by saying that I did enjoy this book, though I doubt I will ever read it again and it will not receive a place on my keeper shelf. Sorry. I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical romance and is looking for a nice, easy read for a few hours. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Undercover Bride is so much fun to read! I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading, and I was dying to find out what was going to happen next. Undercover Bride is book two in the Undercover Ladies series. I read the first book, Petticoat Detective and loved it. That being said you don’t have to read book one to love book two. Undercover Bride follows Maggie, a Pinkerton detective, to the Arizona territory in 1882. Maggie is there on a mission from her boss to uncover proof that they found the Whistle-stop Bandit. But she didn’t count on how handsome Garret Thomas was. Garret Thomas has been through a lot in his life, and doesn’t want to take a chance at falling in love again. He’s done that once, and is now a widower. Knowing that Toby and Elise, his children, need a mother figure in their lives, he placed a mail order bride ad. When Maggie arrives he finds her in a unexpected situation. Maggie is prettier than he planned on, and Garrett wonders what he’s got himself into. Can Garrett get past his hurts and take a chance at love again? Will he find out who Maggie really is? Will they accept God’s plan for their lives? Or be too scared to reach for it? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction. It had me laughing out loud and nervous at other times. I really enjoyed getting to know Maggie and Garrett and know you will too. I can’t wait to read the next in this series knowing how much I enjoyed the first two. I received a copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press, a division of Barbour Publishing, and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
I enjoyed Undercover Bride, but I kept expecting it to finish soon. Each time I felt like it was wrapping up something else would happen to prolong the story. All in all, it’s a well-written and interesting romance with a mystery and a bit of suspense. Undercover Bride is not a beach read though. It’s too long and deep. More… Genre: Historical Christian Romance Pages: 320 Grade: B+ Steam: YA Setting: Arizona Series: Undercover Ladies #2