Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Review: The Anonymous Bride

by Anita Mae Draper

The Anonymous Bride Book 1 Texas Boardinghouse Brides
by Vickie McDonough

There’s just something about a mail-order bride story that fills me with more anticipation than a normal romance. Probably because of that unknown factor of the hero and heroine expecting to wed – sometimes within hours – of meeting.

So when Vickie McDonough put out the call for influencers to review a copy of the first book in her Texas Boardinghouse Brides series , I put my hand up faster than a winner does at Bingo.

The Anonymous Bride greatly exceeded everything I hoped for in a romance. Vickie’s easy writing style was the perfect vehicle for this historical set in 1886 Lookout, Texas. Visually appealing, the scenes unfolded without laborious descriptions to slow down the pace. And the humor… I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud.

But, what really kept the story close to my heart was the emotional impact the mail-order bride had on the heroine, Rachel Hamilton. Because you see, Rachel wasn’t the mail-order bride. Oh, no. Rachel was just the owner of the boardinghouse where the mail-order bride stayed, which meant Rachel was the one to do her laundry, clean her room and cook her meals.

And there wasn’t just one mail-order bride trying to marry the man Rachel loved. There were 3 of them.

How could a man be so insensitive and encourage three women to think they were the only one? Well, it certainly wasn’t Luke, the town marshal. No, Luke was moseying along minding his own business, wondering what he was going to do about Rachel when the brides begin to appear bearing letters he supposedly wrote. Seems his cousins figured once a new woman was on the scene, Luke would forget all about the love he used to share with Rachel. They didn't figure on three women wanting to marry Luke.

I sympathized with Rachel when she realized her boardinghouse was the only possible place for the hopeful brides to reside. And, I cried buckets when the brides – who travelled so far on faith, each desperate for their own home – put forth their small requests of assistance to Rachel, without realizing their effect on her trampled heart.

And oh, the pain when honorable Luke agrees to pick a bride.

I loved this story and I can’t wait for the next book(s) in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series.

Vickie McDonough came be found at

Anyone else like reading about mail-order brides?


  1. Hmmm, looks like a photo from the ACFW conference booksigning. Am I right?

    Sounds as if Vickie found a great way to surprise the reader with her twist on the mail-order bride story. Anita, what a nicely written review! I love a book that makes me laugh!

    Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off to a tour of an insane asylum.

    You don't suppose there's any chance they'll...keep me, do you?

  2. Morning, Deb. It sure looks like the atrium from Denver. It's a really nice pic.

    Keep youin an insane asylum? Oh, I wouldn't worry. Just don't talk or move too much and they won't notice a thing. :D

    Atta girl, for going on a research adventure. Have a good day.

    And thank you. :)

  3. Anita, this sounds like a fun book. I love western set historicals, so I'm going to have to look for it.

  4. I think I'd love this book. What a great twist to the mail-order bride story! I'm going to have to check it out. Thanks for the lovely review, Anita.

  5. nice review, whetting the appetite for the book, Anita. i love mail-order bride stories - not exactly sure why, but i do. i will definitely have to check this series out, it sounds quite interesting.

    btw, received books and Guppy's gift. sent pix with a note to your email. many thanks for your generosity!

  6. I love mail order bride stories. :) This sounds like a jewel! I'll be on the lookout for it.

    Great review, Anita!

  7. Suzie - it is a fun book! And part of that is because of Vickie's characterization. I love it when we're in Luke's POV because he says such fun things. Like when Luke is telling Rachel who she should raise her 'wild child', he's thinking... 'Rachel puckered up like a raisin'.

    I wished I'd tagged all the original phrases she used because I lapped it up. :)

    Thanks, SuzieJo


  8. You're welcome, Susie - I think that's why this book is such a delight... because it does have a unique twist - a very surprising twist I had a hard time keeping quiet about. :o



  9. Thank you, Deb. So nice to see you here in my other home. :)

    Well, maybe you like any bride story because you were one so recently yourself? :D

    You're very welcome. It's been so long since you won the book on my blog and you were so patient. I rec'd your email and the pic of Guppy holding the gift. Loved the one of him trying to eat it. LOL Sorry I didn't reply yet. Will send you a long email soon. :)

    Thanks for following me here.


  10. Thanks, Gwen. You really like mail-order bride stories? Great! Maybe I can rustle one up for Emma's brother. :D


  11. Anita,

    Thanks soooo much for your fabulous review of The Anonymous Bride and for the nice things you said about my writing. I delighted that you enjoyed the story so much. I just finished the final edits on Second Chance Brides, book two in the series, and now I'm writing Finally A Bride, which is the last book and the story of Jack grown up.

    And Deb, you and Anita are half right. That photo is of the ACFW book signing in Minneapolis at The Mall of America.

    I feel at home here since I'm also a fan of mail-order bride stories.


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