Mail Order Regrets (Montana Mail Order Brides, Book 1) review

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Suffering the humiliating fall from a Boston Brahmin to a pauper living off relatives, Madeline flees, trading the culture of New England for the hope of living a comfortable and respectful life with a Montana rancher. When she arrives and discovers that her husband-to-be has a reputation for lies and violent behavior, her pride won’t allow her to believe it—she will not return to Boston, and endure the whispers of her gossiping socialite peers!

Handsome widower Clay Porter is sick of everyone trying to match him up. He doesn’t want marriage and family—not anymore. All he cares about is making extra money on the side to save up to buy his own shop. When he is hired to transport a snobbish beauty to the far-distant Croft Ranch, he realizes she is completely in the dark about her fiancé’s character. Is Clay willing to risk his own dreams—and even his life—to persuade stubborn Madeline that she’s making a mistake?

[Note: Mail Order Regrets is a sweet historical romance novel of 76,344 words, but is not a Christian/inspirational romance. There is no religious theme, and while there are also no sex scenes, there kissing scenes, and some allusions to sexual tension.]

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this authors work.  I was pulled into the story from the very first page.  Madeline flees Boston and on the way to Montana to meet Sam her fiancé.  Clay arrives to pick her up at the train station.  Madeline mistakes him for her fiancé.  Once she learns of the truth, she starts to treat him like a servant which Clay can not stand but puts up with it.  He is trying to save up some money to buy the butcher shop.

Madeline is sad to know Sam mislead her in his letters as she thought he lived right out of town not a 2 day ride.  Clay tries to warn her of the way Sam is.  He is not a nice guy but she thinks he is jealous.

They have to stay at Clay’s sisters house one night. As snow storms slow them down. Cara starts to teach Madeline how to cook and do a few chores around the house as she had no clue.  A rancher would expect his wife to now how to cook, clean and do laundry. Madeline has no clue how to do any of those things.  Cara and Madeline become fast friends.  She  has some feelings for Clay but knows he lost his wife a few years ago and doesn’t want to remarry at all. Cara tries to warn her of Sam as well but continues on the journey.

Clay starts to have feelings for Madeline he thinks.  She comes across snobby but she keeps him on his toes.   Will Clay be able to save her and fall in love with her?  Will Madeline come around and see Clay for the caring man he is?

A great book and I will be checking out more in this series as the author is a great writer and the characters pop out at you.  You want to see how the journey ends.  I highly recommend this book.

Excerpt:

The sky was obscured by the clouds, and the last bit of light was fading as Clay guided the sleigh off the main road and down a long trail to a small cabin nestled in the foothills.

“We’ll rest here a while before we go on?” Madeline asked, pulling down the furs and blankets from her face.

He brought the horses to a stop in front of the door. “No. We’re not going to make it tonight. We’ll have to stay here.”

“You can’t mean that.” She clutched the furs to her bosom. “You said we’d take shelter—not sleep here!”

He hopped out and started unhitching the horses. “I do. It’s another two hours to my sister’s place, and the visibility is only getting worse. There’s nowhere decent between here and my sister’s house to take shelter. This is it. We’re lucky I found it—I almost missed the turn-off.”

“But—but—” she stammered, “there’s no one else here.”

“And we’re lucky for that. There are only accommodations for two here. Assuming someone hasn’t made off with one of the two chairs that were here last time, that is.”

“You are not funny, Mr. Porter.” She stood up in the sleigh and stomped her foot. “I insist you take me to a proper place to stay.”

The horses whinnied and stomped in place, jostling the sleigh. Madeline slipped fell back into her seat with a hard thump. The driver took the horses by their bridles and spoke in soothing tones until they quieted. Then he stalked back to the sleigh.

“If you insist on throwing a childish fit,” he snarled, “please do it outside the sleigh, before you provoke my horses into bolting, simply because you are indulging in a tantrum over not having a soft, fancy place to lay your head tonight.”

She swallowed her rage at being spoken to with such disrespect, only because she realized he was right—she could have caused a dreadful accident. “I’m sorry. I am. But it has nothing to do with a fancy place to lay my head. That—” she pointed at the ramshackle habitation, “is a very small cabin which, according to you, can only sleep two. Two! There is no one here to act as chaperone. What is my future husband to think when he finds out I spent the night alone with the sleigh driver?”

“If he had any sense, he’d be glad that I made a level-headed decision that kept his bride-to-be safe and alive! Not that I’d accuse Croft of having any sense.” He muttered the last part as he walked back to his horses. “Get back under your covers, before you let out all the heat.”

“What heat?” she grumbled. “You let the coal burn out ages ago.”