2017, 100p, Clean Historical Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy via the tour host, which did not affect my review in any way
Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.
Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.
I love mail-order bride stories and this one delivered! Chad Hughes was corresponding with a mail-order bride, but when he went to pick her up at the train station, she wasn't there. Once he learned that the whole thing was a fraud from the beginning, he turned to Sophia Sorensen, a quirky, but very single, attorney. Sophia had her own difficulties with finding a love match. An idea is planted in their heads which is the beginning of their leap-year courtship.
This was a quick, fun read! I love that I was able to finish it in one afternoon. Chad and Sophia were fun characters to get to know. Since it's a novella, their relationship progressed pretty quickly, but there were still some bumps to overcome. There was a local paper that loved to humiliate Sophia and they were pretty ruthless (the thin "reason" was given at the end but it never explained how the man obtained such detailed information). She took it in stride, though, and didn't let it bother her too much.
I didn't know that the leap-year courtship was a real thing until I read the note from the author at the end. Gender roles are swapped for that year and women are supposed to do everything a man would traditionally do (it's "ladies' choice" for an entire year!). Even though this is a novella, I felt like I got a complete story. I love that it made me laugh and that it's clean, so I can freely recommend it to anyone!
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