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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Marrying Minda by Tanya Hanson

Marrying Minda by Tanya Hanson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical / Western
Length: Full (280 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Mail-order bride Minda Becker arrives in Paradise, Nebraska and eagerly marries the handsome man who meets her stagecoach. His wedding kiss melts her toes. Too bad he's the wrong bridegroom. Having honored his brother's deathbed request to marry Minda, Cowboy Brixton Haynes can't deny he'd like a wedding night with the eastern beauty. But the last thing he needs is to be saddled with a wife and the three children his brother left behind. First chance he gets, he'll be back point riding along the Goodnight. But leaving Minda proves to be harder than he expected.

Twenty-five- year-old Melinda Susanna Becker feels she has paid her dues. She’s taken care of her two younger sisters by using her talent in fine stitchery and as a creative hat maker. She had bartered her creations for goods and money to support them as she nurture them until they settled into good marriages. Now she just wants to be cherished for herself—not just loved for what she can do. Thinking she is going to realize her dream, she cuts all ties with her old home and goes to Nebraska to what seemed like a dream-come-true in the letter from her intended husband. A false representation of conditions, a death, and a promise she did not make trap Minda. Her moral sense and lack of funds place Minda in a heartbreaking situation. The reader gets to see a sad Minda change from a na├»ve spinster into a capable, determined, and beautiful character as events unfold.

Brixton Haynes, a point rider on the Goodnight Trail, had come to Nebraska to see his brother wed before returning to Texas to the “fiddled-footed” life of a cowboy he enjoyed. After his disastrous romance with Esperanza Eames, a rich girl in Texas, Brixton had no intentions of loving again, but he did vow to honor his brother’s deathbed request in spite of his personal feelings. Soon he finds, the best laid plans of mice and man do oft times go astray.

Tanya Hanson weaves a web of events around Minda and Brixton that keep the reader absorbed in their uneasy relationship. The secondary characters strengthen the web making for some tense times. Katie and Neddie-Boy are remarkable characters that add a special dimension to the story. They touch the reader’s heart. Baby Priscilla, totally unaware, influences some major conflicts. Caldwell Hackett is a catalyst for some of the major decisions Minda and Brixton must make as time passes. The outlaws, while causing grief, unwittingly bring a windfall to Minda and Brixton that sets their lives on the course to a happy-ever-after.

Action, emotions, and growth of the characters make Marrying Minda delightful reading.