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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mistaken Bride by Regan Taylor

Mistaken Bride by Regan Taylor
Book 2 of the Bride Series
Publisher: Awe Struck Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (227 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Hastening west with the information that will clear his brother's wife of murder, the last thing Deputy U.S. Marshal Kendrick Parker expects when he arrives in St. Louis is to come face to face with the notorious Black Bette Barclay. Knowing the San Francisco Marshal's office has a warrant for her arrest, Kendrick arranges to bring the dastardly woman as far as his brother's home in Adler Creek, Wyoming where he will turn Bette over to fellow lawmen. To avoid bringing undue concern to his fellow wagon train travelers, Kendrick concocts the story that Bette is his wife, Mandy.

Journeying to St. Louis to take a position as a school teacher the last Amanda Davis expected was to be arrested for crimes she did not commit. Well almost the last thing. The absolute last thing she expected was to be loaded on to a wagon in a train heading west and told she must pose as the wife of the too good looking Marshal. Prim, proper and a tad prickly she quickly learns nothing irritates the Marshal more than using her extensive vocabulary. While her verbal jabs tend to mostly irritate Kendrick, he cannot help but notice how Amanda is with the children on the wagon train, taking time each night to give them lessons.

After nearly drowning in an icy river, Kendrick takes ill and is forced to stop at a homestead to heal. He soon realizes he has the wrong woman...or is it the right one?

Kendrick couldn’t believe it. He was in town just for a quick visit on his way to his brother’s place and runs across Black Bette in the general store!

Ms. Taylor grabs your attention in the first chapter and keeps her characters hopping all the way through her novel. The two main characters are strong in personalities and Kendrick is as stubborn as a man usually is. He KNOWS she’s Black Bette even if she claims she’s a new schoolteacher – after all, she looks just like the picture.

The author does a good job of providing the correct historical detail for the time period. Travelling by wagon train was common then because stagecoaches often got robbed or broke down. You were safer in groups. It was fun to see how Ms. Taylor slowly developed the romance between the cynical Marshall and the misunderstood schoolteacher.

The other characters in her story have their own personal problems to deal with and while I thought I knew how the story would end, I wasn’t so sure that I took it for granted. The story moves at a good pace, the sharp back and forth conversations between the Marshall and his prisoner, and the attempt to pretend they are newlyweds to make their trip better accepted makes this an enjoyable read. Especially with the other women’s womanly advice for newlyweds...

I enjoyed this enough book to see if I can find more in this series to read. This was a well-done western romance.