Turns out, you can buy love. Two new romances blend old-fashioned sweetness with rip-roaring adventure, breathing new life into one of the oldest tropes of the Western romance: the mail-order bride.
Sarah M. Eden mines the mail-order bride plot for gentle comedy and goodhearted character growth in her kisses-only inspirational romance, Healing Hearts. Gideon MacNamara is the beloved doctor of the small Wyoming town of Savage Wells. Unlucky in love and desperately in need of professional assistance, he requests an arranged bride with medical experience, hoping to kill two birds with one logical, unromantic stone. When Miriam Bricks arrives, believing she’s been hired for a position as a nurse and only a nurse, she’s quite confused as to why all the townspeople are so happy to see her. And why they’re all dressed for a wedding. After the confusion is cleared up, Gideon pushes past his embarrassment and offers Miriam a job in his office. The pair are refreshingly mature as they work through their awkward situation, and Gideon’s defense of Miriam to his disappointed patients is particularly charming.
If you’re looking for a bit more, shall we say, illicit take on the trope, Linda Broday’s The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride should be right up your alley. Clay Colby is certain his intended will take one look at the burned-out remains of his home and hightail it back to wherever she came from. But Tally Shannon has demons of her own and nowhere else to go. Both have a price on their heads, and they vow not to turn each other in while they attempt to make their marriage work. Broday’s earthy, no-nonsense characters fit the rugged setting perfectly, and it’s a pleasure to watch these two lonely, cynical souls forge a powerful, passionate partnership.