Friday, August 21, 2015

ARC Book Review and Giveaway: Cinders' Bride (Mail Order Brides of Texas #1) by Kathleen Ball

Cinders Bride - Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Cinders' Bride 
SERIES – Mail Order Brides of Texas book one 
AUTHOR – Kathleen Ball 
GENRE – Historical Western Romance 
PUBLICATION DATE – 2nd July 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 50,000 words152 pages 
PUBLISHER – Forever Home 
COVER ARTIST – Aria Tan

Cinders Bride - Cover 

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Mail Order Brides of Texas Book One Shannon McMurphy travels to Asherville, Texas as a mail order bride expecting to marry a rancher. Instead, her intended is a saloonkeeper. Her refusal to marry enrages John Hardy and he slices her cheek with a knife so no other man would want her. She runs into the street and no one helps her until Cinders comes along.

Sexy, Rancher Cinders saves Shannon and offers her a job. To protect her reputation he marries her. They both agree it's a marriage of convenience. He admires her spunk and willingness to learn everything about surviving the Texas frontier. He waits for her to ask to go home but she never does.
They learn a lot about each other through, stolen horses, Indian troubles, a cattle drive and the busybodies of the town. Their attraction for each other grows, but can they learn to trust enough to love?

Cinders Bride - Teaser 1

BUY & TBR LINKS


Cinders Bride - Teaser 2

BOOK REVIEW

Cinders' Bride by Kathleen Ball is the first book by this author and after reading it, I am sure it won't be my last!

A mail-order bride romance, I got very fascinated with the whole mail-order bride concept. Imagine leaving everything behind to go to an known land to marry a stranger with no guarantee of finding your happily-ever-after! 
Same is the case with our heroine who also only has hope of a happy life in her heart when she leaves behind her home to go marry a rancher. But her hopes are dashed when she realizes that she has been duped and called here to serve as a prostitute! 
Saved by Cinders who then marries her to save her from falling prey to her supposed intended's evil plans, Shannon is relieved but also knows that this a marriage of convenience. 
Will Shannon have her happily-ever-after?

An engaging, clean and entertaining story, I loved Shannon's grit and determination to make a life for herself. She braved all difficulties with a smile and swallowed all hurts, to still remain thankful to God for sending Cinders to save her. I admired Shannon and prayed that all her dreams come true.

Cinders is honest, hardworking and a gentleman. Despite knowing nothing about Shannon, he still takes it upon himself to keep her safe. He is hurt and sad and had me rooting for him.

Both these characters face so many ups and downs and the slow buildup of their marriage had me smiling, then going misty eyed and then sighing in contentment. There romantic chemistry is intense and yet both are afraid of moving forward due to their own insecurities. It was endearing to see them fight and then fail to stop their longing for each other.

Kathleen creates a vivid picture of a small historical town in Texas with its gossipy and often cruel crowd, the harsh conditions of living for women and the importance put on reputation that is so fickle that even a small rumour can ruin it. She writes simply and yet was able to make me feel each and every emotion ranging from sadness, fear, longing, happiness and every thing in between.

The story moves at a moderate pace and the characters are realistic and the dialogues lively.

However, despite all the entertainment, I did feel the end came too soon and looked rushed. I wanted a better closure on the danger faced by Shannon and Cinders and what happened to remove the threats etc. Maybe, we'll hear more about it in the next book. I do hope so.

All in all, Cinders' Bride is an enjoyable read and a perfect leisure read. I loved reading it and can't wait to read the next book in the series. 4 out of 5 to it and recommended to all historical romance lovers. I loved Kathleen's writing style and will be checking out her other books too.


I received an ARC copy of the book from the author and the tour organizers and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


EXCERPT

The world seemed eerily quiet as she pushed herself up from the hard packed dirt, only to fall back down. Her ankle hurt. Tears filled her eyes, as she glanced around. There stood the women from the mercantile, staring, and their eyes full of terror. She’d get no assistance from them.
John Hardy strutted into the street and laughed while he gestured for two of his men to pick her up. “Come on, honey, it’s time for our honeymoon.”
She heard the clomping of hooves and the turn of wagon wheels behind her but the wagon didn’t stop to help her either. By this time, a crowd had gathered and now there were men standing with the group of women. She tried to plead for help with her eyes but they glanced away.
Two men grabbed at her to haul her back into the saloon when a loud cocking of a gun erupted from behind.
“Put her down.” A man's voice threatened.
John stepped forward, thrusting out his chest. “Listen, Cinders, this is none of your business. It’d be in your best interest to leave things be.”
The world began to dim and spin, the smell of blood was the last straw. She fainted.

Cinders Bride - Author Photo 

AUTHOR BIO

Sexy Cowboys and the women who love them... Finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards.
Top Pick, Five Star Series from the Romance Review.
Kathleen Ball writes contemporary western romance with great emotion and memorable characters. Her books are award winners and have appeared on best sellers lists including Amazon's Best Sellers List, All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand, Desert Breeze Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing Best Sellers list. She is the recipient of eight Editor's Choice Awards, and The Readers' Choice Award for Ryelee's Cowboy.
There's something about a cowboy....

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