If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too. There is something about mail-order bride stories that I really enjoy reading. It probably has to do with a newly married couple -- essentially strangers before the wedding -- discovering their love for each other.
This is the best mail-order bride story I've ever read. Ironically, the second best one was also in this series. I think Ms. Brendan has a gift when it comes to writing about romantic love between newly married couples. Add to that the tender heart the heroine has for animals and rescuing them from abuse and you have an intriguing book.
The hero was a sweetheart. Yeah, he had a pretty rigid personality at first, but as his love grew for his new bride, his strict boundaries became blurred and he learned to be spontaneous and not take life so seriously that it's predictable and boring. I loved experiencing the softening of his heart as he fell in love with her. The heroine's desire to please her husband while remaining true to herself is a good lesson for young women to learn. This novel illustrates that beautifully.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It's heartwarming and sensual at the same time, as newly married love should be. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year, if not at the top of my list!
A sappy, but cute story of Anna, a mail order bride and Edward, a clock maker, who live in Denver Colorado.
Like most newlyweds, who haven't lived together before marriage, they have a time of adjustment; which is often hilarious, but also heart wrenching when feelings are hurt and miscommunication occurs. Edwards OCD (OCD - Obsessive-compulsive disorder - apparently emerged in 1877, did you know that?) was a major contribution to Anna and his rocky start, just as much as Anna's spontaneity. They had to learn how to live a balanced life between the two.
It was interesting learning a bit of the history of the A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Anna's efforts to star the first shelter in Denver. Both were admirable.
I wanted to read this book because of my interest in mail order brides. I cannot fathom how women, girls even, could do this. Usually they left their families behind in another city, state or country. I mean, I did that but I knew my husband before I made the move. I have read the first two books of this series and thought the first was the best one. To me Perfectly Matched was a regular fictional romance novel. It isn't a book I get excited about or would read again, unfortunately.
"Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.
While this is the third book in The Blue Willow Brides series, each book can be read as a stand-alone story. The other books are titled, Deeply Devoted and Twice Promised. These two books feature Anna's, the main female lead in this book, sisters and their stories as mail-order brides. This story is set in Denver, Colorado in 1888.
Anna Olsen is living with her sister, but wants her own life in her own house. She decides to accept an offer of marriage as a mail-order bride to accomplish her goal. However, she soon realizes she and her husband are very different. On their wedding day, he gives her a list of household chores that need to be done and when to do them. Anna is a free spirit who never feels more alive than when she is outdoors. Now she finds her life consumed with trying to keep up with her list of things to do. She soon decides the list is impossible to keep up, and encounters a new interest_homeless animals. Her husband is against this at first, because of their hair all over everything, the mess they make in the backyard and the time they take away from his wife when she should be spending that time with him. Anna is convinced the Lord wants her to follow through with taking care of these animals.
Edward Parker is a watchmaker. He runs his shop, his home and his life with precision, and he expects his wife to do the same. Edward gives his new wife a little slack as she is young and has never run a household before. He tries to keep in mind they are both new at the marriage, and don't know each other very well, having only corresponded by mail before marrying. Edward must learn to deal with his jealousy where his new wife is concerned. Is there any way this marriage will work? Anna is not nearly as concerned with his schedule or doing things his way and has her own ideas on how to do things. Will they learn to compromise or will they continue to step on each other's toes?
I have read the prior two books in this series, as well as the Heart of the West series also by Maggie Brendan. While her prior works have been very good and held my attention, this particular installment was just average. The storyline just didn't draw me in. Edward just was not likeable in my opinion. I did like Anna's compassionate heart for animals and her willingness to take charge about solving the problem of abandoned/homeless animals. After finally consummating their marriage, it seemed readers were frequently "getting to know one another better". I felt this excess aspect of their intimacy took away from moving the story along, and in fact was an unwanted distraction. Authors cannot always write a 5-star book, so I will still be reading future books by this author. However, this novel was just so-so.
The title is a bit misleading. Perfectly Matched...Anna Olson is now a mail-order bride. Edward Parker, the groom, is a bit, well maybe more than a bit, OCD. Whereas, Anna, is a bit scatter brained, in a good way.
Will these two different people, newly met, be able to forge a marriage? Edward needs organization in his life, everything in its place. A day for each chore, and meals right on time. Enter Anna, and she arrives with a dog. Now being a dog lover I know that fur, and playing and just being in the house leaves things a bit disorganized! Poor Edward!
Now Anna does not stop with just one dog, oh no. Pretty soon a menagerie of different animals begins to appear, you can just picture what happens.
The story is not just about Anna and Edwards different personalities, but it is about the sweet romance that blooms. Of course, there is a rocky start to even that.
This is the third and final book in this wonderful series, and each book can stand on its own. I highly recommend that you read each of these fantastic stories, you will not be disappointed!!
I received this book through the Revell Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
Maggie Brendan knows how to write good stories, plain and simple. Perfectly Matched is probably my favorite of the Blue Willow Brides series and that's saying a lot since I fairly gushed over the first two books. It wasn't the heroine, although she was great, and it wasn't the hero who was pretty special too, but the fact that stray animals played such an important role in the story. If you have a soft spot for dogs, cats, horses. etc. you will definitely like that Anna Olsen stands up for sick, hurt, and abandoned animals -- so much so that I think she'd give Sarah Mclachlan a run for her money! Even her new husband, Edward, can't say no to Anna when it comes to her heart for caring for the towns sick and abandoned animals. I loved how Ms. Brendan threaded the history of the ASPCA into this great western romance. I don't think I've ever read a Christian book that featured such a great cast of four-legged critters who added such joy and fun to a story.
Even though they definitely lightened the mood of the story, this book wasn't all about animals. Edward's and Anna's budding romance, of course, took center stage. Edward was a bit of a control freak to say the least and definitely had problems adapting to Anna's free spirited ways. Sometimes he came across as bit of a jerk, he was such a stick in the mud! It was definitely interesting to say the least to see them both adapt to their newlywed status. It was nice to see both Anna and Edward gain confidence in who they were AND in their relationship.
As the final book in the Blue Willow Brides series, Perfectly Matched is a real winner. I'm so sorry to see this series at and end, but if this series and Maggie Brendan's Heart of the West series are any indication, her next book will be well worth buying and reading! Kudos to Ms. Brendan on a job well done!
~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- A favorite! ~
*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*