If you read Vickie McDonough's first Boardinghouse Brides book, you know there were two disappointed mail-order brides. This delightful sequel to The Anonymous Bride answers the question of what happened to them. Starting with a bang - actually, a tornado - it's a fun-filled story of love, faith and second chances that will leave you saying, "more, please."
After enjoying the first book in Vickie McDonough's Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, I was excited to read book two. SECOND CHANCE BRIDES is another delightful story, this time focusing on the unchosen mail-order brides from the first book. Stranded in Lookout, Texas, without husbands (the man they were "ordered" for ended up marrying his childhood sweetheart), Shannon and Leah are basically living on the charity of the conniving (but big-hearted) brothers who brought them to town in the first place. McDonough does a masterful job of relating each young woman's problem-fraught love story, making readers wait and wonder until the very end before revealing their happy-ever-after endings. A special treat is the character of "Jack," actually the young daughter of the couple who own the boardinghouse. She has her own problems to deal with as she tries to figure out how to deal with the town bully--but is he as bad as he seems? Now I'm anxious for the release of book three, which I understand will feature Jack all grown up. Can't help but wonder if she'll forsake her tomboy ways or use them to torment the hero!
All in all, a charming and delightful read. McDonough's way with words, realistic characterizations, and intriguing plot twists will keep you turning pages to the very end.
I think I liked this book even better than The Anonymous Bride, Ms. McDonough's first book in the Texas Boardinghouse Bride series. When I finished book one, I'd become especially enamoured with a pair of secondary characters, brothers Mark and Garrett Corbett. This lively, well-crafted pair deserved their own story, and now they have it in Second Chance Brides.
They created quite a debacle when they sent for mail-order brides -- three of them -- for their cousin Luke in book one. Of course Luke could only marry one bride, and as it turned out, two women were left unaccounted for, stranded without home, husband, or prospect in the tiny town of Lookout Texas. The ladies now have to think of something quick, or remain dependent on the Corbett brothers for the foreseeable future. Of course, in 1800s Texas, women are in shortage, and there are ample opportunities for them to wed. But both of them hope to wed for love alone. In the meantime, one of the Corbett brothers has an unshakeable past that keeps him from being able to take hold of the future, a future that could involve one of the left-over brides. As for the other bride, her determination to stick to her own notions of freedom could cost her the love of her life. Ms. McDonough did a fine job of interweaving several story lines together. With a broad cast, and more than one central pair of characters, she had the difficult task of making us care about each character's story. In the meantime, there is the sub-plot of a young girl who is encountering difficulty and heartaches in making right choices while facing peer pressure, and what it means to have integrity and be a friend.
Even though Second Chance Brides is, on some levels, a simple prairie romance, it goes beyond many romances which are formulaic. For readers, it tackles themes of moving beyond the sins of the past to embrace the fresh beginning God offers, and of being willing to seek God's plan, even if it's different than the one we had in mind. For writers, it gives good examples of weaving multiple characters and plot lines into a tight fabric that keeps readers turning pages.
Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough is a lovely sweet romance that picks up where The Anonymous Bride left off. Shannon O'Neal and Leah Bennett are stranded in Lookout, Texas after they came as mail order brides for the same man...the Marshall. The Marshall has chosen and married Rachel, a woman from his past, leaving Shannon and Leah without a husband and no where to go.
Ordered by the Marshall to pay for the ladies room and board, the Corbett brothers organize Saturday socials to provide opportunity for the ladies to meet and marry nice gentlemen. Sometimes plans go according to plan, and then, sometimes they don't.
Vicki McDonough writes a delightful tale of love's journey and the importance of trusting God. She weaves in conflict and romantic tension beautifully, and takes you to a satisfying end.
Second Chance Brides is the second in the series of Boardinghouse Brides by Vickie McDonough. In book one, widow Rachel must compete with three mail-order brides for the heart of her former heartthrob, Luke Davis. At the end of book one, two women are left displaced from their home and still single, must make a life for themselves in a strange land. Book two is how these two boardinghosue brides find true love.
Shannon O'Neil is injured when a twister sweeps through town during Rachel a ...more Second Chance Brides is the second in the series of Boardinghouse Brides by Vickie McDonough. In book one, widow Rachel must compete with three mail-order brides for the heart of her former heartthrob, Luke Davis. At the end of book one, two women are left displaced from their home and still single, must make a life for themselves in a strange land. Book two is how these two boardinghosue brides find true love.
Shannon O'Neil is injured when a twister sweeps through town during Rachel and Luke's wedding. She is saved by one of the rowdy brothers who brought her to Lookout, Texas to begin with--Mark Corbett. Mark sustains injuries, himself, which impair his ability to keep books for his business. Will time with the Irish lass breed contempt in his conflicted heart, or will Mark find himself falling for her shy, unassuming ways?
Leah Bennett catches the eye of tall, strong and handsome liveryman Dan Howard. She can't deny the atttraction is mutual, but should she hold out for a man with more to offer than a livery owner? And as the oldest sister of eleven children, she longs to find a man who would allow her a childless marriage. Is Dan that understanding?
As these two romance plots keep the pages turning, a tertiary plot with Rachel's daughter Jack and her dilemma with Butch Laird add a subterfuge. Butch is the town bully, or so most believe him to be, but is there more beneath the surface? Jack must do some soul searching to uncover the guilt in her own heart.
Despite the many threads weaving at once, the overall pace brought me on a leisurely read until the final third of the book, where all of the stories harmonized and came to a compelling crescendo. McDonough keeps the reader guessing who will get which girl right to the end, and did a great job making me fall in love with all of the characters, both major and minor. This double romance had many charming and poignant moments, and is sure to put lookout Texas on the map as one of the most love-struck towns in historical fiction.