Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Bride Bargain by Kelly Eileen Hake

Book one of the Prairie Promises Series

I found this book on a bargain shelf at local store recently. The cover caught my eye and the summary intrigued me, so I bought it. (It takes great restraint for me NOT to purchase books!)  I had never heard of Kelly Eileen Hake, but am so glad I decided to take a chance on her.  Loved this book. It is right up my alley.  Pioneer tales.. bit of romance.. strong female lead.. some funny mishaps along the way.. faith... and a happy ending. Pure entertainment.

Clara Fields and her aunt are headed to Oregon to make a new life for themselves.. a life free of men!  Especially those like her deceased uncle and the wagon master. .. not to mention the 2 cantakerous oxen pulling them along the way.  When those 2 oxen decided to run off, the woman are left to fend for themselves as the wagon train moves on.

They make there way to the city of Buttonwood and are blessed to run into Josiah Reed, the owner Buttonwood's Feed and Dry Goods Store. Recognizing their predicament and the determined independence of Clara, Josiah cooks up a scheme to keep them in Buttonwood over the winter and maybe longer. He hires Clara and her aunt to help around the store and his home in exchange for room and board.  After a while, Josiah becomes fond of having the women around and takes his plan to a higher level. His son, a newly graduated medical doctor, is coming for a visit from Baltimore before setting up his practice there.  Josiah wants Saul to stay in Buttonwood. So he makes a deal with Clara. If she can get Saul married of too one of the available females in the area, Josiah will deed her his lovely home.

Clara sets out with a vengeance, but is met with opposition as Saul is not interested in any of the women she sends his way nor in settling in Buttonwood.  He is, however, interested in her.. something Clara never forsaw and is determined to stop.

Josiah's plan is working just as he hoped... if he gets his way Saul will stay and the house will remain in the family... or will his plan be more than he bargained for?

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