Nellie Wallace is a young widow with two children. In post-Civil War New York, the men are scarce and none want the burden of a wife with children. Her dead husband's family is wealthy, and cruel. Desperate to escape their influence, and eager for a home, a husband, and a stable life for her children, Nellie decides to make a new life in San Francisco as a mail-order bride.
Saloon owner Blake Malone is a bachelor and likes it that way. He worked hard for everything he has, but the San Francisco City Council won't approve his plans to build a family emporium unless he is a family man himself. The solution? A mail-order bride from New York who will bring him a ready-made family, stability, and the council's approval.
Blake expects his future wife to care for his home and, other than helping him impress the city council, to stay out of his business. He expects life as usual. What he gets is an unexpected desire to win Nellie's heart, a dangerous threat to his new bride, and a rich benefactor determined to steal his new family out from under him. Blake believed his battle for success a hard one. But he will discover that the battle to win Nellie's heart and keep his family safe is going to take everything he's got.
©2014 Cynthia Woolf (P)2015 Cynthia Woolf
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This book needs a lot of improvement. It was just plain silly at points and I would have said a primary reader except for the sexual parts. I did a bunch of eye rolling and give me a break throughout the book. It the story was followed without all the silly he loves me or maybe he doesn't then maybe something could have come out of the story. I keep wondering where the other two women that Nellie made the mail order bride trip with and had such a good relationship were never mentioned again after the first chapters.
I have the other books in this series in my read list and I did not even have a single thought of starting one of those. The book has not turned me off from this genre only this author.
The narration did not help this book. The voice was stilted and robotic. Not much animation from this narrator.
I did finish the book as it did have a murder plot which I wanted to find out how it turned out. I could have missed the whole thing as it also turned out as the rest of the book silly.
"STOP!!!!! Save your brain cells."
I just cannot imagine anything short of a rewrite.
It was contradictory and unimaginative.
Towards the end Nellie agonizes over telling her husband she loves him, fearing to let him know how deeply she feels for him. Ummm several chapters before she said I love you and he responded with I know. He also agonizes about loving her, his reason being his step mother took advantage of his father's love leaving him broke and broken. A few chapters later he says its because he need her to be strong. Sigh...
Anyone. Lia is apparently from the south. Her accent is evident. Why she was chosen to be the voice of a New Yorker is beyond me. Her voices for the two year old girl and the ten year old boy were indistinguishable. Her inflections missed the mark. Just a bad choice for this project all around.
NELLIE! This character was thin and useless, but all of sudden got a backbone from no where. Sexually abused by her husband, mistreated by her in laws, she submits willingly. A woman holds a gun on her and all of a sudden she's a bad arse?
I would not recommend this book. The story could have been better with very little effort.
It was on the corny side.
The narrator sounded like she is in her 60s. She read the story instead of telling it. And she made it sound childish and fakey. I can't believe she is a narrator. I think she ruined a otherwise ok book. I don't think I can stand listening to that narrator ruin another book so I will avoid her name as narrator in the future.
Yes I just wish they were narrated by someone with a younger voice who had better inflection to her voice. A better story teller.
This has to be the worst narration I've heard in the last 300 books.
"A waste of time"
Someone who just wants to read sexual exploits without being concerned with a story line.
Besides the needless, numerous sexual episodes, the author has no idea how to develop characters. There is no depth to the personalities - they were never developed, and seemed shallow/superficial. I will not read another of this author's books.
No. Her voice is not pleasant to listen to, and she was not believable. Of course, the material she had to work with was bad to begin with.
The needless, numerous sexual episodes seemed to be the author's way of labeling this a "romance" book. These characters were not in love. They were simply in "lust." To think that the woman fell in love with the guy without any development of his character, is simply ridiculous.
I will not read or listen to another of this author's books. Not a good writer.
"Don't waste your time"
I often listen to romance novels that don't require much thought as a sort of background noise to my day. I don't expect much from these books other thoughtless entertainment ( think lifetime movie network as opposed to an Oscar winner with a complex plot ) but with this book the writing was so cheesy and the narration so syrupy I was actually embarrassed to be listening to it. I've often teased my husband that I can hear a vacuum sucking his brain out when he has spent an afternoon watching mindless TV; that's how I feel having listened to half of this book.
"Don't waste your time and money"
This book sounds like it was written by a 12 or 13 year old. Poorly written and poorly narrated. No wonder Bookbub offered it for free. Will never read this author again.
"I'll finish it by reading it.. Awful narration.."
Nellie is 28 years old but her voice sounds like she's 50 or more. This narrator was not a good match with this book. I gave the book and overall 3 stars to be fair to the author. Cynthia Woolf needs to find a new narrator. Just because a narrator is inexpensive doesn't make them good. Just look at all the 1 star reviews for this narrator. The narrators voice needs to match the heroine's voice. This was really terrible, what little I forced myself to listen to.
"An interesting read/listen"
The story line was interesting, although very predictable; It is a common theme for romance novel's of woman is rescued only to fine a threatening ex- lover of her husband.
The reader gave an excellent performance of the various characters in different situations. She managed to pull off all the different character voices and even unique voices for the thoughts of the two main characters.
"Starting over learning what love is about"
Yes I enjoyed the narrator and her voices. I just loved her children voices. I liked her children voices in the last one I listened to as well. She had me chuckling as she brings the children to live saying things only children can get away with. I just loved it.
I thought this was a very touching read at times I wish I could have gotten my hands on her dead husband. I was so glad to see her move on finding something that give her life meaning and learning what true love was. There were a few times I didn’t like Blake a lot, I go from liking him to wanting to shake him to loving him. The children are darling as they wrap themselves right around you heart giving you a warm feeling as you chuckle. There is more to the story than a mail order bride it is about what drove her to become one. Trying to let go of the hurt and pain getting over her fears that her last family gave her. Ms. Woolf bring to life the control men had back than taking over your life and choices why not giving much back. Blake might have had a few bad parts but he truly made up for it as he gave Nellie back her life teaching her the true meaning of making love. I loved how he gave her space but would only bend so far. This was really a wonderful audio.
Ms. Frederick does an outstanding job with her many different voices. My favorite are you children voices the lovely tones she gives them as she brings them to life giving emotion and words only a child could come up with. You are so going to fall in love with Violet as she wraps you around her little finger. There are no background noises or any places where the audio volume is higher or low. I really enjoyed her voices from male to female they are in rich clear tones. She puts emotion just where it needs to be. You can feel the excitement, anger, hurt, pain, lost, joy and thrills along with fear in each character. She really brought this story to life for me giving a wonderful clear clean listen. You have no trouble knowing who is talking or what they are feeling. This is the second audio I have listen of her and really look forward to listening to more of them.
Ms. Woolf gives you a wonderful story of how man controlled their women even through the romantic times when things should have been enjoyable for a lot of women they were not. Life was hard enough without having to fear all the people around you. Once Nellie decided to move on in her life she stood up for what she believed in not backing down. It was a pleasure watching her grow and come out of her shell. Maddie sure does give her some trying times and I can’t say Blake really helps much. Man can be so dumb at times. Most need to put on our shoes and see how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot.
I loved the plot, the characters the author has a way of pulling you in making you love the people she has created and even feeling sorry for the ones you really do not care much for. She gives you strong characters that do not back down why they teach others the meaning of love, caring and sharing along with becoming a family. I really enjoy this author’s humor, the twists and turns you do not see coming. She writes a story that pulls you in making you want to not put it down needing to know what happens as she makes you smile, chuckle and at times with your mouth hung open.
I do have to say I am really surprised at the reviews on this audio. I just do not see how they came up with what they did. I thought it was great from start to finish giving you a story of meaning, love as you are shown what a true family is. I loved the plot and the narrator for me she really brought this story to life. I enjoyed how Nellie grow into a strong women putting her family first as she fights for what she wants. Blake as he learns to love and give all of his self. It was touch and go there for a little while with Maddie at this time I really didn’t care to much for him. I think most will enjoy this audio and the author. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with both of their styles.
"Captivating love story"
It is always good to have a love story that turned out well . Both the male and the female stars shine well . Yes, there is a suspense , but it keeps the story going . There is some graphic sex , but that adds to the story .
I anticipate that the next coming books will each have different characters who will keep a very good story going .
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