"A Bride for Keeps"
by Melissa Jagears
Its a very sweet book written about a time when mailorder brides were pretty common "out west", when men worked their fields in order to survive till the next harvest, when women were essential to keep the home running and helping their men with whatever needed to be done.
This story is set in Kansas in 1876. Mr. Everett Cline is about to be set up by his neighbor Rachel, who has ordered him a mail order bride. This isn't the first time he has had this experience and the story is entwined with his past experiences and his lack of expectations for this relationship to succeed and result in marriage. Then Miss Julia Lockwood comes to town at the "invitation" of Rachel, with her own history of distrust of men and a lack of Faith in the Lord.
Everett & Julia spend the book working through their trust issues, both with their pasts and the present.
The story is very well written and engages the reader. It is easy to become involved with the lives of the characters ~ rooting for the good guys & booing the bad guy!