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Here's a review of The Reliable Cowboy: Isabella has lost her husband in a tragic accident at sea. Edwin has prospects of a promotion on a Wyoming ranch, but no home to offer – just his heart. When Isabella hears the call for mail-order brides, she answers with a “yes,” but wonders if she will ever love again. After all, she had married her sweetheart only to lose him. Can she risk her heart again for someone she’s never met? For someone who lives in the wilds of Wyoming Territory? It’s not even a state!
Edwin wants a family of his own, someone to keep him company in the lonely territory. Will Isabella be the one, or will she soon tire of waiting and move on? Susan Page Davis writes eloquently of the West, and of the pioneers that tamed that land. From the storm-tossed seashore of Maine to the vastness of the rolling prairie, she paints a picture that puts you there, experiencing what her characters experience, feeling what they feel.
As with all of Susan’s writing, this is highly recommended, and is a wonderful addition to the “Christmas Mail-Order Angels” collection.
~Review written by Regina Merrick on Amazon
Enjoy this excerpt from The Reliable Cowboy:
“Maggie! Where are you?”
Isabella Johnston followed her friend’s voice around to the back of the small house the Crain family rented. Maggie struggled with a wet linen sheet, draping it over the clothesline behind the cottage. A sharp wind blew in off the bay. Summer was on its way, but it never put down roots in Merville.
“Let me help you. Your hands must be freezing.” Isabella dropped her handbag on the back step and hurried to Maggie’s side.
“No sense two of us getting our hands chilled. Go in and fill the teapot. I’ll be along soon.”
“Hush!” Isabella grabbed a wet shirt from the wicker basket and pinned it tails up to the line. “Your men certainly make a lot of wash.”
Maggie smiled at her putting a husband and boys, aged five and seven, in a pigeon hole marked, ‘her men.’ “That’s right, they do. I suppose you’re here to tell me all about the Ladies’ Aid meeting I missed.”
“Oh, Maggie, you won’t believe it.” Isabella had started to shake out a linen pillowcase, but she stopped and stared at her friend in dismay. “I may have done the most foolish thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Maggie paused with a clothes peg in midair. “What on earth did you do?”
Isabella gulped. “Becky Patterson read a letter asking for women to go to Wyoming for brides, and I—I told her I was interested.”
“What?” Maggie stared at her. “Brides? For men?”
“Of course for men. They have a mining town, it seems, where there aren’t many decent women. But there are some decent men, and they want wives.”
“Where did you say this is?”
For a long moment, silence hung between them as the two young women gazed at each other over the clothesline.
At last, Maggie said, “I’m not even sure where that is.”
Isabella started to laugh. She couldn’t help it. Gales of mirth exploded from her throat. She doubled over, pressing her hands against her waist.
Maggie ducked under the line and came to her side. She put her arms around Isabella. “Here, now. Calm down. This is a pile of nonsense.”
“No,” Isabella gasped, straightening. “It’s true. Becky had the letter, and they’ve got a whole group of men who are willing to pay for the women’s train tickets. They’re offering holy matrimony.”
“But, dear Isabella, you—you’ve only just lost your Henry. Surely you don’t want to marry again so soon. And to a complete stranger!”
“I haven’t said for sure I’d go.” Isabella squared her shoulders. “They’ll write to us, so we can know more about them first.”
“I need to get away from here,” Isabella blurted, and her friend stared at her. “Away from the sea. I can’t look at it every day, knowing it took Henry away from me. And Pa too. Every night, I lie awake, and I hear it, Maggie. The waves breaking on the rocks. And I dream about the boat going down, and them trying to get to shore and—and drowning. It’s awful. When I wake, I lie there shaking, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe if I go away from the ocean …”
Maggie took her arm and turned her toward the house, abandoning the clothes basket. “Let’s go in and have that tea.”
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than sixty published novels. A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky.
She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest.
Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com.