Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Anthology: Ethan's Bride by Barbara Ankrum

I received a copy of Ethan's Bride as a part of the Pistols and Petticoats anthology in exchange for my review.

Ethan was left heartbroken and with a young daughter when his wife died, and so he advertised for a wife, telling her that he would never love her. Violet had resigned herself to a loveless marriage in order to avoid spinsterhood and has traveled to marry Ethan. Problem is they both seem to be attracted to one another, and as they get to know each other, and break down each other's walls, it becomes more and more evident that a loveless marriage isn't going to be quite as possible as they think it is.

This is only novella length, though I felt that the story, and indeed the story telling, really drew you in, meaning that you could feel Violet's pain when Ethan became distant, and feel her love when she was interacting with Ella, which of course made the characters far more three dimensional.

The most important thing that the author managed to capture in the relationship is the shared experiences that the pair of them went through, namely the war and their experience as a surgeon and as a nurse. Though it isn't a major plot point, it is shown through some of their interactions that it is actually something that connects them (most notably the post operation scene).

I liked the added element of a daughter as well, particularly as Violet was convinced that she can't have children, and so a child is what she wants (and a mother for his child is what Ethan wants) and in a strange way I suppose it was Ella that really brought them together.

Saying that, Ethan did some pretty sweet gestures all on his own, like the horse! I really enjoyed Ethan's Bride, its only a short read, and you can kind of tell how it is going to end, but that's one of the reasons I enjoyed it! Plus though the story is set in the Western era, there is a transferable story to any time frame!

PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS
Book Description

From bestselling authors Barbara Ankrum, Adrienne deWolfe and Sharon Ihle come three fresh novellas, featuring three firebrand ladies, each determined to make her mark while making her match.

ETHAN'S BRIDE - 27,000 word sequel to CHASE THE FIRE (Wild Western Hearts, Book 4) by Barbara Ankrum
Violet Bradford desperately wants a child. Believing herself barren, she answers Dr. Ethan Walker's advertisement for a mail-order bride, knowing he only wants one thing: a mother for his young daughter. Surely the joys of motherhood can compensate for a loveless marriage. But Ethan's broken heart won't stop tugging at hers. And Ethan soon realizes he must risk his heart again or risk losing it all.

SHADY LADY - 26,000 word prequel to DEVIL IN TEXAS (The Velvet Lies Series, Book 4) by Adrienne deWolfe
Fiery singing sensation, Sadie Michelson, thinks falling in love is bad for business—until William "Cass" Cassidy, a hotheaded gunslinger, sets his sights on wooing her. But when a Texas Ranger arrives in Dodge City to extradite Cass for a crime of passion, Sadie must use all her wits and wiles to lure the law from her man's trail. And that means risking everything—including Cass's love.

BAREBACK BRIDE - 25,000 word sequel to THE BRIDE WORE SPURS (The Inconvenient Bride Series, Book 1) by Sharon Ihle
Expert horsewoman, Shannon Winterhawke runs away from home to join the Buffalo Bill Wild West extravaganza. Shannon is hired on the spot, but the show's head horseman, Seth Edwards, simply sees another flighty gal looking for a cowboy fling before settling down with some unsuspecting fool. But all bets are off as Shannon slowly sneaks into Seth's heart and lassoes him with his own rope.