Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hand-me-Down Bride by Juliet Waldron

To help her impoverished family, Sophie agrees to marry a wealthy older in far off America. Less than twenty-four hours after she arrives in German’s Mill, Pennsylvania, events have taken a far stranger turn than anything she could have imagined. 

Set in Post-Civil-War Pennsylvania, this tale of an arranged marriage is as much family saga as romance. Sophie is a sensitive young woman struggling to make sense of her past and to understand her new homeland. Karl is not only a veteran of the Great War, but scarred by the secret violence of his childhood. How they both learn to trust—and to love—is their unique story. 

Published & Release Date: Book We Love, LTD, October 26,2014

Time and setting: Post civil War  

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns

Reviewed by Vikki

The premise for this story is intriguing and captured my attention immediately, drawing me in quickly. This book is unique in that it involves German immigrants who have moved to America. I thoroughly enjoyed the historical elements very much, and it is obvious the Ms. Waldron researched this period of history, giving me a fascinating glimpse of what life must have been like in a German immigrant village in the post-Civil War era.

Sophie Neiman comes to Pennsylvania to marry Theodore Wildbach, a man three times her age. He dies on their wedding night without consummating the marriage. Karl Joseph, his youngest son, gives her a job as his housekeeper, when he finds out his father did not provide for her in his will. This is a lie. Karl’s brother, who is married to the judge’s daughter, connives and hides the codicil, which would have provided for Sophie.

At first Sophie and Karl do not get along at all. He thinks she is a prude; she thinks he is uncouth. They are at odds most of the time. However, Sophie’s questioning mind intrigues Karl. As they get to know each other better, they find redeeming qualities in one another and a growing attraction blossoms. When he finds out she only married his father to bring her family to America, he realizes she willingly sacrificed herself for them.

In his father’s will, the only way he can inherit the mill is to marry a German woman and run it for two years before he attempts to sell it and move west. Since Sophie is not like the other German women he knows, Karl decides to win her heart, but does he trust her? She has a secret. Finding it out could be the answer he needs to gain her love or tear it asunder. Will she accept him if she finds out about his father’s will, or will she turn from him, thinking he sees her only as a means to gain his inheritance?

After such a promising start, the sagging middle is a bit tedious to read. This occurs because the hero and heroine have too much conflict. But once they move past that, the pace picks up dramatically and the second half of the book pulled me in again. The author does an excellent job of setting up a scene. At one point in the story, there is a fierce storm; she describes it so well that I felt as if I were experiencing it with them. The emotions Karl feels when he sees Sophie is in danger are intense and very well-written. I sat on the edge of my seat as he raced against time to safe her.

While I enjoyed the ending and was pleased Sophie and Karl had their ‘Happily Ever After’, it was somewhat rushed. Ms. Waldron leaves some plot lines dangling to some degree, especially in regards to his conniving brother and his devious wife. Also the book needs some serious editing. There are quite a few missing words. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story and I am glad I read it. If you like a story with a unique story line and a strong romantic element, then this will be a book you will want to read. Happy reading!

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