She’s running for her life. He needs a trophy wife. They didn’t count on falling in love.
Ellie Wagner is fine being a spinster school teacher. Then she witnesses a bank hold up and can identify the bandits. Fellow robbery victim Milly Crenshaw happens to run the Westward Home & Hearts Matrimonial Agency so she arranges for Ellie to head West as a mail-order bride. But her groom only wants a business arrangement. Can she survive a loveless marriage?
Banker Julian Sheffield is more comfortable with numbers than with people, but he’s done well for himself. Then the bank president tells him that in order to advance further he must marry in six weeks’ time. The candid, unsophisticated woman sent by the agency is nothing like he expected, but time is running out. When her past comes calling, does he have what it takes to ensure their future?
I really liked this novel. I am really liking mail order brides stories more lately. This is a story about a bride that didn’t know she was going to be a bride, but after her previous fiancé breaks it off and she witnesses a bank robbery, she has no other choice. This is a story of forgiveness and enemies into friends. This is also a clean story.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own.
About the Author
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame). Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
More from Linda
One of my favorite tropes to use in a story is the proverbial “fish out of water,” so when it came time for me to brainstorm the idea for Ellie’s Escape, I made a list of situations that would be uncomfortable for my protagonists (see what we writers do to our poor characters?).
As a result, I sent my female protagonist from the crowded city of Boston, Massachusetts (population 362,000) to the remote reaches of Gunnison, Colorado (population 888) where because of its location in the Rocky Mountains is one of the coldest places in winter in the United States. Compared to Boston’s elevation of 141’, Gunnison’s elevation of over 7,700 feet had to seem dizzying to my poor girl. The research into Gunnison was very fun, and I was able to use my boss as a subject matter expert because he’d lived there for several years before moving to New Hampshire. I gave my painfully shy male protagonist a gregarious mail-order bride that he doesn’t quite know what to do with.
Here are a few fun facts about Gunnison:
The Gunnison River drops an average of forty-three feet per mile through Black Canyon which is SIX times more than the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Standing at 2,250 feet from river to rim, Black Canyon’s Painted Wall is the tallest cliff in Colorado, and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
The town is named for a man who only stayed for three days – explorer John W. Gunnison who was searching for a route for the transcontinental railroad.
A little-known site for gold and silver mining, Gunnison and the surrounding area produced a reported 130,000 ounces of gold.
Gunnison residents isolated themselves during the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. All highways were barricaded near the county lines, and train conductors warned passengers that if they got off the train in Gunnison, they’d be arrested and quarantined for five days.
Comment and name a fun fact about where you live for your chance to win the grand prize.