Leisure, $6.99, ISBN 0-8439-5235-0
Historical Romance, 2004
The poor Pierce sisters! Abigail is accused by her nasty fiancé of embezzling money from the bank where she used to work so now she and her sister Moriah are on the run! And what do they decide to do? Run to St Louis to take over the running of their late daddy’s store. No doubt people will never think of looking for the Pierce sisters there.
Alas, after a painful wagon journey, they arrive only to realize that the store is rundown and the town is overrun by rough miners. Colonel Bryce MacGregor stumbles upon them and rescues them from being raped by three miners. He wants them to leave town, Moriah wants to leave too, but Abigail refuses. This is her place, this is her martyrdom, and this will be her crown of thorns. Who cares that rustlers are stealing and looting each other left and right?
Abigail will deliver beef to the Indians – she will! And then, after Abigail has predictably nannied Bryce’s kiddie to sunshineland (come on, you know a kid will crop up in this story!) and things are looking up, she decides that she’s too lousy for everybody and then she decides to flee.
The Independent Bride should be what fans of this author will expect: the characters are written as hardworking people, the writing is somewhat wooden but serviceable, the good guys are good, the villains are really nasty, et cetera. This story is very familiar, right down to the heroine acting independent only when it comes to getting into trouble. While Moriah is a somewhat interesting character as she changes from a mousy and timid type to a more outgoing character, I’m sure readers are better off waiting for her book, coming up next. In the meantime, The Independent Bride is all about the nannyhood, the martyrdom, and the idiocy of a heroine who clearly enjoys being in trouble more than getting out of it.