“Mail Order Mary” is a short, sweet, and sensual read. The storyline is creative and the characters easy to connect with. Mary is a stubborn heroine, who means well, but is also naïve and innocent. Nathan is the typical handsome, strong –willed cowboy, but his genuine concern and love for Mary is touching.
I enjoyed the easy connection I was able to make with the secondary characters. Kitty, Ruby, and Martha were all charming and well detailed, and added some much needed backstory to the plot.
The villain was surprising and though the climax ends quickly, it is exciting and leads to a wonderful ending. “Mail Order Mary” is the perfect weekend romance.
Mary Ashford leaves England when her father tells her she must marry a man she hates. Taking the identity of another woman she travels to Montana as a mail order bride. Cowboy Nathan Miller is the last man she expects to meet, but she has known where else to go, and agrees to work on his ranch. This brings Mary and Nathan closer together, and once they each save the others life, they must accept each other’s love as well.
When Sir Henry Ashford informs his daughter, Mary, that he has arranged for her to marry the wealthy Marquess of Stirling, she refuses, horrified at the idea, for the Marquess is an odious man with an unsavoury reputation. Unhappy with her lot, she ponders her escape, and when the opportunity arises to take the place of Ruby Fairweather on board a steamship destined for America, she takes it, with the knowledge that Ruby had been corresponding with Isaiah Bean, a handsome young American man advertising for a wife.
But on arriving in America, Mary's fortunes take a turn for the worse. She is robbed of all her money and has to sell her fine gowns to fund the remainder of her journey to Montana, where she will have to be reliant on the charity of Isaiah Bean. However, when she finally finds Isaiah, she is sorely disappointed. It is Nathan Miller who comes to her aid - a giant of a man with a kind heart and smouldering good looks. He takes her home to White Tail Ranch, and her life changes forever.
The spirited Mary is not used to doing as she is told, and it isn't long before sparks fly between her and Nathan - and the big cowboy shows he is not averse to putting her over his knee for a spanking to help motivate her into behaving better. A complete novice at cooking and cleaning, Mary has several mishaps, and sorely tests Nathan's patience. But as time goes by, the attraction between Nathan and Mary grows. He saves her life and she his, and for the first time ever, Mary feels she belongs somewhere - and to someone.
This period Western romance is a real treat. It begins in Victorian England and ends in rural America. It is a story of courage and adventure, love and adversity.