Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him. Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas. Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
The idea of a mail order bride in this day and age is a foreign concept that has been massively romanticized. I thought Ms. Jagears did an absolutely wonderful job portraying the awkwardness that would accompany such a situation. I loved that Everett Cline lost a mail order bride time and time again, and in so many different ways. I had to laugh when encountering his misfortune, because he was adorable in how awkward he was when he had to talk about/interact with his previous mail order brides. I only had one major problem with the book, and it was one of the loose ends never got tied up. Or at the very least I was expecting some huge cliche' ending, and it just never came. It doesn't detract from the story, it just bothered me a little. What the characters have to go through is amazing and they happily triumph. I would happily recommend this to anyone looking for a happily-ever-after (or just a good love story). I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.