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  • Beautiful conclusion to the series.

    I am very sad to see this amazing historical western romance series end. It is definitely one of my favorites in this subgenre and I have come to really love all the characters in it. Once Upon a Mail Order Bride tells the story of ex-preacher Ridge Steele, who now serves as the mayor of the outlaw town of Hope's Crossing. He is the last of the town's founders to meet his mail order bride Adeline Jancy. Addie has spent the last three years in solitary confinement below the prison, and has lost her voice because of the trauma she has been through. Ridge is very patient and just a great man in general, and he does his best to make sure that Addie's safe and can take all the time she needs to open up. These two were an amazing couple and I really enjoyed seeing them grow closer together. They both have been through things in the past and I loved seeing them finally opening up to each other. Besides that I also loved seeing the individual growth of these characters. Especially Addie had a lot of trauma to deal with. She was very strong and determined and also loyal and protective. She will do anything in her power to protect and fight for the people she cares about. Ridge is the same and I thought they made such a beautiful couple. I absolutely love Linda Broday's writing style and story-telling abilities. She really knows how to suck a reader in and have them connect and care about the story and characters. It was so much fun to see what all the main characters from the previous books were up to and I enjoyed being reunited with them. The transformation of this beautiful and wild outlaw town was phenomenal, I loved going on this journey with the characters. This series was funny, romantic, action-packed, and emotional. This series is a must-read for historical western romance readers. Also I want to encourage historical romance lovers to give this subgenre a chance, I think you'll enjoy the simple, exciting but very dangerous way of living in the wild west. I think this subgenre is underrated nowadays and I hope more new readers will give it a try.

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  • Excellent Historic Romance

    Finding something new to say when you have already reviewed the first three books in the series (and another 5 by Ms. Broday!) is a challenge. It’s pretty much a given that I’m going to love the book. Great characters, lots of action, believable romance, and excellent writing are all hallmarks of Ms. Broday’s works. (See all my other reviews here.) In Once Upon a Mail Order Bride, we have Adeline Jancy and Ridge Steele’s story (FINALLY!). Ridge has long been one of my favorite secondary characters in the Mail Order Bride series and I’m glad that he is finally getting his own Happily Ever After. The former preacher turned outlaw’s backstory is very compelling. He’s a dependable friend to those in town, always willing to put himself in harm’s way to protect others. Ridge is certainly the classic Western romance hero that I want to read about. I was drawn to Addie right away as a character. Why was she in jail? Why can’t she speak? I was turning pages to discover more about her. She’s faced adversity but manages to come out the other side mostly intact. What really impressed me with Addie, and Ms. Broday’s writing in this instance, was the emotions that she conveyed, despite not being able to speak. And I love this quote from the beginning of the novel: “Doubts jumped into her head like circus fleas on a dog” I very much pictured The Flea Circus cartoon reading that line! The romance between Ridge and Addie is slow-building after a great meet-cute that I won’t spoil! Addie and Ridge learn to trust and love each other over time. I really appreciate this element of the story. The love between these two characters is real and believable. Once again, Ms. Broday’s writing and storytelling are on point. One aspect that I really appreciate is how Ms. Broday weaves details (characters, especially) from her other novels into her stories, including Once Upon a Mail Order Bride. This allows new readers to easily catch up with the storyline but doesn’t bore loyal readers. (And sometimes helps when a loyal reader may have forgotten the details. 😉) I always appreciate catching up with the citizens of Hope’s Crossing, Dr. Mary especially. She is a hoot! This novel is chockablock full of action. Shoot-outs, kidnappings, a tornado, and more kept my heart pounding and my attention riveted while reading. I do love some action (pardon the pun!) in my romance stories! I am a little sad that this series is now finished. I’ve more than enjoyed my visits to Hope’s Crossing. While each book can be read separately, they are certainly best enjoyed as a series. After reading Ms. Broday’s comments on another tour post (over here), I’m positive there are more stories to come that I’ll enjoy equally as much!

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