Friday, July 10, 2009

Shotgun Bride by Lauri Robinson

TITLE: Shotgun Bride
AUTHOR: Lauri Robinson
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 66k)
GENRE: Historical romance
COST: $6.00

When Jessie Johnson finds herself staring down the barrel of a shotgun in the middle of the night, she never expects to find herself thrust into a shotgun wedding, a trade-off her no-good brother has made in exchange for saving his own neck. Kid Quinter is a successful cattle rancher, with his own ideas about what he wants for a wife. But when his stepmother makes a decision, there’s no changing it. Jessie’s a sweet young thing, who’s had a hard life. Soon enough, Kid feels the need to take care of her, and maybe something more…

Almost from the start, there’s a cozy ambience to this story that sucked me in. Jessie gets snatched from her soddy in the middle of the night, and her fear and anxiety work amazingly well with the claustrophobic atmosphere of the storm that’s brewing and the unknown of what’s coming. My head went abuzz, just like hers, at all the characters, five Quinter brothers as well as their strong-willed mother and Jessie’s no-good brother. My heart went out to her, partially because her brother really is a piece of work, and partially because she’s just at such a loss. Thankfully, Kid isn’t nearly as scary as her brothers make him out to be, and he charmed me quickly. He’s solid, well-meaning, and distinctly enticing. He’s the core of this sweet, heartwarming romance.

All Jessie wants is a place to call home and a family, and she clings to Kid, terrified he’s going to get rid of her. She’s desperate to please, and it’s a little ingratiating at the beginning. It’s a fine line, though, because I have to admit to smiling when everybody falls for Jessie, including Kid’s cranky dog. While it borders on Mary Sue, at the same time, it’s presented in such a way – from Kid’s POV much of the time, with a grain of suspicion – that I’m actually okay with it. It’s oddly amusing instead of annoying.

Some of the plotting seems a tad convenient, as Kid decides it’s best for Jessie all around to go east to a women’s college. She doesn’t want to go, and it’s at this point she starts to finally grow a backbone and I started to see what everybody else saw in her. It becomes more than a little predictable after that, which is a shame since I was finally starting to invest a little bit more in both leads. But I like the characters in this, enough so that I’ll continue with the series, since it seems that all five Quinter brothers will end up getting their shot at romance. If they’re all as pleasant and gratifying as this one, they’ll be worth it.


8/10 – Sometimes, the saccharine is a little heavy, and the editing could be better, but there’s a warmth that pulled me in


8/10 – Outside of his stubborn sticking to certain ideals, he is solid and empathetic


7/10 – She starts out wimpy, but finally gets a backbone

Entertainment value

7/10 – A sweet, heartwarming romance

World building

8/10 – Most of the time, there’s a nice sense of time and place



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