A Christmas Rose
by Brandi Boddie
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars
Rosalie Chalmers is in dire straits after losing her job as a ladies maid and grieving over the death of her dear aunt. Figuring she has nothing left to lose, she responds to an inquiry for a mail order bride service and makes the long journey from Maine to Angel Vale, Wyoming. She hopes she can start anew out west. But she learns quickly that the harsh frontier may not be the place for her after all.
Isaac Baker is happy to be matched with the lovely Rosalie. As the only black man in Angel Vale, he nearly gave up hope of finding a wife. Yet despite his efforts to make Rosalie feel at home, she remains withdrawn and unhappy. Will they have a true marriage by Christmas or will his new wife leave him for good?
I love the premise of a mail order bride and this one is unique. Isaac was a slave child, who is hardworking and making his way in life in Wyoming. Rosalie needs a change in her life, since she's lost her job and has no family. She's also a woman of color and it would seem this match is made in heaven.
Life on the frontier isn't easy, but Rosalie does an amazing job of making the best of it. She truly makes a house a home. Isaac is determined to make Rosalie happy, for they have three months (by Christmas) to make their marriage real in every way or it can be annulled. Isaac is big, yet a gentle giant.
I love the descriptions of their lives and feelings. Life back then is simpler, yet requires a lot of hard labor, which is very satisfying and I long for this way of life. This isn't a long story, but the necessary elements for a great story are there. I found conflict, clean romance, great characters, inner conflict and resolution, and a vivid setting. I would've loved a full-length novel, but was completely satisfied with what I read.
Content: moderate religious elements, as God and prayer has a big role in the story; nothing else of note. Clean!
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