To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:
Bessie Randall had no intention of moving to Wyoming. But could the life she would never choose be better than the one she had planned?

Bessie is shocked when she finds out that her sister Lenore has used her name to correspond with a soldier she’s never met—and that she’s actually married the man by proxy with Bessie’s name. And if Bessie contests it, her sister could go to jail for forgery. Bessie has always felt responsible for her younger sister, and she believes she has no choice but to do the honorable thing and travel west to meet up with Jasper Mendenhall.

But Jasper’s orders to return to Fort Bowie are moved up, and he has no choice but to take Bessie with him. To his surprise, he finds much to like in the quiet young woman: things like humor and grit. But even those qualities may not be enough as the Apaches move in, determined to eradicate the fort in their midst. Can God mend their hearts together in spite of the circumstances?

My Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this story, not knowing what to expect. I was used to Ms. Coble’s suspense books and reading a historical was fascinating.

As with all story lines, this one is more of a cliche that has been used before, but the story is woven well. It is a lighter read for the most part. The heavier topics winton the story are not gone into in an depth, which keeps this a lighter read. It would be appropriate for teens.

I know mail order marriages happened so much more in the past than now, but often we read about them and they turn out okay. I think this gives us an unrealistic expectation that there is not a need for love before you are married, because it can be built. One thing that was good in this story, is it shows that the couple realized even though they were legally married, they needed a time to build trust on one another before actually being married. Many men were not that honorable.  This is not gone into in any detail, but some thoughts that I had while reading it.

This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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