After some extensive research of the free books section in iBook I managed to separate the books into the following categories:
- 50 shades wannabes
- Surprisingly good Regency romance
- An occasional classic (usually Pride & Prejudice)
- Contemporary romance involving a kindergarten teacher and a billionaire
- Contemporary romance involving a kindergarten teacher and a sexy service man
- Contemporary cowboy stories
- Historical cowboy stories (usually involving a mail order bride)
The Accidental Mail Order Bride, unsurprisingly, belongs to the last category and was mostly chosen because it had the worst cover of all the books in the list and I am a sucker for Beauty & The Beast type of stories.
Allision (Allie) Jones is a mail order bride* who just discovered that the man she was supposed to marry (the town sheriff) accidentally married another lady and seems to be very in love with his new wife. This puts Allie in a bit of a pickle, she either marry the only other single man in the area** or work in the local saloon.
You can imagine her choice!
Her new husband, Travis, a shy recluse, is a bit more hesitant to marry her. A bad disease in his youth left his face horribly scarred and made his uncomfortable around most people, which ultimately led to most folks in the town being either uncomfortable around him and in some case regard him as a monster.
So, basically Beauty & The Beast
To my surprise, this was not a bad read. Actually, the romance between Allie and Travis is quite sweet and is effectively built through most of the book. Their relationship progress slowly, mostly due to Travis shyness, and while not that realistic, still felt believable enough.
The book felt frustrating when the story shifted from the sweet and tentative romance between the two main characters, to the sheriff and his quest to solve a recent murder mystery in town. Not only did it took a way from the rest of the development in the book (and possible resulted in the gradual build up feeling suddenly rushed toward the end), it also had very little to do with the two main characters ***.
So is this a good book?
Probably not, but it was an enjoyable read with some very sweet moments. Nothing too special, but it was a surprising find
*was that an actual thing, is my knowledge of American history is so bad that I just skipped the part that a bunch of men kept buying women to marry? Is there a reason why there are so many romance fictions with that premise?
** There is a second one, but we are given some excuse about him not available
*** it was actually mostly connected to the sheriff and another town character Carl