When their father is sent to Paris for work, Nell and Kat are forced to become mail-order brides and move to Cripple Creek, Colorado. What awaits them at the train station is not what they expect when neither groom meets the young women. Unsure what to do until a fire threatens the town as soon as they arrive, they quickly become a part of the frontier community. Will that be enough to survive on their own?
I read the second book in this series first, but I still enjoyed Nell and Kat’s stories. I liked that their stories were told together since their personalities balanced each other. Nell was eager to marry and convinced herself she was in love after exchanging letters with her mail-order groom while Kat is relieved when her groom-to-be doesn’t show as he turns out to be a gambling womanizer. I liked their independence and determination despite the hard circumstances.
Although the romance aspect of the book is clear from the beginning, the best part of the book was young women figuring out their way. The way Kat storms into the brothel/bar to confront the man who promised to marry her is a great scene. Also good is the setting. The author creates a fantastic little town in this book, and readers will hope she’ll continue writing about the quirky characters who make it unique.