Maddie O’Rourke travelled to Seattle as one of Mercer’s Maidens, but not to marry. Through hard work and determination, she has made a home and saved enough to send for her orphaned half brother and half sister as well as a woman to accompany them and work for her as a laundress. When they step off the boat from New York City, however, it is in the company of a man – one the two young siblings have decided Maddie should marry. Maddie, however, has no intentions of marrying anyone.
Michael Haggerty took the job of escorting the young pair when he was threatened by a notorious gang. Willing to work and anxious to repay Maddie for his passage, he is not, however, looking to court anyone. But he’s formed a bond with Ciara and Aiden, one that he is not willing to let go of.
When the troubles start and prejudice begins against the Irish, Michael struggles to find employment while Maddie works to overcome the sabotage of her fledgling bakery.
I only recently started reading books from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line, and this might just be my favorite so far. It was a quick read, the storyline was interesting and the characters were engaging. The setting was believable (I’m a native of the Seattle area and, more importantly, I watched every episode I could of Here Come the Brides back in the 70’s) and the inclusion of just enough historical detail and just enough danger and conflict were well done. This was a nice, well balanced story that I really enjoyed. Even Irish-born Maddie’s accent was included in just the right amount.
The only missteps are the title and the cover. While the title does match the story pretty well, and isn’t the worst title I’ve ever seen, it lacks appeal and creativity. The cover does have good visual appeal but, while I do like it (they look adorable, though the cat is missing), it would be more appropriate if the story took place in a remote cabin in the woods instead of being centered around Maddie’s bakery on an 1860’s Seattle street.
If you are looking for a shorter inspirational historical fiction romance novel, a light read with a relationship that grows first as a friendship and blossoms into more against the wills of two not too stubborn Irish Americans, then I would recommend you give this novel a go. Still not sure? Two words: chicken races.
This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott | Love Inspired (Harlequin), Jan 2016 | 288 pgs | review ebook