Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

Publisher Thomas Nelson just released a book by Colleen Coble called To Love a Stranger.  This book is from a collection called: "From the Early Works of Colleen Coble." 

Did you know that Colleen Coble has written some books that were set out in the wild west during the 1800's?  This novel takes place during the year 1868 when there were skirmishes with the Indians and the west was truly wild.  Bessie Randall lives in civilized Boston, Massachusetts. She is twenty-six years old and has still not had a proposal of marriage. Her beautiful younger sister Lenore will have no problem in that area, but the older sister must marry first.  When Lenore decides to write a stranger in Bessie's name, things begin to escalate and before Lenore knows it, she has married her sister, Bessie, off to a man named Jasper Mendenhall without Bessie even knowing.  Bessie was quite upset with her sister, but decides to honor the marriage that her name was signed to. 
Jasper Mendenhall is a soldier who is stationed at Fort Bridger in the Utah Territory. When Jasper sees Bessie get off the stagecoach, he is thoroughly confused and thinking he has been duped. Bessie looks nothing like her picture. The two of them must decide to either make this work or get the marriage annulled.  Can their distrust of each other ever be put to rest? Can Jasper love a non-beauty like Bessie?

I thought the beginning of this story was an interesting way to start the book.  Who could not be upset with a sister who had married you off to a stranger?!  It was surprising that Bessie didn't contest it more, but understandably she was at the age of being considered a spinster.  So, this could be her only chance. Once out in the Utah Territory, the story seems to be familiar in that it reads a lot like her other early series, Journey of the Heart. It was so familiar that I thought maybe I'd already read this book. That being said, it is a good, wholesome love story between two people who have to get to know each other even though they are already husband and wife.  I love that she included scripture in her story and makes that part of their journey to get to know each other.
I feel as though the plot line is lacking in creativity, and I would say this was not one of my favorites of her works.

***I received this free book from BookLook Blogger in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


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