Recently, I won a free copy of Anna Kathryn Lanier's novella Salvation Bride. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and wanted to share it with everyone.

In the little town of Salvation, Texas, widower sheriff David Slade anxiously awaits the arrival of the stage. He's anxious because one of the passengers is a woman whom he's never met in person--his mail-order bride. Everyone in town is aware of what he's done and, to his consternation, it appears that they are all just as eager as he to see the lady, so there's a rather large welcoming committee waiting to meet the young woman. They aren't aware that David has asked Laura Ashton to marry him to get a housekeeper and a mother for his three-year-old daughter, Ginny, as well as to receive her five thousand dollar dowry because he's nearly submerged in debt, a fact of which he is ashamed.

Laura has ulterior motives for marrying David, also, and hasn't been exactly honest with him. She's willing to leave her home in the East and travel all the way to Texas to marry a stranger--yes--but what David doesn't know is that Laura has more than five thousand dollars at her disposal, and she's also a licensed physician. The reason she accepted his proposal is a little more basic. An unwanted suitor had tried to force himself upon her in hopes of making her marry him so he can gain control of her money, and running away is the only way to escape him.



So, she and David are wed, and it doesn't take long for Laura to find herself firmly settled in David's home, his daughter's heart, and--after a very short time--his own heart as well. Determined to have their marriage be in name only because they've had no time to get to know each other or court, David's promise lasts only a short while once the ring is on Laura's finger (and off again, because it's too large and she nearly loses it.)

Problems immediately rise, of course. Laura thinks David's emotional withdrawal from her is because he's still in love with his dead wife. She doesn't know he suffers from guilt because of things that happened to his wife while he was in a Northern prison camp during the War Between the States. David refuses to allow Laura to practice medicine because he fears people will think he can't provide for her. When she gives him more money to buy a nearby ranch to add to his own spread, this shames him, although he accepts it. These worries appear minimal, however, when Ebner Moody arrives from Laura's former home, claiming he's her lawful husband and he's come to take her back with him. Now, David finally admits he loves Laura and refuses to let her go, but Moody has a marriage certificate signed by both Laura and himself. David is determined to prove it a fake.

The interaction between David and Laura--both at their first meeting, their one-night "honeymoon" and their life at David's ranch--is at first awkward and shy, then emotional and filled with what neither recognizes as slowly-developing love. David thinks he's being lustful, Laura decides to accept whatever he gives her. Their feelings for each other have just begun to be revealed when Moody shows up, and it becomes the catalyst for the drama that comes afterward.

Salvation Bride is a short piece of fiction which I wish had been longer. Perhaps some day, the author will add to it and make it into a full-length novel.

(Salvation Bride is a Cactus Rose Miniature Rose, released by The Wild Rose Press.)

11 comments

  1. Susan Macatee // September 25, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

    I won a copy of Salvation Bride also. It's a great story and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves historical romances and progressive heroines.

  2. Mary Ricksen // September 25, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

    I love historical's so now I am gonna get a copy of Salvation bride.
    Love the excerpt and a heroine with guts!

  3. Anna Kathryn Lanier // September 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments on my story. SALVATION BRIDE is one of my favorite stories too. I have thought of making it into a full-length novel, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. At present, though, I'm working on a sequel...when the deputy gets his own mail order bride. The problem there is, he didn't order one....

    Thanks again for the lovely praise.

  4. Phyllis Campbell // September 25, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

    I've also been lucky to read this story. Yes, it's a very good one!!

    ~Phyllis~

  5. Ginger Simpson // September 25, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

    I'm a friend and fan of Anna K, so I'm always delighted when I see someone review her work so favorably. When a reviewer wishes for more, that's always a great sign that they are really into the story. I know I've read a few books in my time that were so great that I got instantly sad when I turned the last page. I loved Salvation Bride.

  6. Anna Kathryn Lanier // September 25, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

    Hey, Phyllis and Ginger. Thanks!

  7. Toni V.S. // September 25, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

    The sequel sounds like one I want to read, also!

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 25, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

    Toni thanks for introducing us to this new author! The story sounds great and a sequel means twice the fun! Anna thanks for visiting with the Pink Fuzzies! We're always glad to discover new authors to add to out list of favorites.

  9. Mary Marvella // September 25, 2009 at 10:05 PM  

    This book sounds like a winner! Thanks, Toni. Can't wait to read this one.

  10. Beth Trissel // September 25, 2009 at 10:10 PM  

    This sounds like a great book and one I should read. :)

  11. Judy // September 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

    This book sounds wonderful! Sounds like you have a real novel on your hands. Go for it!