Whew! Half way through the week already. I hope you are all having a good one. If not, I have a terrific, feel good, swoon worthy romance with a hot cowboy for all of you in need of something to make you smile. I always enjoy reading a book by Carolyn Brown as she never ceases to make me smile with her well written and genuine characters. I love that she always includes a feisty old gal who makes me smile. The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride is no exception as it features Dotty who is a real treat. I am pleased to welcome back Carolyn to the blog once again today. If you haven't met Carolyn, you are in for a treat. So let's get this post started.
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include historical, contemporary, cowboys and country music mass market paperbacks. The Blue Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee is her debut woman’s fiction book. Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, she refers to herself as a Tex-Okie. She and her husband live in Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Find Carolyn on her website,Facebook, and Goodreads.
Here is Carolyn interviewing Clarice:
Good morning everyone! I’m so glad to be here at Rainy Day Ramblings. Hope y’all are all warm in this crazy cold winter. Clarice is one of the secondary characters in The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride and has agreed to let me interview her today. She’s Greg’s grandmother and with the help of her good friends is trying desperately to put the right girl in his pathway.
CB: Clarice, we hear that Emily brought a boot box full of letters to you. Can you tell us a little about them?
Clarice: Those would be the letters I wrote to Marvin back in the war days. Of course they don’t call it a war these days but it was when we were writing to each other. We’d become pen pals when I was in high school and I flat out fell in love with him through those letters. The last one I received said that he was on his way home the next day and his next letter would be from West Texas. It said that he had something very important to ask me but he wanted to wait until he was on home soil before he asked. And then there were no more.
CB: Didn’t you try to locate him?
Clarice: Of course I did. I wrote at least a dozen letters. They’re all in my own boot box with the letters I received from him; unopened because they were returned to me. In those days, not everyone even had a house phone. Computers, cell phones, texting and all that were things of the future. And a young lady didn’t go hunting for a lost love. It just simply wasn’t done.
CB: So you moved on?
Clarice (with a smile): We didn’t call it that but that’s what I did. I figured he’d come home and reconnected with an old girlfriend and changed his mind. I married to wonderful man, had a son and now have a grandson who helps me run Lightning Ridge Ranch. Shhh! Don’t tell him but my friends and I have each joined one of those on-line dating services and we’re trying to find him a proper woman.
CB: What did you think when Emily came to your ranch with that box of letters and the story about that last letter getting stuck in a mail bag for sixty years?”
Clarice (wiping tears from her eyes): Words can’t describe the feeling. I finally had closure for that little part of my heart that had always belonged to Marvin. He hadn’t led me on and then dropped me. It had all been a mistake. When I didn’t answer that final letter, he had to have thought that I’d changed my mind about him, too.
CB: Now a question about Emily. What did you think of her when she arrived on your porch with those letters?
Clarice: Oh, honey, I wanted to adopt her on the spot. She was Marvin’s granddaughter and she’d known him all those years. I wanted to know every detail about him and she could answer all my questions. Fate is a strange thing but I do believe in it. It wasn’t in the cards for me and Marvin but Fate was waiting for our grandkids to have a chance at love or that letter wouldn’t have shown up at the exact time that it did.
CB: Did Greg share your feelings right there at the start about Emily?
Clarice: Oh, no! He thought she was running a scam and I really didn’t know if she’d stick around or not, to tell the truth. My friends and I continued the dating service just in case but we did (she looks around to make sure Emily and Greg can’t hear) do some meddling to help them see what was right in front of their eyes. We could all see they were made for each other. However, as you kids say today, they both had a lot of baggage to unpack and get rid of before they could see the light.
CB: Clarice, thank you so much for telling us about the letters. What else would you like to say to the readers?
Clarice: I love all this new technology but I think folks should try writing real letters. They are more intimate and personal than a quick text or even a phone call. You can go back to them time and time again to enjoy and think about what’s written. And (she whispers) Fate might just be waiting for you write a real letter to put your soul mate in your life.
CB: Clarice and I will be around all day to answer questions and visit with you folks. So come right on in, get a cup of coffee and a donut from over there on the buffet, and let’s talk.
Thanks, ladies! I adored your story. There is something magical about writing letters, it is sad that few of us take the time to sit down and put pen to paper. I treasure the letters I have from my grandparents. A huge thank you to Clarice and Carolyn for stopping by today. The wonderful Carolyn is offering a chance to win an autographed copy of her latest book to one lucky entrant. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. This is open to U.S. residents only. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride(Cowboys and Brides #3) by Carolyn Brown
With a bundle of letters in a boot box, Emily Cooper doesn't know what to expect when she arrives on Clarice Barton's Ravenna, Texas, ranch.
Clarice is stunned to meet the great granddaughter of a man she hadn't heard from in decades and insists that Emily stay on the ranch to tell her all about him.
Greg Adams isn't thrilled with the idea of a strange, if beautiful, woman in his grandmother's company. But when this stubborn cowboy sets out to uncover her lies, he finds the truth staring him in the face: it's not an explanation he wants, it's just her.
Mass Market Paperback 384 pgs.Published February 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review.
Four stars: A fun, lighthearted romance that will leave you with a big smile.
Emily stares timidly at the door, she has driven a long way to deliver an old box of letters. Just as she gathers her courage and knocks, a large cat drops a dead mouse on her foot. Emily shrieks and kicks the mouse as the door opens. What a way to make a first impression. Thankfully, the lady who answers the door hates mice just as much as Emily. Emily is here to deliver her grandfather's letters to Clarice. Sixty years ago, Marvin and Clarice exchanged letters while he served in the military over seas. Recently, the postal service delivered her grandfather's final letter to Clarice back to the house, it seems that it had gotten lost and was found all these years later. Emily's grandfather's dying wish was for Emily do deliver that final letter along with the rest of Clarice's old letters to her. Emily plans on handing over the letters and heading to Florida to clear her head for thirty days before returning home and restoring her ranch. What she doesn't count on is two old ladies and a handsome cowboys grabbing her heart. Can a box of old letters ignite a romance?
What I Liked:
- I am a huge fan of Carolyn Brown's characters. She never disappoints with her genuine, likable and often hilarious characters. I immediately fell in love with this new batch. Emily and Greg are just adorable while Clarice and Dotty, Rose and Madge made me laugh. This witty foursome is always up to something and they are a riot. Doty was by far my favorite with her feistiness and straight shooting dialogue. Like Emily, I want to be just like her when I grow up! I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of these scheming ladies, especially watching them trying to tackle and master modern technology as they attempt to masquerade as Greg on online dating sites. They have a notebook of all the abbreviations that are commonly used today to help keep it all straight, but they still make some mistakes. If you enjoy funny, lively and entertaining characters, grab this book! There is plenty of humorous dialogue that will make you chuckle.
- I always enjoy Carolyn's small town, cozy settings. It doesn't take but a few chapters before I am settled in and right at home. I adore books with a cozy small town and this one is no exception. After reading this book, I want to pack my bags and go live on a ranch in Texas. As there are not many dull moments and lots of handsome cowboys. Ms. Brown does an exceptional job with her portrayal of ranch life in Texas.
- The romance is a fast mover, but it is believable and packed full of passion and heat. It starts with sparks of instant attraction, and then it takes a bit of time to settle in before it takes root and explodes. Emily and Greg make an adorable couple and I loved both of them. I know many of you may feel like this is an insta love romance, but I thought it was done just right.
- The sex scenes have plenty of sizzle, but they don't stray into the too much information territory. I thought they were well balanced with enough detail to satisfy but they don't go on for pages and pages. Less is more and I thought it was just right!
- I loved the way the old letters were incorporated in the tale, and then I liked the way that Emily and Greg utilized letters to convey their feelings. Letters are dying form of communication. I liked that Ms. Brown reminded me of the importance of a written note or letter, whether it be a mailed letter, a sticky note or a letter slipped under the door. Written words are powerful!
- All around, this is a charming, feel good tale that blends the past with the present. I loved meeting the four old woman and watching them meddle and play match maker. The entire cast of characters is terrific. I loved all of them. This is a book that you can pick up and read when you are in the mood for something romantic and fun and it will leave you smiling.
- For those of you who don't like to read books out of order in a series, this is not a traditional sequential type series. This is a set of three companion books. All three books involve different couples so you can pick up a book in the series in any order without missing a beat. There are a couple of mentions and cameos from the characters in the other books, and I liked catching up with them.
- Finally, for all your naysayers out there that don't believe this type of romance is possible, there is a word at the end from Carolyn that tells the true story behind this book. I loved learning more about the backstory and it made the read more impactful knowing that there was a bit of real life inspiration behind the romance.
And The Not So Much:
- The old letters play a huge role in the book as they bring Emily to Greg. I was absolutely itching to know more about what was written in those letters as there is something so romantic about falling in love through letters. Alas, the dialogue between Martin and Clarice is never shared. I wanted so much to know more, and I would have loved for Clarice to read a few snippets of her letters to the others.
- I very much enjoyed the romance even though it moved at an incredibly quick pace. I was on board with it right up until the very end. I thought that perhaps the couple should have taken that final step a bit slower, but I guess they knew their hearts, so who am I to judge?
- I am fascinated by the whole idea of the mail order bride and I very much wanted to know more about Rose's, Madge's and Doty's experiences as mail order brides.
- The book romance predictable and it plays out just as you expect after the initial sparks fly. No big deal especially for those of you looking for something light and cozy. If you want a romance with a bit of surprise you will likely be disappointed.
The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride is a charming, cozy and cute contemporary romance. I loved all the characters and the small town setting. If you are in the mood for a book that is light and fun for the winter months, get this one it is sure to make you smile! Besides, how can you risk sexy cowboys and hilarious old women?
"I got the pants. You got the shirt. Between the two of us, we're dressed."
"I know how old I am, Clarice Adams, and I know if you don't use it, it'll dry up and my arms already look like bat wings, so I am not going to just sit around and let them go to complete fat," Rose said...."Well, shit! I ain't used my female equipment since my husband died. You think it's dried up?" Dotty asked."
"Folks think if they walk into a church religion is going to jump out from the corners and attack them."
"There is something about a letter that you can hold in your hands even after sixty years and still feel the emotions that you felt that day."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.