by Jean Hackensmith and Kathe Birch

December 2003
ISBN: 1-59466-01203
Reviewer Graphic Button Port Town Publishing
Trade Paperback

Don't you just love saying Gitchee Gumee? If you are familar with the area, like I am, you feel you are there with the characters in the book.

Samantha Carmichael was in a bad marriage, her husband Devon was physically mean. She read an advertisement in the New York paper for a mail order bride, she answered it. When her husband Devon came home that evening, he did what he usually did - beat her. After he passed out, she decided she had enough, with the reply she had received in the mail, she packed what little she could, took money from her husband`s wallet and left that same night.

She travels to Chicago where she is to meet her future husband. She meets instead her future father-in-law, Nathan Jarvis, Sr. They travel to the Jarvis home and when they finally arrive, Samantha is surpised to learn that Nathan`s mother, Harriet, wrote the advertisement, Nathan`s mother thought that by the age of 27 her son should be married. Samantha knows she needs to tell the family the truth, but they are so nice and kind to her, she winds up telling half-truths.

As time goes by Nathan and Samantha do marry, but Samantha is racked with guilt. A bounty hunter tracks Samantha down, hired by her husband Devon to bring her back. The truth emerges and Nathan and Samantha decide to travel to New York to obtain a divorce for Samantha so they can legally be married.

While in New York, Devon finds them, through a twist of fate. But Devon also has a secret that will change everything, once it is known by all parties. I can`t give away what his secret is, it would give away the ending of the book.

This is a well written, well researched book. Can't wait to read the second and third book in the series.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Pat.