Friday, September 7, 2012

The Bride Wore Blue (book 3 in the Sinclaire Sisters of Cripple Creek series) by Mona Hodgson (review)

Paperback  $13.99 ISBN: 9780307730305
Book 3 in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series opens with Vivian, the youngest of the Sinclair sisters and the only one not yet married, traveling with her aunt to Cripple Creek where her sisters await.

About the book:  At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family“ baby”, is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?

The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so when she’s offered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff ’s deputy who’s sweet on her.

Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?

My thoughts:  This is a very enjoyable read of the American West in 1867.  Cripple Creek is a small western town with limited prospects for employment and yet Vivian wants to be able to stand on her own two feet and begin working as a designer of ladies clothing. But prospects are dim.

Vivian has secrets in her young life that no one is aware of - least of all her sisters.  She has tried to put them behind her and live her life according to God's leading, but she continually  finds herself being deceptive and not choosing wisely.  She does not seek the assistance and counsel of those who love her. So she makes mistakes.  Big mistakes.

This is a story of the American West and the book brings good christian fiction, sweet romance,  wild west outlaws, soiled doves,  and a train robbery all lending color and adventure. But you won't find inappropriate scenes or language to spoil it for you.  Being a Western style story, we have a hero, too - Deputy Carter Alwyn.  So watch out for tender sparks between Vivian and the Deputy Carter.

Character development is good and each personality shows through.  You will fall in love with Hattie.  (I'll not tell who she is so you can read the book and find out!)  And the sub-sub-plot of Nell and her husband desiring a child and being unable to have one resolves itself in a beautiful way. (Again, I'm not going to give this sweet morsel away!)

But this is a story of forgiveness.  God's grace and forgiveness and that of those we love.  No matter how big or terrible our mistakes, God is gracious and God is forgiving.  You will find an inspirational read in The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson that will be an encouragement to you if you need forgiveness and a source of helping others whom you know who need to realize the forgiveness of God and that of friends and loved ones.

You will also find family loyalty and acceptance toward Vivian even after her mistakes and secrets are discovered.

The Bride Wore Blue can easily be read as a stand alone book although it would be fun to read the entire series in the order in which they were written.  I look forward to reading Mona Hodgson's new release in October 2012 of Twice a Bride.
About the author:  Over the last twenty-five years, Mona Hodgson’s publishing credits have grown to include nearly thirty children's books, contributions to more than ten books for adults, and four historical novels, including her debut, Two Brides Too Many in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Mona is a popular speaker for women's groups, schools, and educators’ and writers’ conferences. She lives in Arizona.

DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a copy of The Bride Wore Blue by Blogging for Books on behalf of Waterbrook Press and the author in exchange for my honest review.  Opinions expressed are solely my own and I was under no obligation to render a positive review.

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