Learning to Trust Again (Mail Order Brides of Miner’s Gulch, Book 1)

Susannah Calloway

NOVELLA/HISTORICAL: The story takes place in the late 1800’s, and opens as Lacey Harper learns that her father plans to sell her to become the wife of a brothel owner. She is horrified, and discovers that she can become a mail order bride instead, and perhaps find a better fate by traveling to Colorado. Neil Thompson is a widower in Miner’s Gulch, Colorado. His wife passed away during a flu epidemic four years prior, leaving him as a single father to a now 6-year-old girl. When Lacey arrives in Colorado, she discovers that Neil has no idea that his family has gone behind his back to find him a bride, but Lacey is stuck, and has nowhere else to go. 

While the motivations are delineated for each of the main characters, the world-building is confined to the ranch in Miner’s Gulch, to a small part of Denver, and to a select few locations in Boston. The town of Miner’s Gulch has such an interesting name; it might have been nice to learn more about it as well. Additionally, it’s somewhat incongruous that Neil falls so quickly after declaring multiple times that he will never marry again; however, his mind is changed by a particular event. Nevertheless, this is a sweet story of creating second chances by finding the strength to let go of the past and to forge a new path.

The narrator tries to give each character a distinct voice, but there aren’t significant differences between the various voices within the recording. Additionally, many of the characters have southern accents, although the story occurs in Massachusetts and Colorado. Regardless, the production quality of the recording is strong, and there aren’t any unexpected noises on this recording. This is a heartwarming story about taking chances.

Carey Sullivan