Cristabelle: The Christmas Bride (A West Texas Frontier Trilogy Book 2)


Cristabelle “Crissy” Shannon and Sergeant David “Davie” Donovan could not be less alike. Crissy struggles to make ends meet and care for her ailing mother. She works as a laundress at the Fort and hopes to join a convent one day. Davie is a cavalry ‘lifer’ who is as fun loving as Crissy is serious. He enjoys playing pranks, regardless of the consequences, whereas Crissy lives for the consequences of each decision. Then Davie stumbles into a very serious plan where someone is plotting to steal the fort’s payroll, and he suspects it is one of the fort’s own soldiers. Suddenly, he is seeing the serious side to many things, including his attraction to Crissy and her many fine virtues. 

Fans of frontier and historical romance will like reading about every day Army life at Fort Clark. The world building is organic and largely realistic. A few drawbacks, however, bogged the enjoyment down a bit.  The most noticable being the  commas randomly placed between words in a sentence, creating stunted sentences and awkward pauses. Also, Cristabelle's behavior made for puzzling reading at times. Crissy harbors a secret until the fort gossip reveals it. From then on, she is prone to childish and immature tantrums against Davie that make little sense. Davie has the patience of Job, but Crissy—for all her talk of forgiving and maturity—can be hypocritical, making her hard to sympathize with. Still, the Christmas ending was beautifully done, with lovely descriptions and heart-felt scenes.

Emerson Matthews