Author: Debra Holland
Narrator: Lara Asmundson
Length: 6 hours 41 minutes
Series: Mail-Order Brides of the West, Book 1
Publisher: Debra Holland
Released: Jun. 27, 2014
Genre: Romance; Historical Fiction
The well-educated daughter of a lawyer, Trudy Bauer arrives at the St. Louis based Mail-Order Brides of the West agency full of excitement for an adventure of a lifetime. She befriends the agency’s maid, Evie Davenport, and the two form a strong and lasting friendship. They vow to stay in contact through letters when Evie takes hold of her destiny and arranges a marriage on the sly. Each brave young woman is ready to face whatever an unknown groom and life in Montana can throw her way. In Holland’s book, bride-to-be Trudy Bauer rides the train to Sweetwater Springs, in a Montana Sky Novel. In Fyffe’s novel, house servant Evie Davenport travels by stagecoach to Y Knot, Montana in a McCutcheon Family Novel. Through their correspondence, the friends keep each other abreast of their hardships, trials, and tribulations – some of heartbreak, some of love.
Debra Holland wears many “hats.” She’s a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor, as well as a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as a top 50 greatest love stories pick. She is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance). Dr. Debra received a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC). She has written the nonfiction books, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude: a Ten-Minute eBook. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. Lara Asmundson is a voice actor based in the SF Bay area with many VO credits including radio and TV commercials, industrial narration, video game characters and of course audiobook narration. She has even given voice to an animated toy cat! Her journey to voice acting was a bit unusual having started her career life as a biomedical clinical researcher. The voice acting journey began as an exploration in creativity but quickly developed into a passion and finally a new career. She has been a working voice actor for 10 years. With over 40 audiobook titles to her credit she has given life to countless characters from young immigrant women seeking new lives and love in the 1890’s Western US to modern day romantic heroines. Her warm voice and conversational style draws the listener in and holds them through the ups and downs of the stories she tells. I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Debra Holland. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
My Rating: 4 Stars.
I haven’t read or listened to a historical romance in such a long time. I was incredibly eager to sign up for this review opportunity – and I was not disappointed.
Trudy is this incredibly sweet tale of a young woman taking the steps to gain a bit more independence – and venture into the big unknown world in the only way woman could do in those days without being labeled easy or quite simply a whore. Signing up to marry a complete stranger things start off quite interestingly.
Trudy – as a character is incredibly brave to leave everything she knows behind for, not only an unknown husband, but also a town she has never heard of or been. Add in that she might not be a brat – she has led a very charmed life as the daughter of an influential lawyer. Now she is suddenly thrust into a lifestyle that she isn’t quite used to with a lot fewer luxuries than she has grown accostumed to.
Fear not – how spunky Trudy rolls up her shirt sleeves and gets right to work. After some innitial fretting she settles in quite nicely. And her budding relationship with her husband is incredibly sweet. The way they start off with little affections and grow closer the further along in the story we get.
My only regret is that there wasn’t just a little more substance to the book. I would have love to have just a bit more oomph. Maybe just a bit of action. That does not mean this was not a well written book – I think more just a reflection on where my reading / listening tastes are at, at the moment.
If you are in the mood for a very happy and cotton candy sweet story – this is the one for you.
Narration was absolutely on par. The accents, inflections and characterization was exactly what I would imagine from the era. The characters were authentic and very believable.
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