The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride
Heroes of Chance Creek, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: One Acre Press
Date of Publication: July 21, 2014
Number of pages: 309
Word Count: 98,470
Staff Sergeant Austin Hall has a brilliant record in the Special Forces—except for one disastrous decision that cost his best friend’s life. Now he’s heading home to Chance Creek, Montana, where he’d like to spend the rest of his days in the obscurity of his family’s ranch. Too bad Great Aunt Heloise won’t hand the ranch over unless all four of the Hall brothers marry and one of them produces an heir within the year. Austin is too broken to marry for love, so he places an online ad for a fake wife. What could possibly go wrong?
Ella needs to leave Hollywood—fast. It’s bad enough another actress stole her fiancé—on national television. Now she’s ruined her comeback by decking her ex on a morning talk show. Pursued by paparazzi, Ella needs a new life, a new name and someplace to hide. When she reads Austin’s ad for a stand-in wife, she knows she can act this part perfectly. To the rest of the residents of Chance Creek, they’ll be a happily married couple. In private, they’ll just be roommates. In a year when she’d old news and the Hall brothers secure the ranch, she and Austin will quietly divorce and she’ll go on her way.
Or will she?
Austin’s already finding it hard to remember his promise never to love again. Ella’s finding it hard to keep her hands to herself. But when they’re asked make a back-up baby, Ella realizes she may have stepped into a lifetime role.
Can this pretend marriage go the distance?
Back in May, I reviewed the first book in this series, The Navy Seal's E-mail Order Bride. I had seen other books by Cora Seton, specifically her Cowboys of Chance Creek series, but hadn't read one yet. Mostly because, hello, the series is on book 8. That's a lot to catch up on. So the chance to read the start of a new series was good. And I loved the book. Then I saw book 2 on Netgalley and was thrilled to get to jump back into the Hall brothers lives once again.
Here we have the story of Austin. He is the next brother to leave the armed services and head home. Since Austin doesn't really want to find a wife, he believes that he doesn't deserve one after letting his best friend die in combat. So he posts an ad proposing a marriage of convenience, a business arrangement, and pretend to be his wife for 1 years time. After the flood of angry and crazy emails, he find one that makes him take notice. From a woman named Ella.
Ella is an actress in Hollywood struggle to make it onto the A-list. Her fiance has made it, and she figures that if she can only win this Oscar for her latest role she can be right there beside him. Not only doesn't that happen, but the woman who wins announces to the world that she is pregnant with Ella's fiance's child. Ella is devastated and retreats to her family's home to recover. On her first interview back, in an attempt to garner rating, she is surprised with the new couple showing up. When she cold cocks him with her coffee mug, she decides that it might be best to lie low for awhile. In Ella's mind getting back to the lifestyle she had as a child and hiding out on a ranch sounds just about perfect. Maybe she can figure out if her old childhood dream of Equine Therapist is still viable. Neither one of the planned on their mutual attraction.
Whereas the issues in the first book mainly dealt with family and the problems of getting the house in order, this book dealt with the issues that many military men face when back from combat assignments. Austin had some PTSD and survivor's guilt issues. Both the characters dealt with what it means to let go of some dreams and how to start over with their lives. This book was as good as the first, but in a whole different manner. I can't wait to get my hands on book 3, about Austin's twin brother, the marine. A 5 star read for me.