I'm going to start off by saying that this is a charming story and that I really liked Gina, the female protagonist. I actually thought it was a period romance from the title - mail-order brides being rather less common in contemporary stories - but the author really made it work, giving us a completely believable reason for both Rory to advertise for a wife and for Gina to answer the advertisement. Fisher, Gina's little boy, was completely adorable.
The language in the book was excellent, and I could not fault the author's spelling, grammar and punctuation. As an Australian myself, I did pick up a few incidences of 'Australianisms' creeping into the speech of the American main characters, which could throw American readers off a little. I was quite sure that the author was Australian long before I reached the Author's Note at the end, put it that way.
The book is the second in a series, and I did feel that having read the first would have filled in a lot of 'backstory' which the reader probably needs. And I'll be honest, I was actually more interested in hearing about Chance and Callie's romance than Rory and Gina... though perhaps that's a good thing for the author, since it would encourage readers to go and check out the first in the series!
There were one or two things I DIDN'T like in the book, and why I don't feel I can give it five stars. First, we never actually got a physical description of either Rory or Gina. The most we got was that Rory thought Gina was 'prettier than he'd thought from her photograph'. Almost every OTHER character got lovingly described, so this felt like a pretty huge omission.
The love scenes (there were two) felt oddly out of place, and there was a lot of 'guilt' privately expressed by both parties (Rory felt guilty about masturbating in the shower? Really?) The book almost feels like it's caught between two genres... it's trying to be Sexy Romance, but I feel like it would actually make an amazing Christian romance with the omission of the love scenes and a few prayers thrown in here and there.
Nevertheless, it was a charming read, and if you like your sheriffs sexy and your young single mothers feisty, you'll definitely enjoy!
The Sheriff's Mail-Order Bride is due to be released on January 10th. I'll stop by and add a proper buy link then, but for the moment you can check out Ann. B. Harrison's Amazon page here - and maybe check out the first in the Watson Brothers series, Chance For Love!
4 stars for a charming romance.
Disclaimer; I received a free ARC of this book for review through NetGalley.