cover image Texas Mail Order Bride

Texas Mail Order Bride

Linda Broday. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-0281-1

Broday’s first Bachelors of Battle Creek historical, set in 1878 Texas, is packed with TV western clichés. Cooper Thorne and his two buddies formed a brotherhood bond during their childhood years at an orphanage. Now someone’s played Cooper for a fool and ordered him a bride. He quickly tells Delta Dandridge it’s all a mistake, but she’s escaping her own past and refuses to return to it. After she lands a job at the mercantile, she charms everyone in Battle Creek—including Cooper. The episodic story jolts from one melodramatic scenario to the next: someone infects Cooper’s cattle with a deadly disease, a man beats his pregnant wife, and Cooper and Delta abruptly go from standoffish to smoochy. There’s little real history underpinning the story, and much of the sparse character development goes toward setting up Cooper’s brothers to be protagonists of future installments. (Jan.)