Gideon Book Cover Gideon
The Surprise Brides #1
Cynthia Woolf
Historical Western Romance
Firehouse Publishing
September 17, 2015

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

This series is written by four different authors each writing about one of the four brothers the series focuses on. The prologue is the same for each book and if you read one you can just skip to Chapter one.

It is 1880 in Colorado and Gideon, Jamie, Caleb and Ethan Fraser have no idea what surprise their mother has in store for them. Expecting to have dinner they never expected a sleigh would pull up carrying four women, all of which their mother chose as their brides. Gideon is the town’s preacher and his bride to be is Ruby.

Ruby’s father was a reverend who did not practice what he preached. When Ruby fell in love with a man she believed to be her fiance she was shocked not only to find herself pregnant but that he was married with children. Her father was ready to marry her off to any man but her mother began communicating with Mrs. Fraser and hoped that being a mail-order bride would prove successful for Ruby.

Now Ruby has to begin her new marriage with lies. She begins by claiming to be a widow and not an unwed mother. Ruby has a mistrust for clergy believing them to be nothing but hypocrites, Gideon proves her wrong time and time again. He accepts that she is pregnant and is willing to raise the child as his own. It is only when a jealous, spiteful woman begins revealing Ruby’s secrets that things become difficult in her relationship with her husband. He still accepts her as his wife and will accept the child as his but the trust is gone and that leaves little left in the marriage.

We do learn about the other brothers and their secret wives but each one will have a book of their own explaining why their new wives chose to be mail-order brides. Ruby and Gideon are amazing characters and I couldn’t help but love each one of them. It turns out that Gideon has secrets of his own will that be the final nail in the coffin for them or do they learn to put the past to rest and face the future together.

I love Ms. Woolf’s books because they are just simple love stories about every day people, although it does take place in 1880 where a single woman just sleeping in a single man’s home could cause tongues to wag.