Bella Book Cover Bella
Brides of the Oregon Trail Book 3
CYNTHIA WOOLF
Historical Western Romance
Firehouse Publishing
June 3, 2019
134

Bella Devereaux dreamed of being a restaurateur, not a thief. But life had other plans. Forced to compromise her principles to survive, Bella always gives half of her ill-gotten gains to the French émigrés in New Orleans and saves the other half to fulfill her lifelong goal of opening her own French café. A priceless cache of jewels was supposed to be her last job, but the police are on to her, and so is another criminal—Jack Pasquin. He’s more than a thief, he’s a murderer, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to force Bella’s hand—including kill her. Taking the jewels and fleeing to Oregon City as a mail-order bride seems to be her only hope.

Marshal Robert McCauley never forgave himself for being on the job when his first wife passed away. Guilt has kept him from falling in love again, but a mail-order bride seems to be the perfect answer. When Bella arrives, not only is she beautiful and intelligent, but her mysterious ways intrigue him more than he cares to admit. Neither of them wants to admit they have fallen in love, but when Bella’s past catches up to them, Robert will have to choose—once more—between the woman he loves and the duty he serves.

Can Bella save the husband she’d fallen in love with? Or will she become a widow before she becomes a real wife?

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Bella Deveraux is a thief in New Orleans but in 1852 her people the French Emigres were treated very poorly by the English and that was why most of what she stole went to help them. Of course she kept a portion for herself since she dreamed of opening a French restaurant in San Francisco. Unfortunately her last job almost cost her her life and freedom and that was the reason why she married Robert McCauley of Oregon City in the Oregon Territory by proxy.

Bella needed a place far from New Orleans to hide her goods and a place where she could wait a sufficient time until she was no longer in danger of being caught. Robert was sorry he took a wife by proxy and was determined to end the marriage before it began until Bella walked into his office and he saw her.

Bella is a thief married to the Oregon Territory Marshal now all she had to do was keep him from finding our his new wife is a thief, keep her jewels and money hidden and then leave for San Francisco to make her dream come true. Robert was a man who was hurt by a woman and has no intention of allowing another woman to take his heart but he does want Bella as his wife and has to convince her to give herself to him the way a wife should give herself to her husband.

Bella has no idea that a man with knowledge of who she is and what she has hidden has followed her. Jack Pasquin was also a thief from New Orleans but nowhere as good as Bella so instead of stealing from the rich he decided it was way easier to just steal everything from her. Now with Jack threatening to kill Robert she has no choice but to turn everything over to him.

What she never expected to happen happened, she fell in love and finally confessed everything to Robert about her past. It was when two policemen from New Orleans arrived looking for a thief that Robert had to protect his wife and put the blame on Jack.

Another wonderful story about two people who are afraid to admit to love and who because of their fear lost time together. It is true that they do have sex but without the words “I love you” and the feeling behind it there was always something lacking. What future the ex-thief and the marshal have is not for me to reveal but if you have read other books by Ms. Woolf then you know you are in for an enjoyable read.