The Unexpected Bride Book Cover The Unexpected Bride
Hope's Crossing
Cynthia Woolf
Historical Western Romance
Firehouse Publishing
October 24, 2016
ebook and print

Alice Carter found herself a widow, her doctor husband murdered as he left the hospital where he worked. Alice, too, is a doctor and thought she wouldn’t have any trouble finding a position with the hospital where her husband had been so well regarded.

She was wrong. Seems no one wanted a female doctor, especially one in mourning. Seeing no other way out, Alice becomes a mail-order bride to a doctor in Hope’s Crossing in the Montana Territory.

Dr. Jeremiah Kilarney, needs help. He needs a nurse to assist him with his patients. Knowing he has to marry the woman or she’ll be inundated with marriage proposals from the lonely miners, he goes to Matchmaker & Co. Specifying his need for a nurse or someone willing to be trained as one, he’s surprised when Alice Carter, doctor, steps out of the stagecoach with her precocious daughter Melly.

Can Alice and Jeremiah have a future when ghosts from her past still hold her heart?

Hope's Crossing can be the answer to their future or the end of their dreams.

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Dr. Jeremiah “Doc” Kilarney is the only doctor in Hope’s Crossing and nearby Nevada City and he needs help desperately. He wants a nurse/wife because bringing a woman to Hope’s Crossing without being married would leave her with little time for medicine when men would be chasing her all the time.

At the recommendation of one of the women in town, he advertised for a mail-order bride through Matchmaker and Co., the same agency that three other men from town had used and been fortunate enough to find wives and love.

Doc’s application was answered by Alice Cooper whose husband had just died six months earlier. She also has a three-year-old daughter Melissa (Melly) and if that wasn’t enough, she is a doctor. It is 1873 and finding a position with her skills in the city was not happening. Even if she had to be a nurse until she proved herself, at least she would be treating people. She hasn’t really completed the mourning period, but she has a child to care for and no means to make money. She deeply loved her husband, Adam, who was also a doctor and who was killed by Dick Lane whose wife died on the operating table. Dick was convinced that Alice and Adam killed his wife, and he still has to complete his task by killing Alice.

Jeremiah is convinced he will never love again since the woman he loved, the woman who swore she would wait for him till the war was over, left him and married another man. He welcomes Alice and Melly, but love is not even a consideration. Jeremiah does begin to put trust in Alice’s medical ability, especially the fact that she studied surgery. Alice has what she wanted—a home for her and Melly, and she is practicing medicine. There is also an added bonus when one of the men who comes in constantly is a lonely miner who takes a liking to Melly and becomes her grandpa Walt. Now Alice can practice on patients without worrying about her daughter.

Jeremiah’s one big problem is that Alice wears her husband’s wedding ring around her neck. She doesn’t wear it at night when they are together, but she is not ready to let go of the man she loved, especially for a man who will not commit to love. Everything is going well, Melly is happy, Walt finally has a family and Jeremiah and Alice are enjoying their time in their marital bed—until Dick Lane makes an appearance.

This is Hope’s Crossing where mail-order brides fall in love with their new husbands and where trouble follows them, but will Alice and Doc be the exception? Is there love in their future or will the trouble that comes calling succeed in destroying everything? I love this series and look forward to more.