Friday, 26 June 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: June 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: June 2015 

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please click the link above to sign on to the link list at the end of this post.

I was disappointed in my reading matter this month with a couple of books only worthy of 2* (although other readers seemed to enjoy the books) but I did come across a couple of 4* books. 

This month I have chosen a book set in Wyoming in 1887 which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and hope others will as well.  It is classed as Choc Lit – but it definitely not Mills & Boon. 

Approx.  336 pages
Book Description from Amazon
Does a good deal make a marriage?
Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son.

Ellen O’Sullivan longs for a home, a husband and a family. On paper, she is everything Connor needs in a wife. However, it soon becomes clear that Ellen has not been entirely truthful.

Will Connor be able to overlook Ellen’s dishonesty and keep to his side of the bargain? Or will Bridget’s resentment, the attentions of the beautiful Miss Quinn, and the arrival of an unwelcome visitor, combine to prevent the couple from starting anew.

As their personal feelings blur the boundaries of their deal, they begin to wonder if a bargain struck makes a marriage worth keeping.

Set in Wyoming in 1887, a story of a man and a woman brought together through need, not love …

My Review: 4*

Wyoming, late 1880’s, a widowed farmer advertises for a mail order bride.  Ellen O’Sullivan makes the decision to break away from her life and answers the advert and is accepted.  Ellen travels alone and for a long time to meet Conn, her new husband, as they meet we realise that Ellen has not told Conn everything there is to know about her but being a gentleman he keeps to their bargain.

Conn’s eight year old daughter has difficulty coming to terms with Ellen as her father’s new wife and puts emotional pressure on both Conn and Ellen.  

The beauty of this well written, descriptive book is the way we get to understand the main characters as they go about their daily lives.  The interaction with other characters that may or may not be all they pretend to be is another thread in this marvellous tale. 

This concept of mail order brides in the ‘wild West’ has been a popular theme in many Western romances but this book takes the theme that one step further and to new heights.  The wonderful descriptions of the nitty-gritty of life on a farm, the preparations people had to make, the hard work involved in surviving harsh conditions was told really well. 

There is drama, heartache, acceptance and romance in this lovely book.


  1. I've always thought the mail order bride premise an interesting one but boy, I can't imagine going across the country to marry someone you've never met!

  2. I'm in a rut with my reading, so I might have to give this one a try.

  3. I've spent some time in the American West recently. I know it's the same country as the more familiar (to me) East but it feels like another planet. It is also a very masculine world, even more so during the era of the book. I can only imagine what it might have been like for a woman taking on such an adventure.

  4. Wow! This one sounds good. I'm so intrigued about Ellen's secret!
    Thanks for recommending!

  5. Though it's not something I will probably ever read, I have to know: What's "choc lit"?

    1. - although I have to say the stories are usually more than what is expected and usually well written.

  6. I've seen--and read--a number of books with a similar premise. I recall that one was especially good, but I can't remember the author nor the title.


  7. This isn't something I would usually read, however I have read stuff like this in the past. It's interesting how the author gets into the nitty gritty of daily life. A lot of authors of this genre just gloss over the hardships.