The Sapphire Bride is an endearing western romance by Cynthia Woolf and is the second book in her newest series, The Central City Brides. The brides, of course, are mail order requested by men out west. In this series, Cynthia Woolf, has created the scenario that the brides are coming with “baggage” that means to kill them. The grooms are friends and seem to be following the first in ordering brides and become very protective of their brides against their enemies.
In the Sapphire Bride Ava is an independent woman from New York who designs jewelry. Because the social restrictions of the times, Ava can’t exactly get ahead with her own business there. She is in her mid-twenties and doesn’t believe she will marry because, after all, how many men would let her continue with her own dream? Her twin brother, Jeffrey who is an Archeologist, understands her and encourages her dream.
When Jeffrey arrives on her doorstep wounded and dying, he shares with her a secret and news that the men after him will also come after her. In order to flee quickly, Ava signs on as a mail order bride leaving the next day. Her destination is Central City where she will marry Seamus Madigan, better known as “Lucky”.
Lucky is a saloon owner and wants a wife and children. What he has to offer is absolutely NO love, a saloon as their home and a painful past. He doesn’t want a wife whom he must babysit when he has a business to run. When his new wife, “Jane Ava Smith” arrives he is more than ready to begin on those children, doesn’t mind her jewelry designing, and continually hurts with his “I don’t love you” comments.
Lucky and Ava have some truths to face when they are confronted by the malicious revenge of a spurned woman and men bent on thievery and murder. Can Lucky save Ava? Will Ava trust and forgive Lucky? What will happen when they must face a devastating loss?
Ms. Woolf writes a story that I call a clean, charming western that is a quick read. There are interactions with the characters from the first book in the series, which I haven’t read yet but I must say I didn’t feel I needed to in order to understand this story. Sapphire Bride is stand-alone even though it is part of a series. From what I picked up there is the continued theme that the brides are coming to Central City with danger close behind them. Both brides so far are also from New York which I don’t know if all in the series will be or just these two, but it was an opening for the “brides” to open up to each other and speak of home. The reader was also given a glimpse of the other male friends in the group and now will have to wait to see who will be the next to order his mail order bride. My assumption and it is strictly my personal guess as I haven’t read anything on what to expect, but I believe there are two more friends left which would mean two more books for the series.