Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

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Bessie Randall had no intention of moving to Wyoming. But could the life she would never choose be better than the one she had planned?

Bessie is shocked when she finds out that her sister Lenore has used her name to correspond with a soldier she’s never met—and that she’s actually married the man by proxy with Bessie’s name. And if Bessie contests it, her sister could go to jail for forgery. Bessie has always felt responsible for her younger sister, and she believes she has no choice but to do the honorable thing and travel west to meet up with Jasper Mendenhall.

With his sister Jessica’s reprimand about marrying sight-unseen still ringing in his ears, Jasper is shocked when he meets the stagecoach. The little wren who meets him is not the beauty whose picture he holds in his hand. Jasper plans to annul the marriage and send Bessie back to Boston. She’s a city girl and he’s not sure she could even survive—much less be happy—at Fort Bowie.

But Jasper’s orders to return to Fort Bowie are moved up, and he has no choice but to take Bessie with him. To his surprise, he finds much to like in the quiet young woman: things like humor and grit. But even those qualities may not be enough as the Apaches move in, determined to eradicate the fort in their midst. Can God mend their hearts together in spite of the circumstances?

My Thoughts: To Love a Stranger is a novel with an interesting problem. I was hooked from the very first page. Unfortunately, I was less impressed the further I read. Overall, it’s a fun story and a quick read. The plot continues to change and evolve, keeping me entertained. However, I felt like the characters didn’t evolve very far. Even though the plot changed, Bessie and Jasper’s mentality remained the same. I found them asking the same questions again and again and again. Another conflict I had was that various parts of the story were summarized when it could have been pages if not an entire chapter’s worth of information. I think this novel would have been much more enjoyable had it been a little longer.
As a fan of Coble, I didn’t find this to be her best work. I would have much preferred the publisher to have taken the time to revise the story rather than simply slapping a new cover on it before they republished it.
At the end of the day, To Love a Stranger was a quick western read with a solid message on true love.

~I received a copy from Book Look Blogger in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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