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Good. 0373290810 COPYRIGHT 1999. COVER HAS SOME CREASING AND A LITTLE SHELF WEAR WITH SMALL TAPED TEAR ON THE BACK. PRICE AND INITIAL ON TOP OF PAGE ENDS. 296 PAGE TEXT HAS ONLY LIGHT WEAR. WESTERN ROMANCE. 4.25'' X 7''. WE USE BUBBLE MAILERS.
This is one of the best books I've read all year; I stayed up until 5:30 am to finish the story. The plot is simple enough but the characters and their emotions are very complex.
Ellie's mother is a whore living in appalling conditions. Ellie's baby sister dies of neglect and malnutrition. Ellie feeds her brothers and herself however she can -- even by stealing food from local gardens. Then, Ellie's mother sells Ellie and the real horror begins.
Years later, Ellie has become a Harvey Girl (for an explanation of what they were, go to my review for THE LAWMAN'S BRIDE (see below). As our story opens, Ellie falls and breaks her arm. She's taken to the new doctor in town and he sets her arm.
Dr. Caleb Chaney is a new widower with a three month-old baby; his wife died in childbirth and he was unable to save her. He is having a difficulty getting started in town because of his wife's death (if he can't save his own wife, just how good can he be) and his lack of patients (most folks take their chances with the seldom-sober old doctor).
When Dr. Chaney finds that Ellie cannot work with a broken arm, he hires her to care for his baby son until she can return to work at the Arcade (Harvey House). Because of Ellie's awful life, she is afraid of people (particularly men) and uncomfortable talking with those she does not know. However, she has two brothers in foster care that she needs to rescue and she needs the work; thus, she agrees to work for the doctor.
After several weeks of peace in his home, Caleb starts to worry what he will do when Ellie goes back to work. He asks her to marry him; they agree to a marriage of convenience. As part of the agreement, Caleb and Ellie go to collect her brothers. Caleb starts to understand that these three have lived in horror all of their lives.
This is one of those stories that will stay with you long after the last page.
1. The Doctor's Wife (1999)
2. The Tenderfoot Bride (2003)
3. The Lawman's Bride (2007)
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