‘Seducing Susannah: The Bride Train’ by E.E. Burke

ss eebSTORY: When all else fails, try seduction.

Ross Hardt needs to marry a proper lady in order to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few prospects in town is a smart, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they met–the same day she slapped his face.

Susannah Braddock journeys west on The Bride Train in search of a good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements–least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.

Can Ross convince Susannah to see him as more than the man she loves to hate?

REVIEW: This is the fifth book in The Bride Train series in which seven women who answer a railroad advertisement that’s looking for single young ladies willing to be married off to the settlers on the Western frontier. What awaits them there is an adventure none of them even dreamed about.

We met both leads of this book in the first telling of this series and Ross and Susannah didn’t hit it off from the start. They just kept butting heads from book one. That’s why I eagerly awaited their story and Ms. Burke didn’t disappoint.

I always thought that Susannah’s pluck was something that attracted Ross and I was right. No matter how many times they came to blows, I think he admired her for being strong, straight spoken and a good mother to her son.

I loved the plot of this story and it really kept me on my toes. There was a lot of secrets on both their parts and it took trust into one another to bring about love.

I must say that this was such a great, heartwarming story that made me laugh and tear up. All the characters were well rounded and their stories were rooted in reality, which made them come to life.

If you’ve never read this series and are skeptical of it, I’d suggest you take a look at the prequel of it, A Bride’s Journey,  which was such an intriguing and informative little intro, especially the character introduction of our brides and their backgrounds.

If you’re in a mood for a clean, intriguing and heartwarming western romance, you need to pick this one up. You’ll love it!

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the author for an honest review

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‘Her Bodyguard’ by E. E. Burke

hb eebSTORY: For America “Amy” Langford, investing in the Border Tier Railroad isn’t about chasing riches. The savvy businesswoman is after bigger stakes: influence, respect, success her father didn’t live to see.
Rioting settlers and underhanded competitors can’t stop her, but a killer might. When a stranger comes to her rescue, she trusts her instincts and hires him as her bodyguard.

Buck O’Connor has put his violent past behind him, but being a wanted man dictates a life of deceit. So what’s one more lie? He becomes Amy’s protector so he can secretly thwart her railroad’s progress to help his cousin avoid financial ruin. A great scheme—until he falls in love.

While Buck hides his true purpose, Amy lies to herself about her growing feelings for her bodyguard. But the price for deceit is steep, and secrets from the past could destroy their future, if they survive.

REVIEW: I read this book awhile back and apparently never reviewed it. Does that happen to you?

What I love about this and all other books by this author, is her seamless blend of immaculate research and storytelling.

The story of Buck O’Connor sounds and feels very real and tangible. It brings to life what men were made of back then and why they fought so hard to protect it.

Amy Langford, was a woman that had worked just as hard to achieve not just her goals in life but to help women and men of her community.

When these two meet, it’s not just the sparks that fly!

If you’re a fan of ‘Hell on Wheels’ you’ll love and appreciate this story. It’s pure, unadulterated adventure with plenty of romance and intrigue.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

Spotlight on E. E. Burke and ‘Santa’s Mail-Order Bride’!

Desktop14Santa’s Mail-Order Bride incorporates a number of American Christmas traditions, including the beloved character of Santa Claus. Our version of Santa may appear contemporary, but the venerable gift-giver has a long history.

bishop st. nicholasSanta started with a real person. Saint Nicholas, born in the 3rd century in a village in present-day Turkey, is said to have spent his inheritance to help the needy, and he had a special love for children. It’s from his generous nature we get a gift-giving Santa.

Fast forward to 18th century America where immigrants from colonial dutch santaHolland brought with them the tradition of Sinterklaas, who became “Santa Claus.” Woodcuts distributed in 1804 show images of an old man in a robe and long white beard filling colonial stockings with fruit and toys.

1821 santaIn 1823, an anonymous poem (later acknowledged to have been penned by Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister), took the legend another step. Entitled An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas or The Night Before Christmas. Moore’s poem is largely responsible for the image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a nod of his head. This is also where we first have references of flying reindeer and Santa’s sleigh.

backdrop_CH-015B-Santas-Workshop-B

Nast 1881 santa portraitBut we have American artist Thomas Nast to thank for the richest legends we have today surrounding Santa Claus. From 1863 through 1886, Nast contributed 33 Christmas drawings to Harper’s Weekly with references to Santa. Here is the most familiar Santa “portrait” he did in 1881. It is Nast who gave Santa coke santahis familiar suit, his North Pole workshop, the elves and his wife, Mrs. Claus.

America’s Victorians were very familiar with Santa and his legend. Department store Santa’s popped up at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Santa’s on parade became a popular theme in towns and cities, and in the 1930s, Santa received “contemporary” red costume.

Yes, Santa’s reputation reaches far back in history, and at the heart of his character we find love and generosity, and a special kind of magic that makes the world a better place.

mob eebBOOK BLURB: Maggie has an unexpected suitor—in a red suit.

Schoolteacher Maggie O’Brien comes home for Christmas on a mission–to gather toys for orphans living on poor farms around Fort Scott. She’s made her list, but there’s no Santa in sight. Not until a local shopkeeper volunteers his services.

Gordon Sumner has set his mind on winning the black-haired Irish beauty, but Maggie’s brother is his fiercest competitor and O’Brien’s loyal sister gives him the cold shoulder. Undaunted, he comes up with a clever plan.

Maggie sees through the fake Santa’s ploy, but with Christmas just around the corner, she’s running out of time to make the holiday happy for needy children. She accepts his help—with a plan of her own. She’ll play matchmaker and find her persistent suitor the perfect bride.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

TEASER:

“We’ll get your orphans gifts, Miss O’Brien. I promise you.”

Her dazed expression remained, as her cheeks bloomed with color and her hands floated up to her mouth. At least she didn’t slap him.

His heart pumped liquid fire through his veins, the brief touch only whetting his appetite for more. He vowed to get a longer, deeper kiss before Miss O’Brien waltzed out of his life again, and he knew just how he would engineer it.

“You…you…” she sputtered.

“Kissed you? Yes. That’s what a man does with his wife.”

She scurried backwards, the high color draining from her face. “What are you talking about? I’m not your wife.”

“Not mine, Santa’s. You, my dear, will be Mrs. Claus.”

REVIEW: After I read Ms. Burke’s ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’ [which btw is 35th book out of 50 in American Mail Order Brides series], I was very happy to hear that she’d gone and written a sequel to it, taking secondary characters of Maggie and Sumner as her heroine and hero.

I wondered how in heck was she going to bridge over some serious obstacles, not to mention two head strong and very competitive men that our heroine cared about deeply.

Color me happy as I giggled my way through this heartwarming, sweet and very tender love story.

I was happy to learn more about our hero, Gordon Sumner, who in the beginning was very mercenary, but Ms. Burke showed him to be compassionate and compelling in this story, and worthy of our heroine.

I also loved catching up with David, Victoria, Fannie and her baby brother. It made me feel warm all over to see how happy they are.

If you’re into sweet and tender romances that are filled with humor, you’ll be entertained with this story, I promise!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

eebAUTHOR BIO: E.E. Burke writes romance from the heart, woven with history the way in really happened in the wild American West. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart®.

She combines her passion for history and love of romance in stories that are as deeply rooted in American soil as her family, which she can trace back to the earliest colonists and through both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

“My earliest memories of books were the nursery rhyme volumes I took to bed with me when I was three. From that point on, I was hooked. Some people hugged their bears. I hugged my books.”

Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to pursuing her dream of writing novels. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three daughters, the greatest inspiration of all

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Spotlight on E. E. Burke and ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’!

50BookAMOBGraphicA

50 MAIL-ORDER BRIDES TAKE AMERICA BY STORM

[click on the poster for synopses of all 50 books]

A Bride for Every State

Mail-order brides have long been a staple in Western historical romance, but there has never been a series featuring 50 brides across America–until now.

American Mail-Order Brides features 50 romances from 50 U.S. states or territories, circa 1890. The series, written by 45 different authors, will release, one book a day, between November 19 and January 7, in the order the states were admitted to the union. ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’, is the 34th book and releases Dec. 22.

There is no particular order for reading the books, but the event that launches these stories is told through a FREE prequel available on Amazon. This project includes many bestselling authors, including New York Times and USA Today top sellers such as Debra Holland, Kirsten Osbourne, and Callie Hutton.

The project website has a complete list of books in the series: http://www.newwesternromance.com/

vbok eebBOOK BLURB: A starry-eyed bride, a reluctant groom, a secret matchmaker and a troubled child.

Jilted socialite Victoria Lowell travels a thousand miles to wed a romantic suitor, unaware she’s corresponded with his matchmaking sister.

A very unsentimental shopkeeper meets her at the train station and gives her until Christmas Eve to prove she’ll make a good mother for his troubled young daughter.

It’ll take more than a miracle to deliver a happily ever after in time for Christmas.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

TEASER:

She searched his eyes with a kind of desperate hope that sent a shudder through him. ‘Can you love me, David?”

The simple question struck with the force of a hard punch. He leaned back, staggered. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. He’d known from the start what she expected, what she’d come out here to find. Only, he had fooled himself into thinking he could satisfy her with physical passion. But no, she would accept nothing less than love. Sadness pulled at her eyes. “I didn’t think so.”

REVIEW: This was such a sweet story of two people who have been hurt very deeply by their previous encounters with “love” and watching them learn to trust one another, as well as getting over their insecurities and anxieties, was a pleasure.

There’s so much to recommend this story, I’m not sure where to start. I adored Fannie, David’s little girl who also had to learn to trust the grownups; I was praying that one of those 50 brides would include David’s sister Maggie, who was such a loving and thoughtful sister and Aunt. Low and behold, at the end of this book, I was thrilled to learn that E. E. Burke had penned her story, ‘Santa’s Mail Order Bride’ and she paired her with her brother’s competitor, Gordon Sumner! Let me tell you, I’m in a squee-ing mode now!

I highly recommend you read this truly sweet, well written and charming story that will fill you with hope of faith and love.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

eebAUTHOR BIO: E.E. Burke writes romance from the heart, woven with history the way in really happened in the wild American West. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart®.

She combines her passion for history and love of romance in stories that are as deeply rooted in American soil as her family, which she can trace back to the earliest colonists and through both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

“My earliest memories of books were the nursery rhyme volumes I took to bed with me when I was three. From that point on, I was hooked. Some people hugged their bears. I hugged my books.”

Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to pursuing her dream of writing novels. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three daughters, the greatest inspiration of all

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

‘A Dangerous Passion’ by E. E. Burke

adp eebSTORY: Will love survive when passion and ambition collide?

Henry Stevens has sacrificed everything, including his honor, to build a railroad empire. At the worst possible time a rival shows up who could destroy him, unless he can devise a plan.

Life in a small village is too quiet, too ordinary for a free spirit like Lucy

Forbes. When her father lands a job out West, she packs her books and her dreams and eagerly sets off to pursue romantic adventures she’s only read about. The moment she sets foot in Kansas, she’s thrust into the gritty reality of an untamed frontier, and into the arms of an enemy.

Her would-be suitor, Henry,is as passionate as he is ambitious. But the secretive man her father has been sent to investigate has a ruthless reputation that makes him a dangerous adversary. Fearing for her future, Lucy resolves to unmask the arrogant railroad chief and expose a villain.

What she doesn’t expect to find is a hero.

REVIEW: I used to be a huge fan of western movies. I grew up on Spaghetti Westerns, called that because they were filmed in Italy with mostly Italian actors, and which jump started Clint Eastwood’s career. As far as western romance is concerned, I have a few go-to authors, such as Kaki Warner, Caroline Fyffe and E. E. Burke.

I have to tell you guys, ever since I binge watched ‘Hell on Wheels’, I have been intrigued by the railroad building business. The railroad building is a fascinating story to me. Those men and women, who were participating in building it, were strong and brave. Let me tell you, this was dog eat dog time and only strong would prevail.

And speaking of the strong, that’s exactly what the hero of this story is.

Henry Stevens is in charge of the Katy Railroad expansion out West and he has a lot of problems that he has to deal with and he really didn’t expect to deal with Major Robert Forbes and his daughter Lucy who have arrived from the East in a most inopportune moment possible. Major Forbes is the man with a mission to find out what’s going on with Katy Railroad, while his strong-willed and beautiful daughter is looking for adventure in the West.

‘A Dangerous Passion’ is a well told, well researched and fascinating read that will take you deep inside the world of railroad building culture. It will also make you laugh as the dialogue is nothing short of brilliant. If you’re like me and are missing your weekly dose of ‘Hell on Wheels’, grab this one and let it take you back to a time of danger, dusty wild west, and entertain you with this tender and passionate love story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author.