In Blue Belle, Montana, everyone knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins — until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York city alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed west to raise her to be a lady. They became a family — held together by loyalty and love if not by blood — when suddenly they faced a crisis that threatened to tear them apart….
Trouble came to town with one Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald. Armed with a swagger and six-shooter, he cut a striking figure — but it soon became apparent to Mary Rose that he was too much of a gentleman to make it in her rough-and-tumble town. She asked her brothers to teach him the basics of frontier survival, which he acquired with ease. And soon he possessed a deep and desperate love for Mary Rose. She returned his affection wholeheartedly… until MacDonald revealed a secret that challenged everything she believed about herself, her life, and her new found love. Now her search for identity and meaning would begin, raising questions that could only be answered if she listened to the truth within her heart….
This book is by far one of the best historical romance novels I’ve read thus far. Julie Garwood takes love and family to the next level in this enchanting tale of four brothers who come together to love and care for a baby girl who had been tossed away just like them.
In 1860, four street urchins have formed a gang to survive on the streets of New York. Tossed away by their parents, these boys decided to ban together to look out for each other. The oldest, Adam, a runaway slave, has been deemed the leader since he’s the oldest at thirteen years old. Adam promised his mother, who is still in captivity, that he would head far west so as not to be recaptured. But his life and the lives of the other three boys are turned upside down when he discovers a baby thrown away in the trash can. The baby immediately captures all of their hearts and they decide to become a family, head west, and raise her as a respectable young lady. But when a stranger comes looking for his employer’s long lost daughter, he threatens to tear their world and their family apart.
I cannot say enough how much I adored this book! As children these kids made me smile with pride that they would have the fortitude to take on the responsibility of raising a baby when they were just children themselves. And how they made me laugh when they decided the baby had to be a boy because it was bald.
The Claybornes are one of the most unique families I’ve ever read about. I love that each brother has a different strength and they each bring some unique skill to the family. Adam is the scholar who is constantly learning, loves to debate, and taught the rest of them to read and write. Cole is the hot tempered one. He’s the fastest gunfighter in Blue Belle and he don’t take any crap, especially when it comes to his family. But he’s also a skilled architect and a sound businessman. Douglas is great with animals and exceptionally excellent with horses. People come from miles around to get his advice about their livestock and pets. And Travis, the youngest brother, is compassionate and protective, and has a mind for the law. Mary Rose, who they named after Cole’s and Adam’s mothers, embodies the best and worst qualities of all her brothers.
When they meet a stranger in town, Mary Rose deems him gentle and insists he stays with them. I really liked Harrison MacDonald. Although I didn’t like his purpose for coming to Blue Belle, he was a real swoon-worthy gent. He’s kind, protective, and very intelligent. He’s also ruthless in a courtroom. And I love that he accepted the Claybornes for what they were, although they drove him crazy at times. I also enjoyed that he fit easily into their lives. I could see how Mary Rose fell for him because he reminded me so much of her brothers. And being that she loved them with everything she was, I completely understood why Harrison was the guy for her. I will admit to being frustrated by them both once they went to England. But it was a pivotal part of the story that was necessary for the progression of the novel and their own self discoveries.
The most amazing thing to me was how they all adopted each other. They all even accepted Adam’s mother as their own even though none of them, besides Adam, had ever laid eyes on her. Each chapter is ended with a letter written to their mother Rose when they were children. And some of the letters brought tears of laughter to my eyes. They were too cute. The love this makeshift family had for one another was adorable and touching. Overall, this was such a beautiful story about love and family and I look forward to reading more from Julie Garwood.
Filed in: Fiction, Historicals, Reviews, Romance Tags: Books, Fiction, Historicals, Julie Garwood, Review, Romance