To Love a Stranger

To Love a Stranger is the fourth book in Colleen Coble‘s “Wyoming” series. Though I have not read any of the other books in this series, I had no trouble following the story.

Jasper Mendenhall, a soldier on his way to the Arizona territory, has decided to find a wife. He begins corresponding with a beautiful young lady named Bessie Randall…or so he thinks. In fact, Bessie’s sister, Lenore, has been corresponding with Jasper using her name. Not only that, but she has committed to marry Jasper.

It is only after the marriage by proxy has been signed (by Lenore!) that the REAL Bessie Randall discovers that she is married. Despite the ridiculousness of this situation, rather than going to her parents, Bessie, who apparently has a low self-esteem, decides to get on a train (without telling Jasper what happened) and honor the marriage agreement.

Of course, Jasper is angry and confused when the woman who steps off the train looks nothing like the picture he’s been holding onto. And Bessie, though she’s determined to follow through with her commitment (I’m not sure why!) decides to show him she’s tough enough to take on the challenge of the AZ territory.

Throughout the story, Bessie continues to compare herself to her sister and believes that Jasper is still corresponding with her because she accidentally discovered a letter addressed to him from her sister. The true story behind the letter is a little hard to believe, but in the end, the two find themselves happily married after all.

Though I was intrigued by the plot of this book, the writing leaves much to be desired. It was VERY difficult to get into the book. The writing seems stilted, probably because the sentence structure varies very little. Some of the events (like Bessie going west in the first place) seem very unbelievable. I’d say this book is just ok, which was a disappointment because I usually like Coble’s writing.

Karen

**I received a free copy of this book from the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.**

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