Jesse Donovan spent the last four years chasing gold, hoping to convince his New York fiancee to join him. He's now rich, successful, and eager for his wife-to-be to make the trip out west. But now that it's time to travel to Hope's Crossing and marry Jesse, the New York socialite sends him a letter informing him of her intention to marry another. Heartbroken and lonely, Jesse contacts Matchmaker & Co. for a mail order bride.
Clarissa "Clare" Griggs is the eldest daughter of a poor farmer who is barely surviving off the land. At twenty-three, she is an old maid and a burden on her family. Clare knows what love looks like, and she wants a family of her own. Volunteering as a mail order bride seems to be the perfect answer to her dilemma. Her family will be better off, and she can find her own love story, happiness and finally become a mother.
But Hope's Crossing isn't the ideal location that Jesse or Clare dreamed. A bitter rival is trying to kill Jesse and take his mine. Jesse's broken heart won't allow him to love Clare the way she needs, and Clare refuses to live with a man who doesn't love her. When the enemy threatens Clare's life, Jesse realizes Clare has become a part of him, a vital piece of his heart and soul -- but is he too late?
This is the second book in the series that I read and I really enjoyed it. Yes, they are rather predictable but nevertheless they are nice stories with very lovable characters. Well written, easy to read and charming. Those who have read the first book of the series will meet some old friends at Hope's Crossing. Especially Jo and Sam whose story is told in "The Hunter Bride" appear rather often and I also enjoyed the opportunity so see how their story goes on.
Jesse Donovan and Clare Griggs are the hero and the heroine of "The Replacement Bride" . When Jesse's longtime sweetheart writes to tell him that she has found someone else and wouldn't come to Hope's Crossing to marry him, he is crushed. Although he has given up on love he still needs a wife so he decides to use the same matchmaking agency his friend Sam used to find Jo.
When Clare arrives, she realizes that she is a kind of replacement bride. Even though both get along rather well, the idea of her being nothing but a replacement plagues her especially when Jesse insists that he will never be able to offer her love.
Seriously? I'm a bit frustrated and a bit annoyed as, at least when one is reading romance novels, almost every man seems to be desillusioned and feels himself incapable of ever loving again. Well, yeah, right - and that's why all these women get hellbent on hearing their husbands say that they love them no matter how much they show them what they feel it has to be the words or nothing. *rollseyes*
Okay, back to Jesse and Clare who do not only have to find their way around each other and figure out how much they mean to each other but also have to fight a rival trying to destroy Jesse's business. As he gets bolder and more determined things get really tough and more than one life is at risk.....
I really enjoy these stories - that's why I read all of the books in this series, actually- despite my frustration this constantly recurring theme of spurned love and the resolving refusal to ever love again etc. They are entertaining and well constructed and I really love the characters and the way their tentative relationship blossoms.