Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Warner Books Inc
Hero: Cody Snow
Heroine: Perrin Waverly
Date of Publication: August 1, 1996
Started On: August 28, 2010
Finished On: August 29, 2010
The Brides of Prairie Gold center around the twelve woman who travel to Clampet Falls, Oregon from Missouri as mail-order brides. Wagon master Cody Snow has no idea how he ended up with agreeing to take these brides to their destination. This being the last trip that Cody was going to take, he was also carrying a stash of weapons and whiskey unknown to the brides on board to sell. A journey that was to take a period of around 6 months of their lives through rough terrain and weather, Cody doesn’t know how he is going to survive the incessant problems that seems to crop up amongst his travelers. Accompanying him as his scout is the enigmatic half-Indian Webb Coate who makes for a pretty interesting character as well.
When Cody lays his eyes on the beautiful Perrin Waverly, the red-hot attraction that flares between them is instantaneous and unwelcome at best. Cody whose dead wife Ellen had betrayed him and got pregnant with another man’s child and died giving birth had left a bitter taste in Cody’s mouth where women are concerned. Cody had vowed that no woman would ever have that kind of power over him and his heart and he had resigned himself to settling down on his own. Perrin was a woman who had made a lot of mistakes in the past. Perrin viewed men as users of women, who always took and never gave anything back. Widowed quite unexpectedly from her jealous husband Gavin Waverly who had left her no means to fend for herself, Perrin had been at the end of her wits as to what to do when Joseph Boyd, Chastity’s wealthy banker had befriended her. In the end, Perrin had offered herself to him as his mistress, an act that had tainted her forever in the eyes of the citizens of Chastity. This journey towards a new life and a new husband was supposed to be her second chance. But life and its unexpected twists had thrown Augusta Boyd, Joseph’s proud daughter who doesn’t want anything to do with the woman who in her opinion had ruined her father which in the end had prompted him to commit suicide.
Needless to say, the journey doesn’t start off well for Perrin or Augusta. Augusta is a character that brings out all sorts of emotions from the reader. She is spoiled to the core, demanding and pretty much thinks of herself to be above everyone else who was performing the journey along with her. Augusta hires Cora to do her bidding, and whilst Cody had ordered that everyone who was traveling with him had to do their share of work, Augusta refuses to lift a finger to do work she deems to be beneath her. With only 40 dollars to see her through the journey since her father had been completely ruined financially, a fact Augusta had managed to keep a lid on till now, Augusta is scared of not making it through the journey.
Cody as the wagon master has always opted that his travelers select a representative from their group to bring their problems to, so that Cody can only attend to those problems that are deemed unsolvable by the representative. When Perrin draws the paper marked X which effectively makes her the group’s representative, none of the group members are enthusiastic about the fact. They all know of Perrin’s reputation and were doing their hardest to ignore Perrin and not associate with a woman who had fallen from grace.
Cody curses and thanks the fact that being the womenfolk’s representative undeniably put Cody and Perrin into a situation where they could no longer avoid each other. Sparks fly and the atmosphere pretty much crackles with tension whenever Cody and Perrin are together. Though they try to deny the combustive attraction between them, it is inevitable as the rising sun that these two would come together in an explosive manner that pretty much obliterates everything else. When Perrin realizes that Cody has no intention of ever marrying again, but wants to continue their relationship, Perrin knows that she won’t ruin her second chance at respectability even if it means saying no to the man who had effectively captured her heart forever.
I don’t think I can effectively describe what goes through during this tough journey that these brides take to reach their futures and their husbands. The rough and tough journey inevitably toughens them up. There are losses, deaths, squabbles and disease that occur during the space of the journey. Making the journey doubly dangerous is a long term enemy of Cody, who is hell bent on killing Cody and stealing the arms and whiskey that Cody was transporting. And amongst the women is a bride who has an unhealthy obsession with Cody, who thinks that she is the bride meant for Cody who in the end nearly kills the woman Cody loves with everything in his being.
This book is a pretty great read which enriches the reader with the perils of traveling during the 1800’s. Life was tough and hard and people had to toughen up and face life head on if they wanted to survive. The most remarkable change comes out in Augusta, who finally gets what she deserves and a bit more, and in the end this makes her into a better woman, who but in the end loses the man she loves, because she was too proud to think that a half Indian was beneath her.
The story of how Mem, a 28 year old spinster and Webb Coate find each other was pretty interesting as well. Webb who at first smolders at the mere thought of touching the hauntingly beautiful Augusta Boyd, finally finds everything he had been searching for and more in the arms of Mem, the woman who completes him in every way.
I recommend Maggie Osborne novels for those romance readers who require something more than just a man and woman getting together and falling in love. If you want a romance with a bite of adventure, a little bit of mystery and enough passion to knock your socks off, this is a must read.