The Mail Order Bride by R. Kent is a very enjoyable action/adventure novel. I picked this book because I love historical fiction, and especially the ones set in the Old West.
The title and even the blurb, to some extent gives the impression that this is a major romance. It is not. There is a little romance mostly in the second half of the story, but this book is a true action/adventure western.
The tale tells the story of Austin. Austin lives his life as a young man even though he has a woman’s body. This is a secret very few people know, and if some in the town of Molasses Pond were to find out this secret, Austin could be in a world of trouble. When some of the many criminal elements in the town pay for a mail order bride for Austin, his troubles increase ten fold. He can’t leave his “bride”, Sahara Miller in town because she would be easy prey for the many bad guys there. Taking Sahara to his claim, though, puts Austin in danger of having his secrets exposed. The criminals in town also will follow them because they mean to have Sahara for themselves. Thus begins a true adventure that doesn’t stop until the last page.
I believe this is R. Kent’s debut novel, and this is a pretty good first try. There are some rough spots in the story, and a few glitches here and there, but I became so involved in the story itself, that they hardly bothered me at all. Most of the glitches seemed to happen around the transitions from one scene to another, but only in a few places. The setting is well described, and the characters are also well-developed. I became invested in both the story and the characters, and enjoyed reading this book until the end. I will be glad to read future novels by R. Kent, and look forward to more from this author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.