My rating: 4 stars
I just finished book 4 and since the series is overall a good one, I wanted to write a review about it.
I generally do not like much historical erotica menage. I think the source of it is mostly because I associate it with Harlequin romance. Not that I trash Harlequin at all. I used to buy every existing historical Harlequin possible when I was a teen. I may say that I had an overdose of them. Oh sweet memories with Barbra Cartland who wrote Harlequin historical alike but also so many authors that I forgot the names. Those stories were cute and pure and naive and everything a teen loved dearly. 😉
So historical is not my first choice for menage. But Siren Publishings started a while ago another (blah) category named Everlasting. At first it was explained that it would be about western and historical and ménage. I said “why not?”. I thought that this could be a remake of The Bad, The Good and the Ugly! eh? So when the first books came out, since I am a menage romance devourer, I started to read them. I enjoyed tons that the length of the stories were exceeding 70,000 words most of the time. THAT was a great and still is a great deal to me. The first 3 books had also an erotic picture on the first page which was one of THE ads they gave us for this new category. Not sure if they could not find any artist or if it was too expensive or some people thought it was a bit too porn (alloooooo the books ARE erotic with explicit sex!) but no more erotic picture after 2 or 3 books. The “LOST” collection was stopped after a couple of books! Over time, Everlasting became pretty much everything: they added paranormal, contemporary and at some point I could not find any more western or cowboy related whatsoever. I think one day they decided that the one word “Texas” in the story was enough to fit into this category! I do not mind that publishers evolve and change their mind but with Siren it is always: I promise to give you a great pie, and after a while it becomes a cookie and we have no idea why it became a cookie. In that they never respect their readers and if you dare to ask, the answer is pretty much: because we can and all of our readers love it … mmm really? how many? They do have great authors for sure but my gosh how their customer service sucks! (I know another publisher like this, I may talk about it if the need to vent occurs like today! LOL)
Anyway, back to The Bride Train series. It is a good read. I like the diversity of characters. I like that in each story, one main seems to be very high maintenance. I like that all the heroines are strong and opinionated. The plot and the sex scenes are well written too. This story is about a (virgin of course) young educated woman who decide to take the Bride Train and get in the process the charge of two young children. However, besides a couple of chapters, we do not hear about the children much after the trip. They are sent to another farm because the house is too small and not fit for children (uh?).
The cons? Here and there, the name of the heroine is wrong and refer to another one of a previous book which is kind of disconcerting. The author, like many, privilege 3 out of 4 of the main characters and give a quickie of explanation why the 3rd guy is in love and why she must be in love with him. Generally a chapter at almost the end of the book. The last page like in book #4 ends in an orgasm, literally. Not sure after 350 pages, I wanted this kind of happy ending tho… oh and I was also upset that the author did not bring back the kitten dusty! meow!
All books are stand alone but it is better to read them in order but not necessary. All characters, main and secondary interact since they all live in the same valley. It seems that this series has another 3 menages stories to come since there are 3 sets of 3 men left unmarried.
This is not the kind of book that I will buy the prints but I enjoyed reading them and I had overall a good time 🙂
I am not sure how many books Reece Butler will write in this series but since it is obviously popular with good reason, I do not see any reasons why she should stop soon. I just hope that she will provide us the same quality!
Publisher’s description (Siren Publishing):
Barefoot Bride for Three – Barefoot Bride for Three
Elizabeth James escapes an odious fiancé by heading west on the first Bride Train of 1870. She finds herself at the end of the line in the Tanner’s Ford jail, forced to marry the town bully unless someone else defies Big Joe to marry her. Sheriff Chambers banned the Elliotts from town until one got a wife and settled them all down. Finding a defiant Trace Elliott in town, the sheriff offers a tall, ornery barefoot woman to solve all their problems. Beth is shocked how the stranger’s touch inflames her and mortified the next morning when hotel patrons comment on her amorous wedding night cries. She discovers the Elliott men share everything and intend to seduce her into agreeing. Trace, Simon and Jack heat her blood, but do they care for her, or only what she provides? Then Big Joe offers gold to bring her to him…
A Contract Bride’s Triple Surprise – Bride Train 2
Ross MacDougal demands vengeance on the men who killed his young cousin, but his Clan Chief, older half-brother Gillis, insists that he produce an heir. Without one, they’ll lose their ranch to their brutish brother in Texas when their father dies. But no woman would marry the man known as the MacDougal Devil. An Eastern contract bride is the only way to save the ranch. Amelia Smathers is desperate for her own home. Before dying of lung complications, her older sister Prudence insists that Amelia marry Nevin MacDougal, her husband Gillis’s kindly younger brother. Eyes tearing in grief, Amelia signs the marriage contract and heads west. Amelia is shocked to discover a different husband, but Ross’s erotic touch soothes her. Still, she’s expected to share herself, just like Beth Elliott, their closest neighbor. Beth’s heated description of sharing three men has Amelia both alarmed and aroused. Then Ross’s past catches up with them…
Compromised Cowgirl – Bride Train 3
Having completed two years at a Virginia ladies’ college, required to gain her inheritance, Jessamine Elliott returns to Tanner’s Ford. Raised on a ranch with six wild brothers, she’s determined to keep her independence by becoming a partner on her brothers’ Bitterroot Ranch. But Ranger insists she prove herself by spending three weeks working for the Double Diamond, owned by a trio of greenhorn English aristocrats, posing as a boy. At Ranger’s urging, Kenrick ‘Ace’ Langford reluctantly takes Jessie on, thinking she’s a bratty boy but needing the skills. His partners see through Jessie’s disguise but go along with the ruse, hoping they will marry. Ace feels strangely drawn to Jessie so stays far away. Three weeks later he thinks he’s finally free of the brat when he finds Jessie floating in his hot spring. When the uppity brat rolls over, showing lush breasts, Ace decides it’s payback time.
A Convenient Husband – Bride Train 4
Just before boarding the Bride Train, outspoken intellectual Florence Peabody unofficially adopts two children to save them from a terrible fate. Lawyer Benjamin Elliott is desperate to find the quiet, obedient wife he promised his identical twin, Ranger. Though he’s decided never to marry, he enjoys Florence’s company. When she must produce a husband to save her children, he conveniently steps in. Florence is everything Ranger detests, but he tells Ben that valley wives share their husband’s partners. Florence is hesitant until youngest brother Patrick welcomes her with a toe-curling kiss. With the most sexual experience, Ranger beds Florence the first time. For once, she lets go of reason and lets passion rule. When she wakes, she eagerly attacks Ben. But Ranger’s tough guy attitude is too much for Florence and choosing between them is tearing Ben apart. Will Ranger open his heart, or must Florence leave?
Book #1: Barefoot Bride for Three
Book #2: A Contract Bride’s Triple Surprise
Book #3: Compromised Cowgirl
Book #4: A Convenient Husband