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    The Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller
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  • Published: Aug 23rd, 2009

bridegroom_romance_bookReviewed by PJ Ausdenmore
Publisher: HQN Books
4 Stars

I enjoy historical western romance and, for my money, Linda Lael Miller’s books are some of the best on the market.  Her latest release, The Bridegroom, is the fourth book in her Stone Creek series and tells the story of Lydia Fairmont and Gideon Yarbro.  Lydia and Gideon were first introduced to readers two years ago in A Wanted Man and although they were only eight and sixteen, respectively it was apparent that a strong bond had formed between the two.  Fate separated them when Lydia’s wealthy aunt arrived to take her orphaned niece to Phoenix to live but Gideon couldn’t turn his back on the frightened little girl even though he knew chances were good he would never see her again.  He gave her a sealed envelope, addressed to him, with a single sheet of paper enclosed that said, “Please come and get me right away” and told her to send it if she was ever in trouble and needed him.  The next ten years passed with no communication between the two but Gideon never forgot Lydia and Lydia never got rid of the letter.

1915 – Phoenix, Arizona

Forced to accept smarmy Mr. Fitch’s proposal of marriage in order to save her family’s home and prevent her two elderly aunts from being turned out into the street by the crooked banker, Lydia Fairmont impulsively mails the letter Gideon Yarbro gave her ten years ago.   She has no idea if he will come or if he even remembers her but he’s her last hope of avoiding a miserable marriage to a repulsive man.

Gideon is on his way home to Stone Creek to complete a secret mission for his employers when he receives Lydia’s letter.  He loves his life traveling the country as a Wells Fargo agent and has no desire to settle in one place but when he responds to Lydia’s plea for help and spirits her away to Stone Creek, his brothers quickly convince him that the only way he can protect her from Fitch is to marry her himself.  Knowing he will no longer be welcome in Stone Creek once the residents find out the real reason he has come home, he agrees but tells Lydia that their marriage will be in name only because the day will come when he will have to leave her, and their marriage, behind.  Will he stick to his vow or will Lydia’s growing confidence, Gideon’s growing desire, well-meaning family and an interfering housekeeper help this couple uncover their true feelings for one another and forge a permanent relationship?  Or, will someone determined to remove Gideon permanently take the decision out of his hands?

Miller has a talent for bringing the old west to life and drawing the reader into the lives of her characters.   Fans of this series should enjoy Gideon and Lydia’s journey as well as catching up with Gideon’s brothers, Rowdy and Wyatt and their families.

One Response to “The Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller”

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  1. Maria Lokken
    on Aug 23rd, 2009
    @ 10:21 am

    PJ – I am a fan of the Stone Creek series and I’m looking forward to this one.

    Years ago Marisa introduced me to the western romance genre and at first I wasn’t interested at all. I’d never watched TV shows about the old west and films about the west just weren’t on my radar. However, once I started reading westerns, the entire era came alive for me and I am hooked. There are several writers who write in this genre and I try to read each one of them –

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