Monday, September 16, 2013

The Officer and the Southerner by Rose Gordon

Second Lt. Jack Walker doesn't always think ahead and when he decides to defy logic and send off for a mail order bride, he might have left out only a few details about his life at the all-but-forgotten Fort Gibson...

Upon arrival at a forsaken military fort in the middle of Indian Territory, Ella Davis learns Jack's situation isn't quite what she's believed from his letters and while hoping to avoid such a fate, she's been made the fool again. Unfortunately, this time she can't run and hide from the man who's done her wrong, but neither is she convinced their marriage will be the same one she'd envisioned for them...

Now it's up to Jack to find a way to show his always skeptical bride that he is indeed trustworthy and that despite what she might believe she does belong somewhere in the world: right there, with him.

Jewelz Review~

The Officer and the Southerner is the second book in Rose Gordon's "Officer" Series. While I always like to read series in order, I believe this book can stand alone well, as can many of Rose's books.

Fort Gibson, a remote army fort in the middle of Indian Territory, provides the backdrop for this fun western/historical. Second Lt. Jack Walker has decided he is going to place an ad for a mail order bride. He receives many replies, but it is only Ella Davis' letter that catches his attention, and to whom he responds. Their letter exchanges are nothing short of delightful.

Ella, for her part, has about had it with the suitors in Georgia. She has been courted by several young men, only to be humilitated watching each propose to other young ladies. What is wrong with sweet Ella that no one will offer for her hand? It couldn't possibly be her intimidating father, General Davis - no, that's not it. So, on a whim, Ella responds to the ad placed by Jack for a mail order bride. They connect so well through their correspondence that he sends for her and Ella sneaks away under the false pretense of going to visit her aunt.

Once Ella arrives at Fort Gibson it becomes obvious that while Jack wasn't dishonest in his letters, he wasn't overly forthcoming with his explanation of his situation. Thus, Ella is a bit put off and while she agrees to go ahead and marry Jack, she makes it clear she won't be warming his bed until she feels that she can trust him!

I don't want to give away the entire plot, but suffice it to say Rose Gordon has crafted a delightful story with all kinds of fun and unique twists and turns. By the end Jack and Ella both learn that sssuming you know someone's thoughts and intentions will do nothing but make you a fool and cause all kinds of unnecessary trouble. It reminds me a bit of Liberty & Paul in that regard (see Liberty for Paul also by Rose Gordon).

I can always count on Rose to deliver a romance wrapped in a unique and fun historical plot. I will be honest and say that I did feel that the end was rushed a bit. So much time was spent getting them to the point that they actually trusted one another, that I would have preferred a little more time on their new-found relationship. That's just my opinion - and I say that about Jane Austen novels too. (So you're in good company Rose!)

I'm eagerly awaiting the third installment "The Officer and the Traveler" where we will get to read Lt. Gray's story.

FYI - does contain an open-door scene (couple is married and it is not overly descriptive).
Honest disclosure: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review

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