Elof Lundahl, a former Fort Ellis soldier and friend of Nolan and Holly Clancy, delivers a grave marker to the Morgan's Crossing, Montana Territory cemetery for Holly’s father’s grave. After this task, he plans to travel to Kansas to start a new life near his friends.
Linnea Meyer, a Swedish mail-order bride, is at the same cemetery burying her husband—of eight days. Now homeless, Linnea and Jamie, her six-year-old stepson, accept Elof’s offer to travel with him to Kansas.
Elof falls in love with the widow and child, but he needs a job and home before he can offer them anything. Then Jamie’s grandparents arrive unannounced, changing all three of their lives.
Wait...What? Back up!
Immigrant mail-order bride.
Widowed after eight days of marriage.
Traveling to another state with a stranger.
Besides having a creative imagination, I had to do a little research to see if this story line was possible, and plausible.
Even through Morgan's Crossing is a fictional town, I looked for forts in the Territory in the 1880s. Fort Ellis would have been in the right part of the state and time frame. Reading information about the fort and it's troops, I noticed that each troop had a farrier/veterinarian to take care of the horses. That became the hero's job at the fort, and his career choice after leaving the army. Elof is moving to Kansas so it was easy to continue using the Ellsworth County setting and history first mentioned in my Brides with Grit series.
Of course the heroine had to be in a stressful situation for the hero to help her. And you can imagine the stress of marrying a stranger, becoming an instant mother, and then widowed and homeless in a very short time frame? Add Linnea being an immigrant who's first language isn't English.
Unfortunately, situations like Linnea's did happen back in the 1800s, and there was no government assistance, GoFundMe websites, or cell phones to call for help. The woman would have to make do by herself or rely on kind strangers to help.
Possible and plausible?
Yes, Linnea could overcome her problems and heartache with the help of a good man and a welcoming community. And of course she falls in love with a Groom of Honor.
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