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Heartbreak Creek: Runaway Brides #1    by Kaki Warner order for
Heartbreak Creek
by Kaki Warner
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Fresh off her recent Rita win for best historical romance for her debut novel, Pieces of Sky, Kaki Warner kicks off her Runaway Brides trilogy, a trio of tales that takes readers back to 1870's Colorado and into the lives of independent young women determined to start new lives and perhaps even find true love.

In this first instalment, Edwina Ladoux is heading to Heartbreak Creek as mail order bride to rancher Declan Brodie. That he expects her to control his four rambunctious children only makes Edwina more apprehensive about her new role as wife and mother. The former southern belle hasn't the first idea about being a rancher's wife, but it doesn't take long for her to find out. She soon has her hands full taming Brody's brood, not to mention cooking, cleaning and overseeing the myriad other duties that have now fallen on Edwina's shoulders. If not for her half-sister Pru's help, Edwina might have thrown her hands up in frustration and annulled her marriage to Declan.

Things only get more complicated when Indians attack the ranch, forcing the Brodie clan to take refuge in town until repairs are completed. When an old enemy of Brodie's surfaces (he'd formerly been town sheriff) Edwina begins to wonder if she's truly cut out for life in the wilds of Colorado.

Kaki Warner once again succeeds in bringing the old west to sprawling and vivid life in both setting and characterization, particularly through Edwina's voice as well as the other ladies she initially meets on the train to Heartbreak Creek - and who will invariably have their own stories to tell in future instalments. The overall plot was a tad generic, but overall, Heartbreak Creek is an entertaining western romance and a great series starter.

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