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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Aundy, by Shanna Hatfield, takes readers back to 1899 and introduces us to twenty-one-year-old Aundy Thorsen. Aundy's life in Chicago hasn't been the same since the death of her beloved fiance, Gunther. She longs for a change so when she reads an ad in the paper from Erik Erikson, a farmer from Pendleton, Oregon, stating that he is looking for a mail order bride, Aundy decides this might be what she is looking for. After corresponding with him, she travels west. She is married right off the train, but an accident occurs that leaves her a widow within days of becoming a wife. When she learns that Erik has left his ranch to her, she decides to stay even though she knows nothing about running the ranch. The Nash family lives next door and are more than willing to take Aundy under their wing. Soon, though, feelings start to spark between Aundy and Garrett; but Aundy is convinced that she is bad luck where men are concerned so can Garrett change her mind?
Aundy is a story that pulled me in and kept me reading because it was like a breath of fresh air where mail order bride stories are concerned. Sure there is romance, but there is also humor, as well as mystery and suspense that surrounded the goings-on at the ranch. Aundy was such a strong character, full of pluck, but with a kind heart, that helped those less fortunate than herself. It was so easy to become invested in her life and want the best for her. The author's attention to detail brings not only the setting but the characters to life as well, but it was the plot twists that kept me glued to the pages of this one. I couldn't help but wonder whether Aundy's ranch would be a success, whether she would open her heart to love again, and wonder who was trying to scare her off the ranch! Fans of good clean historical romance that is rich in detail will certainly enjoy Aundy, but anyone looking for a sweet mail order bride tale filled with a few twists will be pleased as well. Truly one of the best mail order bride adventures that I have had the pleasure of reading.