Author: Cindy Caldwell
Genre: Romance, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
All Sadie had ever known, or ever wanted to know, was being a baker. She’d been raised to bake in her parents’ bakery, and after their deaths, she had planned to carry on the family tradition. Devastated to find out she was losing her family’s business, she needed something to do to support herself. When she received a letter from her twin sister’s husband in Arizona Territory, suggesting she come out to be the bride of his best friend who was opening a restaurant, it seemed like the perfect solution to her problems.
Tripp had gone to the best culinary school in the country, and he knew exactly how to create the perfect meal. He spent hours and hours coming up with just the right menu for his restaurant, only to be told he couldn’t get a loan for it unless he married. When his best friend came up with the solution of sending for his baker sister-in-law, it only made sense. Her ideas of the perfect menu were different than his, though. Would the two be able to stay together long enough to convince the bank he was a good risk? Would Sadie be able to convince Tripp that the two of them belonged together after all?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
The Chef’s Mail-Order Bride by Cindy Caldwell was a sweet little gem of a read. The plot was fun and emotionally complicated in a way that only historical books can be. Relationships back in the days of carriages and strict societal propriety rules were often driven by motives other than romance, and it often lead to situations that could be heartbreaking when they eventually went wrong. Luckily, things, though not perfect, went very right in this story.
I adored the characters, especially the strong willed and hard working main character and her unexpected beau, Tripp, who was a bit arrogant and stubborn, but also endearingly sweet and thoughtful. The two characters were alike in many ways, but that didn’t keep them from butting heads. The conflict in their relationship really drove the plot and made the story fun and engaging. I do wish that there had been more sexual tension (or heck, any at all) between them, but I realize that this was meant to be a sweet, clean read, so I can’t fault the author for that.
Technically speaking, the book was well written. There was only a handful of errors, and nothing so serious as to distract from the plot The text was clean and easy to read and the pace moved along steadily. I didn’t get hung up on awkward dialogue or unbelievable character decisions.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a fun, quick read with a sweet romance, and a fun western feel. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a clean historical romance to read over a short weekend.