Imagine leaving your home, your family and friends, and the town you've spent your whole life in to travel alone across the country to a strange new territory. You don't know much about your destination, save that it's probably very different from what you've experienced before. There may be little in the way of civilization and safety, and perhaps a great deal of wildness and danger.
If you're the heroine of a historical novel, you may have to face Indians, harsh weather, and the hard work of pioneering a new territory where you'll be one of very few women. If you're a modern-day woman, you might be facing frantic big-city life, the far-from-luxurious life on a ranch, or a daunting new social status where you'll have to fight tooth and nail to "fit in." Regardless of era, the most difficult and dangerous part of your journey will come the moment you step off the train (or plane) and meet the man who is waiting for you there. He'll be almost a complete stranger to you in every way, and yet you've journeyed these many miles to put yourself completely into his hands.
This man, this stranger, is going to be your husband, because you are a mail-order bride. What has drawn you so far from all you know to this stranger and this new land? To what may be a difficult and demanding life and, perhaps, a difficult and demanding man? Was there something about the advertisement he placed in the newspaper you read, telling that he needed a wife? Was it something he wrote in the letter that introduced himself to you? Perhaps a spark, a mere word or two, that led your heart to believe that he might be "the one?" Or was it your own situation that sent you into untamed territories looking for a fresh start? Were you running from danger into what you prayed was safety? From poverty and homelessness to a more hopeful situation? Or perhaps you were fleeing a painful, broken relationship with a man who proved to be false. Whatever the case may be, you're here now and in a stranger's hands -- as his wife.
The Mail-Order Bride storyline is one of the most wonderful and enduring in the romance genre, a much-loved type of the "marriage of convenience" plot. The foundation is almost always the same, with a woman journeying to a new destination in answer to a "wife wanted" advertisement, but from there the story can go in any and every direction. Our hero and heroine may face a multitude of dangers and difficulties, but always there is the challenge of getting to know and accept each other. With very little to go on, save perhaps a mutual physical attraction, they must strive to forge a true and enduring marriage. Their mutual journey toward love can and has provided some of the best romance reading in the genre. These lovely stories can be emotional, humorous, or a bit of both, but one thing is certain: they're always fully satisfying.
We've compiled a list of some of our favorite Mail-Order Bride stories below, and we know you won't want to miss a one of them. NPOB makes it easy for you to buy not only these, but all of your favorite romances, by going the extra mile to keep our theme read lists in stock. We're working hard to be your favorite online bookstore!
SPRING FOR SUZANNAH ~ Cathy Richmond
PRAIRIE BRIDE ~ Julianne MacLean
BRIDE ON THE RUN ~ Elizabeth Lane
THE BRIDAL VEIL ~ Alexis Harrington
BAREFOOT BRIDE ~ Joan Johnston
MAIL-ORDER OUTLAW - Millie Criswell
ETERNITY - Jude Deveraux
HEARTS ARE WILD - Teresa Hart
TEXAS DESTINY - Lorraine Heath
THE BRIDE WORE SPURS - Sharon Ihle
JOURNEY HOME - Susan Kay Law
THE MARRIAGE BED - Stephanie Mittman
MAIL-ORDER TEMPTRESS - Jane Kidder
COME SPRING - Jill Marie Landis
TENDER IS THE STORM - Johanna Lindsey
GIFTS OF LOVE - Theresa Michaels
YANKEE WIFE - Linda Lael Miller
BRIDES OF PRAIRIE GOLD - Maggie Osborne
SHORT STRAW BRIDE - Dallas Schulze
THE ENDEARMENT - LaVyrle Spencer
PIECES OF SKY - Marianne Willman
A WILD YEARNING - Penelope Williamson
THE DOUBLETREE - Victoria Pade
THE WARFIELD BRIDE - Bronwyn Williams
BELOVED WIFE - Lynda Trent
FANCY LADY - Peggy Hancher
A TIME FOR LOVE - Constance O'Day Flannery
DREAM FEVER - Katherine Sutcliffe
FORBIDDEN KISS - Gina Robins
MAIL-ORDER BRIDE -- Maureen McKade*
MAIL-ORDER BRIDE -- Sandra Donovan*
SHOTGUN GROOM - Sandra Chastain*
GAMBLING GROOM (2002) - Sandra Chastain*
THE MAIL ORDER BRIDES (12/01)- Bronwyn Williams*
BADLANDS BRIDE - Cheryl St. John*
~ CONTEMPORARY ~
THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. - Barbara Bretton
DUNCAN'S BRIDE - Linda Howard
BRIDES FOR BROTHERS - Debbie Macomber
GIDEON'S BRIDE - Amelia Autin *
*Added to the list by Readers and Authors
Readers please add your recommendations to this list.
Authors... Do you have a Mail-Order Bride story? Share it with us.