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Loving Eliza (South Dakota Historicals #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  761 ratings  ·  62 reviews
John Evans has never belonged in his small town, so when Eliza shows up and treats him better than anyone ever has, he's ready to marry her before she finds someone she'd rather be with. But she harbors a secret that makes someone like her unsuitable for marriage, and she is determined that no one will ever find out. Ever. Until her secret is out. Then who is going to dare ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published December 21st 2009 by CreateSpace (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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3.5 stars. Excellent romance, absurd plot contortions. Tear jerking. Sweet. Poignant. A mute carpenter falls in love with a rehabilitating prostitute in South Dakota, about 1880. John loves Eliza deeply, because she is kind to him, talks to him, and doesn't think he's stupid just because he cannot speak (plus she's pretty). Eliza is afraid to trust him with her secret past. She must face some tough temptations in her new town.

Themes: new beginnings, forgiving yourself, holding fast.
Some Bible v
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
Four Stars

Former prostitute & a handsome mute. I admit, I'm intrigued :)

Read this in less than a day. It was surprisingly good and I really loved our Hero, John. He was so sweet and kind. I hated how some people treated him just because he was mute. Eliza and he made such a adorable couple. There was no communication barrier between the two. She immediately "got him" and he didn't mind her shady past. He loved her for her. I really liked this and I would've gladly paid for this Kindle freebi
I would have given this more stars, but I had trouble with so much slang and errors. The book takes place in the 1870's and words like "retard" are used, where the term retarded wouldn't even be used to describe a medical condition until the 1890's, the term rip-off if used, which only came into use in the 1960's where the correct term probably should have been gyped? A food that wasn't even invented until the 1930-40 era, and a card game that wasn't invented until 1903. Ummmm, can you tell that ...more
Haley Whitehall
I've been reading a lot of mail order bride books lately. This one is refreshingly different. Eliza came west to be a maid and start fresh -- not to get married. When she arrives to town she finds out her employer recently passed away and she has little money and nowhere to go.

A mute man hires her to be his housekeeper. She readily accepts. He was looking for his mail order bride to come in on the stage with Eliza but she doesn't show.

As their relationship developed I loved being swept along th
Eliza arrives in the small South Dakota town expecting to have a job but finds out the woman had died. John Evans steps forward and hires her to come keep house for him. His character is interesting as he is mute but through hand signs Eliza communicates with him. His mail order bride didn't come on the stage with Eliza and another mail order bride for the marshal.

The story continues as these two get to know one another and John keeps asking her to marry him. Two months later his mail order brid
This was a free download. The premise of the story was sweet, and the character of John lovable. However, it was very poorly researched. Too many newer items, figures of speech, and events that simply would not have existed or happened in that time period. I've previously read a couple books by this author, and while I do find the stories entertaining, the same lack of research has been the case in the other books as well. One thing I find interesting is that it seems the author is a Christian ( ...more
Loving Eliza was my first book by Ms. Nordin, but definitely not my last. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet and emotional read set in 1880s America with two very original main characters that will stay with you long after the book is finished.
Seriously? If one of my middle school creative writing kids had written this, I would have thought it was a good start. Good grief! Did the author forget the time and setting of her story? (I doubt if 'ripped off' was a term used then, among many other out-of-time expressions used in the story.) Character development was sketchy and one dimensional. Sweet story, but very immaturely written.
Lauralynn Elliott
This is a lovely romance that I found very touching. I loved the interaction between Eliza and John. If you're looking for a sweet love story where some major obstacles have to be overcome, this is a book for you!
Judy Lavik
I'm hooked on Ruth Ann Nordin's western historicals.

Loving Eliza is the first book in the South Dakota series, but we met Eliza in the Nebraska series. This series appears to have all the charm and warmth of the other. Eliza has come to town to begin a new life and put her troubled past behind her. Immediately upon disembarked from the stagecraft, she meets John. John is an outcast because he is mute, and most of the town believes he is also simple-minded. He's not. Not only is he smart, but als
Stéphanie Giusti
I started this book after finishing her other serie wich i liked by the way.
It took me a few days before i decided to start this book not sure if i was goung to like or not.
But in the end I was really surprised by how much I did like this story and if course Eliza and John, i live the way the story was constructed it wasnt neither too fast or too sloow. Yes john knows what he wants when he met Eliza for the first, she obviously troubled by this who wouldnt take no for an answer. I'm going to sp
Gretchen Fatouros
Good stand-alone, but if you want to know Eliza's back story, you might want to read about the Larson's and mostly Neil Craftsman...

Love Ruth Ann Nordin's books and this series - mostly of the Larson family...

This is the best order to read these in (per Ruth Ann Nordin's website 05/14):

1 - Her Heart’s Desire (Nebraska Book 1) – Sally Larson’s romance
2 - A Bride for Tom (Nebraska Book 2) – Tom Larson’s romance
3 - A Husband for Margaret (Nebraska Book 3) – Joseph Conneally’s romance
4- Eye of the B
Loving Eliza by Ruth Ann Nordin Book 1 in the South Dakota Series

Bravo to Ruth for such an excellent story. John Evans is a mute but the town, and even some of his brothers, treat him as if he is also mentally ill. He was not sent to school so he cannot read or write but he does build beautiful furniture, he was the only one of five sons who wanted to learn his father's business, and he works at helping other towns people fix up their houses and yards as needed. He is waiting for a mail-order br
This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It's rare to find a book you love from start to finish but that's how I felt about Loving Eliza.

The author did a fine job and I loved her writing style. Unlike most Historical Romances, she doesn't bog the reader down with endless descriptions about the setting or characters. I find that most Historical Romance authors spend too much time focusing on the setting, I guess thinking this will put the reader back in that time more ef
John Evans is a mute, but that is the only thing wrong with this kind handsome hardworking man. He falls in love with Eliza the moment she steps off the stage coach. He helps her by giving her a housekeeping job on his land and courts her to marry him.
I love that he can't speak but pestered her everyday and at any moment to marry him.
There are good people and bad people in town, strangely enough all of them are 'good' Christians and I liked that there were nasty backstabbers that went to church
Paula Freda
A great story, a romance of love and redemption. The characters of Eliza and John are so well developed, I could feel their pain and joys. Only a good writer (Ruth Ann Nordin) could manage this story's sensitive plot so tastefully, and with such understanding. The part where Eliza confesses to John about her former profession, and the words she uses to describe her former life in order to discourage his desire to marry her... had me mesmerized. I could feel her pain and her shame and remorse. An ...more
Connie Taylor
This is the first book of the South Dakota series by Ms Nordin. It is set in the 1880's and well written. The characters are different from the usual characters, a former prostitute and a mute. Their interaction is believable and touching. A book that I highly recommend and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I am not a huge fan of books set in earlier times, what I call historical romance, and that is what I group this in for me, however this was a big home run! For those of you who want a romance without all of the profanity this is a really great one. I liked it very much.
For being a free book I ended up liking it a lot more then I thought I would. I ended up giving it 4 stars out of 5 because there were times in the book that were not needed or could have been reduced in detail.

The relationship between John and Eliza is in my opinion what makes the book. John is the character that people either make fun of, help, or pity because of his lack of ability to talk. But then comes Eliza, she moves into the town and either changes. John needed someone to help him real
What a pleasant and beautiful story of two people who fall in love with each other. Both characters have many problems to overcome but they manage to find each other and make life. It was truly a romantic funny and times suspenseful love story.
Jennifer Cook
Lessons to be learned

always a lesson to be learned...treat others as you a would like to be treated. do not judge others for you yourself shall be judged. with a little love thrown in
William Worman


Was ok wasn't the best I've read, I liked John and Eliza wish they had a baby, a miracle in the story like him speaking or pregnancy would have been awesome!!!!
It was a fair read. Very predictable and doesn't help being similar to Redeeming Love, I guess I couldn't stop thinking about Francine's beautifully woven story that I got caught up finding the story a bit out. I liked the character John, he was well constructed in the story. It was a beautiful story overall and more of 3.5 rating.
Elizabeth Mills
I found this book deeply absorbing. The characters touched my heart, I grew to love them and understand them as the story progressed. A thoroughly good read - recommended.
Shelley Chastagner
Excellent story line. Ex-saloon girl Eliza has found God and moves to a new town to start over. John takes one look at Eliza and decides she's the girl for him, too bad he's mute and can't tell her how much he wants her to be his wife. Eliza refuses to believe that anyone would ever truly want her once they knew the truth about her past. Getting to the end of this book was disappointing because I wanted it to continue. Luckily, I discovered two more stories to complete the tale "Bid for a Bride" ...more
Katrina Hart
This was the first book I read by Ruth Ann Nordin... It was a real touching and moving story...
Debbie Turner
I was surprised but it was a very good book. I have read several of Ruth Ann's books. She is a good author.
Natalie Ryabenko
I enjoyed this book about two people finding each other
Very touching story, really liked it
Dani Balderamos
cliche but good...cute
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What's to say? I write a lot. I read often. I sleep little. Once in awhile, I've been known to clean the house. A number of kids live in my house and there's this guy they call dad and I call husband. All in all, it's a pretty good life. :-)
More about Ruth Ann Nordin...

Other Books in the Series

South Dakota Historicals (3 books)
  • Bid for a Bride
  • Bride of Second Chances
The Earl's Inconvenient Wife (Marriage By Scandal, #1) A Bride for Tom (Nebraska Historicals, #2) A Husband for Margaret (Nebraska Historicals, #3) Eye of the Beholder (Nebraska Historicals, #4) Suddenly a Bride (Across the Stars, #1)

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