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A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  72 reviews
An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Barbour Books
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jody Hedlund
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Keli Gwyn brings the Sierra Foothills to life with rich historical details. She's crafted delightful and unique characters that make a home in your heart. The tender and sweet romance has plenty of sparks to keep you turning the pages. And when you reach the last page, you'll breath a satisfied sigh but at the same time wish this lovely story didn't have to end. ...more
Erica Vetsch
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT! You will fall in love with this setting and these characters. The dialogue is so good with snappy comebacks and pointed observations. I Loved it!
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California by Keli Gwyn

I loved the characters of Elnora and Miles, they shone like stars throughout this story-you are in for a treat with this story.

Widow Elnora Watkins was an independent type woman and had helped her father in his shop but when he took his step-son on as partner and she thought she would have had that privilege all these years of working for him-it was the last straw and she started looking for another store and another place to live.
Miles Rutl
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A book for the heart. “A Bride Opens Shop…” has a cast of characters to adore, situations to inspire conflict and a love romance that will blossom in the heart of even the most reticent of participants.

Tildy. Oh. My. Goodness. What a little girl. She had me giggling by the first time I met her and sharing her witty tidbits with my family. Elenora is a very determined woman. Nothing is going to get in her way, especially Miles. Her drive at times got her into trouble, physically and emotionally
Jessica Patch
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a book that makes you giggle, smile, sigh with satisfaction and learn a valuable lesson, or a few, then Keli Gwyn's debut novel is one you want to read.

Her characters were well developed, each with a unique personality. If I closed my eyes and heard the lines read, I would know who was who. Her main character, Elenora, was independent but teachable which is a great lesson for all of us to learn. Her hero had faults but worked hard to overcome them. And the spunky daughter,
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that so many debut novels impress me but so far this year I've read a ton (probably a ton, literally!) that I loved and would highly recommend for any romance readers. This latest debut, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, is making my list of awesome first books and has earned its spot in my permanent library. Going into this book I knew that I'd probably enjoy it simply because I've really enjoyed all the "destination" romances that have been published by Barbour but th ...more
Holly Weiss
Widow Elenora Watkins relocates with her daughter Tildy to the Sierra foothills of California to be an associate in a mercantile. When he find out she is a woman, prospective partner Miles Rutledge refuses to take her on. Her solution? Invest her life savings in her own competing store right across the street. She has spunk enough to know her woman’s touch will turn her fledgling shop into a thriving business. Will woman-sized garden tools, scented soaps and pretty fabrics keep her shop on its f ...more
Julie Graves
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, 2013-reads
Elenora Watkins and her daughter are headed for a brand new life in El Dorado, California when their stage is stopped by a bandit. Knowing that her prayers have not been answered lately Elenora decides that she will have to take care of the situation for herself as always.

Upon arrival in El Dorado Elenora’s plans quickly fall apart when mercantile owner Miles Rutledge refuses to take her on as a partner in his store. Elenora, not to be daunted decides to open a store of her own instead. Openin
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog (to be posted 1/11):

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California was a fantastic read! I can hardly believe it is the author's debut novel! The story kept my attention throughout the entire book and I loved how Elenora and Miles competed at pretty much everything... I chuckled a lot because of things done/said.

I loved the characters - my favorites are Miles, Elenora, Tildy, and Mil
Angela Bycroft
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an historical romance, a western, sweet as well as inspirational. The author made it work. The heroine, Elenora, is a widow with a young daughter, nine-year-old Tildy, and they travel out to California so Elenora can partner in a Mercantile. Having worked at her father's Mercantile, she is familiar with the business and has some ideas she hopes to implement. However, once the hero, Miles, sees she is a woman, he withdraws his offer. Refusing to return back to her old home, Elenora starts ...more
Cynthia Marcano
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was a peaks and valleys kind of book for me.

The parts I found charming (Tildy) were really charming.

However the main character Eleanor was irritating. I just couldn't tolerate her as much I wanted to like her. As a mom I was sympathetic to her motivation - her daughter.

Yet, her stubbornness and competitiveness irked me.

I found Mr. Rutledge immature.

With only a minor character to like and just wasting the book to hurry up to the good stuff, it want the book for me.

I would read another
Sarah Sundin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California deftly balances romance, humor, and a thoughtful message. Keli Gwyn has a marvelous knack for dialogue, banter, and humor. But I was even more struck by the message of not letting pride destroy relationships. Both Elenora and Miles long to best the other and prove themselves, but they each learn that being respectful and kind is far better. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to more from Keli Gwyn.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Different Twist

I thoroughly enjoyed your story and its characters; quite a change from the normal western romance tales. I also appreciate that this was a full-length novel and carried the whole story, not skipping scenes or leaving the reader hanging.

I did find over 10 things that need editing and encourage a professional editing versus friends or self editing. Perhaps you'll choose LifeRegeneration Editing in the future?
Sheila Holmes
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This storyline was just delightful. It was different than any typical western romance novel. It was unique and so much fun to read. This author did a wonderful job of telling the tale and resolved it beautifully.
Lynda Knapp
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good read.

I definitely recommend this book. I enjoyed the storyline and this author's style of writing. The characters were realistic, I loved Tildy - she was so precious. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
Pretty good. Didn't get preachy as many do. Needs a better, and less revealing of the ending, title! ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good story

The story was fluid and the characters all developed well. It was a story that I'd read again. I found myself unable to put it down.
Michelle Hayes
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked it. I really wanted a sequel. At times it was a little slow in moving along, but the ending left you wanting more of Miles, Ellie and Tildy.
Elaina Maxwell
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It was a very good book. Just wish there were more to it. Its for anyone to read and enjoy.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. All the twists and turns kept me turning pages to see what happens next.
Virginia Campbell
"A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California", from author Keli Gwyn, was a true delight for me as a reader. The just-right blend of heartfelt inspirational romance, humor, and history kept me involved in the story line from beginning to end. The well-drawn characters were made all the more compelling by their little flaws and inner conflicts. Following the heroine and her hero as they grew as individuals and grew to love each other was very enjoyable. Elenora Watkins is a strong, capable woman ...more
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How did I love this book...let me count the ways. The western flavor of the historic setting and period caught my attention immediately. I could tell the author did her research because every detail speaks to the authenticity of that town, in that time and place. A big high five from me. If there's a historical error, I didn't catch it and I usually ferret out these things. For most readers, though, the characters will be the real attention and heart grabbers. By the end of the story, which I pa ...more
Lisa Johnson
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Title: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California
Author: Keli Gwyn
Pages: 320
Year: 2012
Publisher: Barbour Books
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
Elenora and her daughter Tildy are on their last leg of a journey to El Dorado, California, with the hopes of becoming partners in a mercant
Mary Beth Magee
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Author Keli Gwyn recreates the world of post-Civil War California with her new romance “A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.” The novel features Elenora Watkins, a widowed mother and storekeeper from Omaha. Mrs. Watkins and her young daughter come to the town of El Dorado to become partners in a general mercantile store run by Miles Rutledge. Sparks fly when she arrives and learns he expected a man.

Gwyn has filled her story with wit and adventure. Mrs. Watkins forges a path into a male d
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gwyn’s charming story takes a delightful path to a wedding.

I do remember volunteering to read and review. But I thought I’d had enough of prairie romances for a while, and honestly let Keli’s heroine look at me for a couple of weeks after I received the book, while I tended to other business.

Romances work because they’re formulaic. The reader knows what’s going to happen; the pleasure is how the couple gets there. Gwyn’s story had a lot of fun elements, including the age of the characters: thirt
Marji Laine
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful story; three crying opportunities! LOL!

This book is propelled by its characters. And such characters! A widow/single mom with bull-dozing determination insists on proving her capabilities. A fastidious widower harboring a guilt-filled secret refuses to revisit the vulnerable position in which affection places him. An adoring mother whose meddling ways instigate complicated interaction. A talkative nine-year-old with the sincerity and wonder of one much younger, but the intellec
Ashley E
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, owned
Elenora Watkins goes to California for a fresh start and hoping for a partnership with Miles Rutledge, proprietor of Rutledge Mercantile. But when she arrives, they're both in for a surprise: Miles's mother didn't let him know that his new partner was going to be a woman.

So starts A Bride Opens Shop, a somewhat misleading title as she's certainly not a bride at first. Elenora, left with few options in the face of Miles's rejection, opens her own mercantile across the street, and the competition
Lara Van Hulzen
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

Elenora Watkins and her daughter, Tildy, travel from Omaha, Nebraska to El Dorado, California hoping for a new start. Widowed, Elenora hopes to become a partner at Rutledge Mercantile. Having worked most of her life at her father’s mercantile, she knows she’s more than qualified for the job.

Unfortunately, when she arrives, the owner of the mercantile, Miles Rutledge, is stunned to find that she is a woman, and accuses her of deceiving him. He vows to not ever share his business with a woman, eve
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 04, 2015 09:01AM  

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Keli Gwyn's stories transported readers to the 1800s, where she brought historic towns to life, peopled them with colorful characters, and added a hint of humor. She has retired from writing and is spending time with her husband, enjoying the Gold Rush area of California that she calls home. ...more

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