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The Vigilante's Bride

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Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and kidnapping a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expects to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from him, but ends up with a feisty copper-haired orphan thrown over his shoulder who was on her way to marry Sullivan's bitter enemy.

Emily McCarthy is an orphan out of options. Forced to marry because she was too old for her orphanage, she doesn't take kindly to her "rescue." Still she trusts God can turn any situation to good especially when it seems Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Sullivan's crossed a dangerous man unused to losing and Emily may just be the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.

304 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2010

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About the author

Yvonne Harris

10 books37 followers
Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante’s Bride, which is her first historical novel.

She is the author of Hindu Kush, a romantic suspense, and For Honor, winner of the 2002 EPPIE.

See also: Y.L. Harris

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 149 reviews
Profile Image for Margaret Chind.
3,168 reviews218 followers
September 4, 2010
I love this book, as in love love love this book. The Vigilante's Bride is my first experience with author Yvonne Harris and you better believe it will not be my last. The romance in verbiage and actions is palpable and beautiful. If you know any of my taste in books, you know that I love Mary Connealy and Tracie Peterson and even though Yvonne's book is slightly shorter, she's right up there in my favoritism. I can hardly put the book down, and then when I think I've only been reading for a short time, I'm shocked that another hundred pages have gone by.

Bethany House has a winner with this author and I cannot wait for more. The bad guys are real and evil. I'm tense with anxiety and delight. Chill bumps greet me with the since of new found love and the hope for a future and better opportunities for all is heart warming. It makes my heart smile.

*Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy for review through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.*
Profile Image for Kimberly.
226 reviews9 followers
July 6, 2011
There are two reasons why I finished this book:

1. My local library has an adult summer reading program and I can fill out an entry form for prize drawings for each book I read. While I understand that some library patrons may be less than honest when it comes to filling out entry forms for books they may or may not have finished reading, I am adamant that if I'm going to fill out an entry form for a book, I've actually finished reading the entire book.

2. I wanted to write a one-star review for this piece of rubbish. So, just to warn you, this lengthy review of The Vigilante's Bride is highly uncomplimentary.

This book was so hilariously stupid and ridiculous. I almost love how much I hated it because I secretly relish writing reviews for bad books (not so secret now that I've just typed that sentence for you all to read). When I was reading this book, there were actually points at which I started laughing because I couldn't take the melodrama anymore.

First off, let me quickly run through some of the plot points:

--A mail-order bride!
--Vigilante hangings!
--A stagecoach robbery with an abduction!
--Grizzly bears!
--Cattle rustling!
--Land border disputes!
--Saloon shoot-outs!
--Ladies of the night!
--Barn fires!
--Scuffles with randy ranch hands!
--Dinosaur egg hunts!
--Noble savages!

Yes, this book really does include just about every Western cliche for which one could hope. Every time another stereotypical Western plot device was introduced, this book descended a little farther into the absurd. The best part (and by best I really mean worst in regards to standards of human dignity, let alone literary standards) was at the end when we get to spend the last forty pages of the book with some members of the local Crow Indian tribe. I was highly offended by Ms. Harris's physical and behavioral descriptions of the Crow. They were presented as very cartoonish and one-dimensional. Although, to be fair, all of the characters, white or native, were depicted in such a fashion. But, to give some examples of Ms. Harris's writing, here's an excerpt from page 260: "Crows were handsome people, tall and fine-featured, with narrow non-Indian noses." What am I to assume from this description? That other Native Americans have "Indian" noses (a la Chief Wahoo)? That other Native Americans aren't handsome people? That there are no ugly Crow people? That there are no short Crow people? That the Crow tribe was the only Native American tribe of any worth? What a statement! Ms. Harris also used such colorful adjectives as "copper-faced" (p. 259), "cinnamon-skinned" (p. 263), "red-skinned" (p. 268), and "redmen" (throughout) needlessly when writing about the members of the tribe.

There's also this incomprehensible sentence when Luke enters the Crow village: "Luke's mouth went dry, remembering what he'd heard Indian women did to white male captives." (p. 263). What do Indian women do to white male captives? I don't get it. For real, what do they do? Was anyone else stumped by this?

Something else that comes across as racist is when Ms. Harris wrote that the characters were speaking to each other in the Crow language, but she wrote them as speaking in broken Crow. I understand writing a Crow character's English speech in imperfect English, since English would not be that character's native language. But if two Crow people were speaking their own native Crow language, I wouldn't expect it to be laughably ungrammatical.

One last comment on race in this book: when Emily is traveling by train out to Montana, Ms. Harris includes the phrase "A white-jacketed Negro" (p. 13). She's talking about a man serving refreshments to the passengers but the use of the word "Negro" was pretty jarring. I understand that the story is set in 1884, but this isn't "Huck Finn." This is the one and only time the word "Negro" appears in the book, and again, like the unnecessary adjectives to descibe the color of the Crow people's skin, using the word "Negro" just seems so inappropriate.

Setting issues of race aside, let me know turn my attention to the issues I had with the main characters, Luke and Emily. They were just so annoying. They hate each other, then they love each other, then they're back to hating each other, no wait, they love each other, etc. Some of their interactions were so akwardly bizarre. Like, how about those back rubs Emily gives to a half-naked Luke? And I almost vomited when Emily was studying the cleft in Luke's chin, imagining "her fingernail tracing the tiny trench, probing it, even kissing it." (p. 147). Gag!!

Really, I could say more about how horrible this book was, but I've already said plenty.
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
923 reviews600 followers
January 20, 2015
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I really need to stop downloading kindle freebies. I’m sure there are good ones out there, but I never seem to snag them. Case and point, The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris, a cliché inspirational romance that left me both irritated and bored.

Orphans, saloon brawls, stage coach robberies, dinosaur eggs, it’s all here. Every trivial platitude of western literature, packed together in a single volume. Harris’ depictions of the Crow and their native land were equally disappointing. The author’s descriptions didn’t do justice to either and I felt the image she presented unrealistically thin and offensively stereotypical.

Speaking of imagery… “He had a nice square jaw and was certainly attractive for a gunfighter. Well, not really a gunfighter, but almost. And despite who he was and what he did, his chin was downright cute, with a Y-shaped cleft so deep it folded in on itself.” It folded in on itself? Really? What does that mean and why doesn’t it sound attractive?

Axel never developed into a despicable antagonist, I felt there was too much going on and I didn’t feel an ounce of chemistry between Luke and Emily. Bottom line, this is not a title that will remain in my library and not something I see myself recommending down the road.
September 25, 2010
*2.5 stars*

LIKES: the gorgeous cover, the fast-moving plot, the characters themselves, the indians, the western setting

DISLIKES: the unrealistic and irritating conflicts between the romantic leads -- why are they constantly angry with each other? no real reason or validity is given to their temper tantrums; several scenes are simply left unresolved/unfinished; also, the plot could've used more fleshing out

not nearly as satisfactory as similar books of the same genre, but it's worth a day's read if you like western historical christian romance... whew!
Profile Image for Brenda.
1,148 reviews15 followers
October 16, 2010
This book takes place Dec 1884 in Chicago Ill. we are introduced to Emily McCarthy, an 18 yr old girl who has lived in the Aldersgate Home for Girls most of her life, she had been working as a teacher but was suddenly informed by the director that she has been promised to Bartholomew Axel as his new bride. He had advertised in the paper and an arrangement had been made between him and the school that Emily would travel to Repton Montana to become his wife. Emily can't imagine doing such a thing but she really has no other options. Within miles of reaching her destination the stagecoach is robbed, well sort of, the robber only took a small amount of the money on board, and he also takes Emily.

Our first glimpse of Luke Sullivan is of him being part of a vigilante gang that is hanging a man for stealing, the man about to be hanged gives Luke a peace of information that confirms that Mr. Axel had cheated his father out of the family farm and in Luke's mind ultimately cost him his family, so he decides to quit his job and head back home, his home was an orphanage as well called New Hope, and upon overhearing that Mr. Axel's fiance along with his money will be traveling by stagecoach, he decides to extract a little revenge.When he kidnaps Emily and takes her to New Hope with him, she isn't sure whether she should be afraid of him or thank him.

This was a perfectly written historical cowboy fiction. It had a bit of everything Indians and cowboys, a rotten bad guy,cows and cattle rustlers, horses, and alot of action. I really enjoyed how we could read the story from both perspectives, Luke's as well as Emily's. The friction between them early on made for some funny moments. The underlying christian theme was very refreshing, it wasn't overdone but it was there.

A very fast paced book that is not your typical inspirational read, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining read with a splash of humor thrown in.
I was provided a copy of this book by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Janelle.
Author 2 books16 followers
December 12, 2015
For this book to get four stars from me is quite an achievement as I'm a rather fussy reader. I don't like westerns and I don't like a lot of Christian fiction (though I read a lot of it in the past), particularly Christian fiction set during America's long history. It's not that I don't like historical fiction or America or Christianity in fiction. It's just that so much of it looks the same, as though the authors are just pasting in characters and settings. The only reason I own this book at all is because my husband gets a thrill out of finding free/cheap ebooks for me to read. (That's also the reason I have over 1000 books on my to read shelf.)
But I digress. Despite the MCs being a bit stereotypical, and all the aforementioned factors, I really enjoyed this book. The author writes with smoothness and clarity, I liked the characters and I loved the strong sense of humour throughout the book.
July 31, 2019
I really enjoyed this easy read. A great western romance filled with everything that makes a good story. Emily and Luke's loves story is so sweet. I enjoyed reading about the vengeance that Luke feels he needs to act upon while battling with his beliefs. All around enjoyable book!
Profile Image for Jessica.
242 reviews1 follower
April 14, 2015
I've been having a cowboy/western binge lately so it's no surprise that “The Vigilante's Bride” ended up getting thrown into the mix since I already owned a copy of it. I got this book free on kindle a while ago and am finally getting around to reading it.

You start out the book with a mail-order bride and a stage coach robbery. Needless to say it's jam packed with action. I liked Emily's character from page one. Red-heads with matching tempers are always fun to read about, even if they are somewhat of a stereotype. Luke, the male lead, was equally as captivating as Emily and when I found out more about them, I couldn't stop turning the pages. Right off the bat, you can see the chemistry and you know the rest of the book is going to be full of adventure and sarcasm which are always two of the main qualities that draw me into a story. There is nothing like a bit of wit between a cowboy and a red-head to make you smile.

The only complaint I had was one little hiccup near the end of the book. For one teeny paragraph, you switch perspectives to Luke's horse, Bugle. Bugle's perspective wasn't used at all during the rest of the book, (that I can recall) so it felt completely out of place. It was so lame and dumb and you didn't really gain any new information from it. I felt it detracted from the story.

I also felt like things were left a bit unresolved at the end. It's obvious by the last chapter that things will continue to progress between Luke and Emily. The one thing that bugged me was that we never were told what happened to the bad guy's, Axel especially. We know some men were jailed and we are told that the sheriff is going to take care of things with the government. But we never learn what actually ended up being decided about all the land that belonged to New Hope and The Crow. We only are told that it's basically being sorted. I kept reading, expecting there to be a small prologue telling us more, but there was nothing. I was a bit disappointed at not seeing the story fully resolved.

Aside from that, the book was a fun read. Nothing too serious or preachy. It was a light, fun read for a slow, sunny day.
Profile Image for Christy.
262 reviews71 followers
September 6, 2011
I usually love mail-order bride stories, and I even like an occasional western, but the combination of both in this book just did not do it for me. I’m not sure where it started to go wrong, but overall, the story did not flow well.

I came into the story expecting Emily’s point of view. After all, the story is called “The Vigilante’s Bride,” emphasis on bride. She came out west as a mail-order bride to this foul man, which she, thankfully, did not have to marry. Once she was released of her marital obligations, the story switched to Luke’s point of view. He’s the vigilante of the story, and that’s really where I lost interest. There seemed to be too much focus on the unrest between the New Hope ranch where Luke and Emily were living, and the ranch owned by Bart Axel, the man Emily came out west to marry. Also, there was little to no romance, and hardly any character development, particularly for Emily.

If you’re looking for a story about a mail-order bride, then let me suggest Lori Copeland or Amanda Cabot. As for western stories, I highly recommend Mary Connealy. All of these authors weave excellent stories that will hold your interest…I guarantee it. My rating for The Vigilante’s Bride is 2 Stars.
Profile Image for Rina.
74 reviews9 followers
July 17, 2018
This book has been on my to-read list for a while and last week I finally read it. It's a quick read with a fun twist on the mail-order bride plot and a good reminder that not all mail-order brides had a good man waiting for them.

The adventure surrounding the ranch was an exciting side story and the interaction between Emily and Luke was fun to read. They, but especially Luke had some harrowing experiences and the author did a great job bringing them together during those times.

The ending was a bit strange with it's focus on the sheriff but perhaps the next book in the series is about him.

If you enjoy adventure and danger mixed in with your cowboy/western romance than this is a book you should take a peak at.
Profile Image for Brittany .
2,293 reviews146 followers
June 16, 2014
This was a fairly predictable, yet enjoyable book. It kept my interest till the end and I was able to read it quickly. I enjoyed the romance between the two main characters and there were some fairly tense and dangerous situations that they experienced.

Luke and Emily's relationship was fun to watch develop. They were both rather strong personality types and had some clashing going on throughout a portion of the story. I will say that the ending felt a little abrupt to me, however, it was a satisfactory ending.

If you are a fan of western romances with some danger thrown in, this might be a book you would enjoy.
Profile Image for Melissa.
2,246 reviews210 followers
February 16, 2016
The title is very deceiving. It should be The Vigilante. The story is about him not her, she is a side story, This book is about an orphan boy who is trying to live a good life but has some trouble with wanting revenge on the guy who took so much from his family. It's not a mail order bride or really a romance it's just a simple story about this cowboy. I almost didn't finish it, it was very predictable and didn't draw me in. I liked there fighting when he was sick more then anything else about the story. It is clean with religious themes thrown in here and there.
Profile Image for Carina.
1,412 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2019
So. Unlike a lot of the random books on my Kindle that I downloaded (usually for free) this one was already on my GR profile as 'To Read'. Honestly I have no idea why...

Some of the descriptions of the countryside were nice, but to me the characters were all very one dimensional and thier interactions were formulaic.

I'm hoping this was a free book, though I have paid money for worse books. It killed a few hours so yeah. Not a book I'd recommend but not a bad book either.
149 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2020
The Vigilante’s Bride is a pleasant, clean, quick cowboy romance. The best thing I liked about this story is what it didn’t include. There was nothing unpleasant about this story at all. Admittedly though it wasn’t engrossing or enthralling enough to be an excellent read. The romance was satisfactory, but I would have liked to have read more attraction and desire between the main characters.
84 reviews1 follower
June 29, 2023
little to much gun play not quite enough on relationships but over all not bad
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,602 reviews
March 1, 2017
Luke Sullivan is heading home but first he must rob the stage because the man that cheated his father in poker and stole their land and everything else had his banker on the stage with money. Emily McCarthy was on the stage too and she was to be the mail-order bride to Bart Axel the man Luke was stealing from. Luke stole $1000.00 from the banker and when he found out Emily was to marry Axel a man old enough to be her grandfather he took her too. There are a lot of twists and turns humor and murder. Luke was an orphan and so was Emily so they have that in common but not much else.
I liked this author and will read more of her books.
I liked this book a lot.
Profile Image for Elaine.
Author 2 books9 followers
February 15, 2012
Title: The Vigilante’s Bride.

Author: Yvonne Harris.

Genre: Christian, Fiction, Western, Romance, Drama, Action/Adventure.

Plot: Eighteen year old Emily McCarthy reluctantly agrees to leave the only home she’s ever known and answer a mail order bride notice, traveling all the way from Chicago to Montana on a train in December of 1884. On the first day of her arrival, while she is on her way to meet her intended husband, the stagecoach she is riding in gets held up and Emily McCarthy is kidnapped by Luke Sullivan. From the moment he swoops her off her feet that dark Christmas Eve night, Emily finds herself on an adventure she never expected. Taken by her mysterious captor to New Hope, an orphanage where Sullivan grew up, Emily befriends Molly who runs the place, and engages in frequent sparring matches with Sullivan. She finally settles in however and takes up teaching the twenty-four lively orphans and two Crow Indian boys, the sons of chief Black Otter.

Sullivan, for his part, never intended that night to kidnap Emily. All he wanted to do was take back the money Bart Axel, Emily’s intended husband, stole from his father years ago. When he learned who Emily was heading off to marry, he knew he had to talk some sense into the naïve girl before she got herself into trouble. What Sullivan and the locals all know but the folks in Chicago don’t is that Axel is a villain. A former vigilante and trail boss, Sullivan busies himself with New Hope’s dwindling herd while forcing himself not to ride over and shoot Axel himself when things start going wrong; beginning with a severe beating that nearly ends the twenty-six-year-old’s life.
On top of the usual hardships of winter, the continual dwindling of the herd and brewing trouble with Axel, Sullivan and Emily find themselves falling in love. Their troubles, however, aren’t over yet.

Likes/Dislikes: I have to be honest with you: I loved this book!! I’ve wanted to read it for months now and you can just imagine how excited I was when my Dad brought it home from the post office. Emily and Sullivan’s sparring with each other was hilarious; his sense of humor is very good and she reminds me a little of myself. Molly, Black Otter, Stuart and the other primary supporting characters are all well drawn and provided plenty of laughs as they teased Sullivan and Emily or worked together to outwit the bad guy. And this western has everything in it that a lover of classic westerns could want except for the final showdown between the hero and the villain {Axel is a really clever villain too}; I really wanted a final showdown! However, I don’t suppose Sullivan would have been able to participate with a wounded arm. There is some violence, obviously, but it’s not graphic and there are also only a few kisses, nothing graphic there either.

Rating: PG-15 and up for violence and reading level. Highly recommended!

Date Report Written: June 11, 2011.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in the above review are my own.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 1 book124 followers
October 18, 2010
Emily McCarthy grew up in an orphanage and is now on her way from Chicago to Montana Territory as a mail order bride. But she never makes it to her wedding since her stagecoach is robbed and she is abducted. And it’s a good thing too because she was going to marry Bart Axel, a nasty man and the enemy of Luke Sullivan, her abductor. Axel is not pleased with Luke and plans to get rid of him, for reasons other than Emily, but things don’t turn out as either of the cowboys planned.

It’s been a long time since I read a Western romance. The Vigilante’s Bride was an entertaining read and I enjoyed it. The romance is predictable, but the setting and the circumstances had me interested until the last page. To tell you the truth, I was waiting for Bart to try to get Emily back or abduct her too—something to build more tension and threaten the budding relationship between Luke and Emily. Axel didn’t bother to get her back, and after their initial encounter, I never felt Emily was in danger from Bart Axel. Things came quite easy for her, as a matter of fact, a little too easy. Emily ends up staying at New Hope, another orphanage where she teaches the children and fits right in.

Harris writes about the Wild West with knowledge. I learned a thing or two about cattle rustling, land boundaries and the Crow Indians. It was a wild territory where men took the law into their own hands, including Luke Sullivan. He reminded me of Lucky Luke. I enjoyed the banter between Luke and Emily, which was sometimes silly but mostly downright funny. I wish there had been more of it. Emily wasn’t your typical female and although I enjoyed their spats, there wasn’t enough physical attraction between them. Their first kiss failed to move me, and I didn’t feel it moved Emily all that much either!

Also, I felt the tough, gun-slinging, fast-shooting ex-vigilante cowboy didn’t suit the image of a praying devout person nor, at times, the feisty Emily who was a little too forthright and thought nothing of massaging the naked back of a man, a very intimate gesture. This made me question two things: First: Why would the headmistress of New Hope let Emily take care of Luke alone in his room? Propriety was not questioned during several occasions, and I found this a little unrealistic for the late 1800 Christian setting. Second: Wouldn’t an 18-year-old girl with little exposure to society react at the sight of a strapping cowboy’s torso? Not Emily. No elevated heartbeat, no blushing, no obvious attraction. I’m not saying the author should have avoided the situation, but I would have expected some repercussions, whatever they would have been. It would have rendered the story more realistic and served as romantic tension between the couple.

However, I did enjoy the story, and if you like a clean Western romance the story is well written and captivating.
Profile Image for Jan Marie Newby.
39 reviews7 followers
August 22, 2010
The year is 1884. The nation is in the midst of a severe depression, jobs are scarce and young Emily McCarthy is being forced to leave Aldersgate Home for Girls, the only home she has ever known. The wealthy widower, Bartholomew Axel, has advertised for a wife in the Chicago Daily Tribune and the board of directors of Aldersgate has accepted his offer on Emily's behalf. Young Emily, at the age of 18 and with no other prospects in sight, reluctantly agrees to accept the marriage proposal and sets off for the Montana Territory.

Meanwhile, Luke Sullivan, a handsome young cowboy, who has a personal score to settle with the rich land-owner, Bart Axel, decides to intercept a shipment headed for Axel, unaware that the shipment includes the beautiful Emily, en route to her wedding. Thus the stage is set for an exciting, sometimes humorous, ofttimes dangerous adventure which includes all the elements of a good Western - cattle rustling, Indian battles, and gunfights. Although events that occurred in his childhood had convinced Luke that God doesn't listen or even hear his prayers, throughout the pages of this book Luke learns how wrong he was as the writer skillfully brings him to a place of spiritual renewal and a new life.

The Vigilante's Bride is not the kind of book that is normally found on my reading table. I tend to gravitate more toward contemporary fiction and usually avoid books that take place before 1950. However, when I first heard about this book, I was intrigued by the sound of it and decided to give it a try. I was not sorry. Yvonne Harris has written a truly engaging account that seems more like fact than fiction. She quickly transports us to a time in our history when the difference between life and death was often measured by who had the fastest reflexes. The book is historically accurate and the landscape descriptions are so spectacular that it is easy to form a vivid picture of the era. The characters are not just some two dimensional figures, but are realistic and very true-to-life in their dialogue and actions. The plot is well developed and the pace does not lag but continually builds to the very satisfying finale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Vigilante's Bride and look forward to more books in this genre by Yvonne Harris.

A copy of this book for review purposes was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers. I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review. All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.
Profile Image for Christina.
Author 56 books60 followers
April 22, 2011
The Vigilante’s Bride isn’t your typical romance, and it’s definitely not your typical inspirational romance. Harris pushes the bounds of Christian romance in a new and refreshing way.

The story opens with our heroine being asked, forcibly, to leave the orphanage, the only home she’s ever. Without giving her an option, the board of directors at the orphanage answers a newspaper ad that will bind Emily in matrimony to a man not of her choosing. Fortunately for Emily, fate intervenes in the guise of a stagecoach robbery.

As a reader I can buy the difficult circumstances, giving a woman during this period little choice, but there are times when Emily’s character does not always stay the course. It is difficult to believe that she would willingly accept her fate when it comes to leaving the orphanage, yet fight the hero every step of the way even after she meets her would be husband. But, I have to say, even with the inconsistencies, I do admire Emily’s feisty nature, which comes in handy in difficult situations.

Our hero, Luke Sullivan, is far from perfect. And I like him. A lot. He definitely gets cowboy of the year award from me. The author does an excellent job portraying a man wandering his way back to God, especially with this wounded alpha type. Luke is the quiet-intelligent type, even if he is a bit rash in a few of his actions. There are several scenes that I absolutely loved finding in a Christian inspirational. I could tell you what they are, but then I’d have to tie a rope to the nearest tree.

The romance between the two is near perfect, even if their love is resolved much sooner than I would have liked. I did miss the much-anticipated black moment that one would expect from two very dominate personalities, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any *sigh* moments, because there were. And delicious ones, too.

My biggest complaint about The Vigilante’s Bride is some confusion involving the land rights. There were a few times when I had to go back and read to figure out what was what. However, the confusion is very minor and does not take away from the story.

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box inspirational that pushes the bounds then I highly recommend this novel. Even with the minor issues, The Vigilante’s Bride is a definite keeper.

Profile Image for Trinity Rose.
434 reviews14 followers
October 3, 2010

The author wrote to me and told me this, quite interesting:

“I have a couple of things about the book that aren't generally known. For instance, it is based on fact--there really was a vigilance committee by the same name in Montana and run for Granville Stuart (a real man who became an ambassador after he got out of the cattle business in Montana.) My fictional hero ran the committee for Stuart in the story. Stuart's group makes an appearance or two in the story. They were the good guys and Stuart is known to this day as Mister Montana, the man who saved Montana.”

“The Vigilante's Bride” is Yvonne Harris' debut historical fiction novel.
Quite a fantastic start it is. A book I thoroughly enjoyed.
In 1884, Emily McCarthy, who is 18 years old, finds herself in a complicated situation. Emily has grown up in an orphanage, but now they can’t keep her anymore. So they tell Emily that she should accept a bride announcement in the paper and marry a prosperous widower, Bartholomew Axel. Emily doesn’t want to do this, but she has little choice. She will be thrown out into the street if she doesn’t.

Luke Sullivan is working on a vigilante committee to rid the West of criminals, because they don’t have any law. One of the criminal leads him to think that his father suffered the loss of their ranch when he was a young boy to Axel and that he was cheated. So, when Luke wants to try and make things even with Axel. When he over hears two men talking about taking something important to Axel Luke decides stop the stage. He finds some money, but something all together different that he even thought.

This book has it all from love, orphans, Christianity, cowboys and Indians, cattle rustling, gunfights. This is another book that I couldn’t put down. I wanted to keep reading and hated when I reached the end. Truly a fantastic book to read. So I highly recommend this book. Add it to your library. Thanks to Yvonne Harris for writing it.

I was graciously provided a copy of The Vigilante's Bride by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Katie.
Author 2 books120 followers
December 3, 2010
I give this book 3 stars. I had heard a lot about this book, so was looking forward to an exciting, gripping read about a girl who at first was forcibly taken from her intended, but in the end, was willingly accepting her kidnappers help to stay away from her intended. Though the story loosely followed this expectation, I feel it fell far short from what it could have been.

Once Emily was rescued from Bart, from what I read on the back of the book, I expected Bart to go to great lengths to get Emily back. I was surprised that, after the first attempt, he apparently forgot about her! Not what I was expecting – I thought the book would be about Bart trying to get her back and Luke protecting her.

The Sheriff was another character I couldn’t quite understand. At first, from the way he treated Luke, I thought he was one of Bart’s henchmen. But since he didn’t side with Bart either, I didn’t understand why he had such a big problem with Luke – I would’ve thought he’d want to help Luke put Bart in his place. So I was a little confused/disappointed in this character.

Emily and Luke, however, were well developed characters and by the end, I felt like I knew them pretty well. There were a few moments where the author hinted at some inappropriate things, but as it was only natural in the setting the characters were placed, it was understandable, though didn’t need to be said. The first time they kiss in the book was, also, a bit disappointing – but since I don’t want to give away anything, I won’t say what it was that was such a disappointment. :-)

So, all in all, while I enjoyed the read, I was disappointed in the plot that didn’t live up to the expectations I got from the back of the book. But if you like a story about a stubborn woman and an equally stubborn man who form a partiality towards each other, then you should enjoy this read!

Profile Image for Brenda.
603 reviews
May 6, 2012
I really liked this book. I love westerns, and enjoyed this one. I've never read any of Yvonne Harris' books before but would gladly read others in the future. The beginning shows Emily who was raised in an orphanage being kicked out by the board as she is of age and they need room to take in young orphans in her place. They answer a mail order bride advertisement for her and pledge her to someone she has never met. They pay for her fare on the stage coach and send her off. The stage is held up by a man and as Emily is left standing in the middle of the road he returns to nab her before she is back on that stage and on her way to the man he knows is not appropriate for her to wed. He wants to educate her about her prospective groom who is an evil old man in the area he's had several run in's with and so he takes her with him. I can't add mmore to the story, it would spoil it for you! This is more than just a romance, there is much more going on as this old man is going to try and retrieve his bride and also exact his revenge.
From Good Reads: Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and kidnapping a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expects to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from him, but ends up with a feisty copper-haired orphan thrown over his shoulder who was on her way to marry Sullivan's bitter enemy.
Emily McCarthy is an orphan out of options. Forced to marry because she was too old for her orphanage, she doesn't take kindly to her "rescue." Still she trusts God can turn any situation to good especially when it seems Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Sullivan's crossed a dangerous man unused to losing and Emily may just be the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.
Profile Image for Ashley.
60 reviews
December 30, 2010
The Vigilante’s Bride, started out strong, but got weak towards the end.

Emily is too old to stay at the orphanage, so the Board is sending her away to be a mail-order bride. No amount of arguing on her side will get them to change her mind, and next thing Emily knows, she half way to Montana. Enter Luke Sullivan, vigilante, and cattle rustler punisher. He hangs a criminal every other week, but the job has gotten too much for Luke, and he decides to head back to the only home he has known, to the orphanage. But, while stopped at a tavern, Luke over hears that his enemy, the man who stole his families land, is expecting a shipment on the stage, that very night. What ensues is calamity filled evening for both Emily and Luke.

I liked how Emily wasn’t a simpering female, but I feel as if her character could have been stronger and more detailed. Luke was one of the more interesting characters and definitely had a history I wanted to know more about. I did like the romance between Emily and Luke was sweet, but it seems that Bartholomew Axel, Luke's enemy and the man who ordered Emily from the orphanage to be his bride, didn’t care as much as the synopsis on the back of the book. I think I would have liked Bartholomew to fight more, to get Emily back; at least then there would have been more actions. The book had some nice details that draw me in, but the plot and overall story lost me and left me wanting. This is not to say, you shouldn’t give it a try.

*This book was given to me by the publisher in return for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way or influenced to write a positive review*

Profile Image for Rachel Thompson.
Author 4 books18 followers
December 16, 2011
I downloaded this book for free for my Sony e-reader.

Emily is an orphan. After she turns eighteen, she is sent out west to become a mail-order bride, but her stagecoach is robbed. While she's standing in the middle of the road, the robber returns to kidnap her. Luke is intent on making sure Emily knows just who she's agreed to marry before she goes through with the deed.

First of all, I am sick to death of characters named Luke. They pop up in historical romances (especially westerns) way too often for my taste. This might have been the third or fourth book in a row that I read that involved a character named Luke. No wonder I go more for the heroes with strange names these days.

Anyway, the start of this book was really good, although it veered off in a direction I wasn't expecting. However, things started to fall apart about halfway through the book when the romance really took a backseat to the bad feud between Luke's ranch and Bart Axel's (the man Emily was meant to marry). This book even involves Native Americans, although they don't really seem to behave much like Native Americans. In fact, the author does all she can to elevate the Crow people above the rest of the tribes, perhaps to make the laughable plot more believable. Luke has a deep prejudice against Native Americans because a group of them killed his family, yet he has no trouble trusting the Crows. In fact, he must rely on them in certain instances.

Too much of the story centered on Luke and his feud with Axel rather than on Emily and her adjustments to her new life. Overall disappointing. The author tried to throw too many 'western themes' into the book rather than focusing on just a couple.
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