Book Review: Children of Laramie

The Children of Laramie is a series of 8 clean western romances by Eliza King. (Note I do not receive any royalties or kickback from the sale of these books)

The Uncertain Bride and the Shy Rancher:

The Reluctant Bride and the Jealous Teacher:

The Christmas Bride and the Nearly Ruined Pastor:

The Unexpected Bride and the Eager Shopkeeper:

The Doubtful Bride and the Two Suitors:

The Adventurous Bride and the Sheep Farmer:

The Distressed Bride and the Drifter:

The Hopeful Bride and the Fur Trader:

In this series Eliza King returns to Laramie 20 years after Heather’s Humility, the final book in her Brides of Laramie series. This series features the children of the original 5 couples: Julie and Daniel, Claire and Edmund, Hannah and Jonathan, Vera and Christopher, and Heather and Mathew. Between them there are 11 children with the eldest, Claire’s daughter Katharine, now working at the Boston Women’s Academy.

Unlike the first series in which all the girls were mail order brides from Boston this series has more variety. But Eliza’s tight writing style and strong characterization continues to shine.

Gus is Mathew’s son from his first marriage, Heather’s step son, and he is sweet on Julie’s daughter, Beatrice. Of course they’re both shy and there’s a rich rancher’s son to compete with. It’s young love at its finest.

Christian is Christopher and Hannah’s son, just returned to from Boston to become a school teacher. He requests a bride and is sent a young woman who has no intention of marrying anyone! It’s up to him to win her affections before he loses her to some other eager bachelor in town.

Anna is Gus and Heather’s daughter and her gift is her voice. She loves to sing in the church choir. Unfortunately the new young pastor’s praise of her gift causes quite the scandal.

Samuel, Claire and Edmund’s son, was not looking for love when Sarah, a banker’s daughter, arrives in town. They pursue a brief, sweet courtship but her father’s work takes the family away from Laramie on short notice. Only with her gone does Samuel realize how deep his feelings for her are.

Maria is Anna’s younger sister and she has long been the subject of Kenneth’s admiration. Kenneth, Julie’s son, is certain he will marry his childhood sweetheart one day, even if she doesn’t pay him much attention. But then Jonathan’s son, Joseph, returns from law school. Once friends the boys become bitter rivals for Maria’s hand.

At the end of the love triangle story Maria makes her choice and the sore loser runs away to Texas where he buys a dilapidated sheep farm.Lonely, he sends Katharine a letter requesting a bride that is Maria in every way possible. What he gets is a feisty young woman who is not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

Helen is afraid for her life so Katharine helps her escape Boston by putting her on a train to Laramie. There she tugs at the protective heartstrings of the town drifter, Christian’s younger brother, Connor.

Shawn, the last of the Children of Laramie, has grown cold and cynical. He is out watching sheep for a local rancher when Helen arrives and he feels that if he had met her first he’d have had a chance with her. Everything he tries seems to fail. He winds up in Alaska chasing the golden dream. Instead he finds a young woman working in a tavern with no options. She’s not easily won however, and Shawn will have to straighten out his life, and his attitude.

The series wraps up with a sweet epilogue that illustrates how one couple of childhood sweethearts, 3 bachelors, 1 widower, and 4 mail order brides have grown into a three generation clan of family and friends.

I was really excited to read this story and revisit characters I already knew. The town of Laramie has grown in 20 years and the original characters are all in their late 30s, early 40s now. Eliza King gives a glimpse into the world of the wild west and provides a full array of varied and exciting characters.

I gave these books a range of 4-5 stars depending on the story.


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