Contract to Wed: Crawford Family Book 2
Written by: Holly Bush
Narrated by: Meghan Kelly
Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
Series: Crawford Family, Book 2
Publisher: Holly Bush Books
I have to say at first I didn't care to much for the character Jolene I found her stuck up along with her thinking she is better than most. Once I got into the story I found her very likable just misunderstood. We often hide our feelings under anger or difference I found I could relate to her character as I looked back over my past. I think most people in at sometime in our lives have used this type of protection. You have two people who lost the person they were married to. Jolene thought she was marrying the man of her dreams only to find out he was weak in more ways than one. Max did marry the women he loved they had a wonderful happy life until she died. Jolene lost everything and wants to start over, away from a hateful mother along with forgetting all that she has lost. Max needs a wife to help him get into the government as well as show his daughter how to be a lady. They agree to get married but both have a few things to learn. This isn't an easy road as they will find both have to deal with the past, the future before they can find a love like no other.
At first this narrator didn't grab me, she made Jolene so dry and cold, she almost sounded whiny. I thought this couldn't be how the author wanted this. I am sure we have all had to admit when we are wrong this is my times. Once I got into the story I found the narrators voice and tones fit right in with what the author had in mind. I enjoyed her many different characters however a few were close to others. It didn't take anything away from the story and you did know who was talking. there was one place where the character whispered and the narrator did not I just felt if she had it would have made that part better. With that said I would have to say you could feel each emotion as the narrator takes you through the story you are never left guessing what each one feels. There are no breaks, her tones are even and rich as she hits just how these character feels. Meghan Kelly gives so much to each character but the one that stood out the most for me was Jolene how cold she was, as she became unsure, changing her mind and falling in love with her new life, the styles, her family and the people in her household. She may have started out cold but she did put others first and thinking of what is best for her new family. She gets her way but uses kind words and she turns people to her way of thinking. Ms. Kelly does this character very well as you come to love Jolene you come to like the narrator more and more. I look forward to listening to more from this narrator.
The author gives you an outstanding plot of lost, more lost, pain, forgiving and learning as these characters grow. It always confuses me on how a mother can be as cruel and unkind as Jolene's mother was. Jolene loses it all as she decides to overcome her past and more or less become a mail order bride. The author reminds us what is truly important and how to deal with issues which are touchy or we would rather not talk about. Max was awesome from start to finish. I found it wasn't long before I was so into this story I didn't want to put it down. I really was not ready for this book to end. In fact I got a deal on book one in this series and bought it. I am so looking forward to listening to it.
The author puts some major twist into the plot which will shock you and make you look at one character pretty much with discuss as your heart goes out to others. This is a lovely well written story of starting over, overcoming and finding what truly makes you happy not caring what others think. So many people are going to be able to relate in some way and totally love this story.
1891...Jolene Crawford Crenshaw, heiress and Boston socialite, went from her family home directly to Landonmore upon her marriage, the mansion she shared with her handsome and charismatic husband. She'd never in her life worried in the slightest over anything as crass as the dollars required to maintain that home or the lifestyle she'd been born to. Her extensive yearly wardrobe, the stables and the prime horseflesh within it, even the solid silver forks and knifes that graced her table, were expected and required to maintain the social standing that she'd cultivated over the years. But suddenly she was a widow with little money and just her pride and her secrets to keep her upright.
Max Shelby made his fortune in oil wells and cattle but lost the love of his life the day his wife died, over 10 years ago. Now, his happy, carefree, little girl needs instruction and guidance as she grows into a young lady and his dream of becoming a senator from his adopted state of Texas seems out of reach with few political or social connections. The right wife would solve both problems. As it happens his sister knows of a woman, a recent widow, charming, beautiful and socially astute, but in reduced circumstances, who may want to begin again. Max signed the wedding contract sight unseen.
Will Jolene be able to shed her sorrows, anger and fears to begin anew away from the censure and hidden tragedy that marred her life? Is her new husband, confident, strong and capable Max Shelby, the man, the only man, to see past her masks to find the woman beneath?
About the author
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance set on the American Prairie and in Victorian England, and more recently, Women's Fiction. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer's group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board, and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior. Connect with Holly at hollybushbooks.com or on her Facebook page at Holly Bush.