Monday, August 1, 2011

Ménage on the Prairie

Title: Ménage on the Prairie
Author: Xondra Day
Publisher: Siren-bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-359-X
Genre: {M/M} {M/F} {M/M/F} Western, Historical
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Shamed into leaving her old life behind, Kate Summers decides to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride. It’s a desperate attempt to shed the reputation she has garnered and to start afresh in a new town. When Kate meets Joe Ryder, her husband-to-be, she dares to believe things could actually work out for the best this time that is until Joe introduces her to his close friend Ryan. As Ryan reluctantly welcomes Kate into the life he has created with Joe, it becomes apparent that she isn’t the only one running away. Can the trio learn to be honest with their feelings before it’s too late? 

I was intrigued by the possible couplings Ménage on the Prairie could serve up, in one of my favorite genres, the historical western. Ménage on the Prairie was an enjoyable read that delivered a strong willed, independent lady who was trying to make up for past transgressions so that she could get her life back on track. Joe and Ryan had a lot invested in making things work with Kate and thought things would be simple after she came along. How wrong they were.  

The ramifications of their choices in life are somewhat oversimplified for the time this book is set, in my opinion. Ryan’s actions are a bit over the top. Also, I know Kate feels unable to judge others because of her past misdemeanors but she accepts Joe and Ryan’s relationship very quickly. The characters’ selfish attitudes are obvious, as they are all so wrapped up in their own needs and desires. Thankfully, they come to their senses and discover what is most important to them in a happy, if rushed, ending. I liked that the author tried to give equal time to developing each character, but Ryan’s back story seemed a little out of place, stuck in the middle of this story, interrupting the flow when it really could have been a separate story of its own.

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