Fiercely independent, Elizabeth Bowcock - 'Doc Liz' - as she's known by all - vows to raise her orphaned niece as her own. Unfortunately, the child's grandfather has declared the unwed doctor to be an unfit guardian and refuses to deliver her to Liz's care until she finds herself a man...
Enter dark-haired, devil-eyed Cutter McKenzie. Outcast for his Cheyenne blood, the handsome half breed volunteers to pose as Elizabeth's husband. But though his wicked sex appeal threatens to undermine Liz's independence, the road to St. Louis promises even greater perils…
©1993 Tanya Anne Crosby (P)2013 Tanya Anne Crosby
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
I decided to embark on this reading/listening adventure because of Braden Wright, the narrator and because of the front cover….Well, I know that neither of those reasons may seem too substantial, but oh, am I so glad I read this book! This is one of those stories that gets into your heart and will never leave it, and mainly because of the hero in this story….Mr. Cutter McKenzie! By the way, Braden Wright's sultry, deep, masculine voicing was just perfect for Cutter! Wow! Just an amazing listen!
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS I LOVE CUTTER MCKENZIE!
This story is set post Civil War in the ever-expanding Dakotas. Cutter is referred to as a 1/2 breed (due to his Cheyenne and Irish descent) and has lived a life full of discrimination that has served to create a tough outer shell of his person. However, if you look at the core of him, you will find the most giving, noblest of hearts who is searching to belong. Cutter is fantastically appealing because he is not only a strong man (I mean swoon-worthy, gorgeous man), but because of his willingness to pursue love despite the risks. He's a take-charge kind of guy who guards his heart and emotions above all else, however, nothing could have prepared him for this journey of love, in his conquest of the heroine's affections. Although the odds were against Cutter (for unfair reasons!!!--I might add), he did not shy away from taking a chance at love.
Some reviewers have noted how unlikeable Elizabeth Bowcock, the heroine is. However, I felt more sympathetic toward her. Elizabeth, or Doc Liz, replaced her father as the doctor of Sioux Falls, after his death. Elizabeth, herself, is wound up too tightly and reasonably so. Her father nudged her to dress a certain way (baggy clothes about 3 sizes too big, old-rimmed glasses and hair in a tight pony tail). And, I believe it was to protect her from the unwanted advances of men, especially since they lived in such unstable parts. However, Elizabeth's iron clad hold on her independence is also an extension of her stronghold on her appeal as a woman--I mean, she has it ALL on lock down…LOL So, when Cutter offers to step up to help her in her dilemma (acting as her husband so she can present as married and qualify to adopt her niece), she rejects him. But, the problem is not just in Elizabeth's stodginess, it's also in her soft bigotry for the hero due to his Cheyenne heritage. Doc Liz also needs to conquer her mild hurt or fear of Native Americans in order to open the floods gates of her heart to Cutter (at least that was my take on it). She also just needed to LET GO…let go of her defenses, fears, past traumas, and stubbornness in terms of giving in to the hero completely.
THE LOVE STORY
This love story was so sweet and endearing. I really enjoyed how the journey of the leads to St. Louis also paralleled their attachment to one another in a cementing, beautiful love. Along the journey you will find out more about Cutter's outer and inner scars and will be absolutely touched at his patience with the heroine and how big his heart is. Cutter sees beyond Elizabeth's defenses (even her baggy clothes etc). He encourages her (pushes her) to break out of her shell and shine as the beautiful woman she is. Cutter is such a lover (and a fighter by necessity). Seriously, he is just precious!
There is also satisfaction in the growth in character of the heroine, Elizabeth. She learns to release herself to love, to healing, to a change of heart and to courage. She definitely loosens up! (Thank God!) LOL
The villains in this book are loathsome and the ruthless part of me would have liked to have see a more gruesome end to their lives. By the way, Katie, the niece is adorable. She's wild, funny and so cute! I really liked her. And, "Jo" (Josephine), Cutter's sister (who is Elizabeth's best friend) is also very interesting. I would really like her to have her own book.
The epilogue was such a gift! I loved it! I wish there was a Volume 2 of Sagebrush Bride because I would so much like to learn more about Doc Liz and Cutter's marriage life as they settle down in Sioux Falls.
This will be one of my tear-jerking favorite Westerns!
Loved the characters, Doc Liz and Katie. Cutter is interesting and complex, and the author created a really great arc from beginning to end, with a background of interesting history. Great discussion on prejudice and where it comes from and how it can distort thinking from both sides of the picture… but also some very nice chuckles throughout. Exciting ending, as usual for TA Crosby. Absolutely love Braden Wright as a narrator, so talented. More than worth the credit.. Oh yeah, even a favorite!
I listened to "Once Upon a Kiss" by Tanya Anne Crosby, narrated by Braden Wright, and enjoyed both story and narrator. After reading the rave reviews of "Sagebrush Bride" on Amazon, and the Publisher's Summary I felt confident I would enjoy this book, as well....but I was sorely disappointed.
Elizabeth who took over her father's doctor practice when he died, and Conner the half-breed spend the first 5 hours (after a brief and interesting introduction into the story) traveling to St. Louis, where Elizabeth hopes to bring her orphaned niece home with her to raise. They had not made St. Louis yet, in the 6 hours I forced myself to listen.
I find it confusing how so many people (24) who purchased and read the book from Amazon raved about how good the book is, but I just couldn't connect with it. Maybe the book was better than the audio, although I thought Braden Wright performed well.
The couple "think" more than they speak, often drawing wrong conclusions. Conner 'thinks' she looks down on him because he's a breed, through a misunderstanding. Through their thoughts they are attracted to each other. Fighting their attraction, they speak few civil words to each other. It would be okay, if it didn't go on and on, hour after hour.
Things happen along their way to St. Louis, like finding an injured Indian, who dies, and Elizabeth "Doc" falls apart because she couldn't save him, but somehow it doesn't seem to fit in with the story...unless it's to have Conner console her.
Elizabeth, who can't see distance since her glasses were broken, sees the wounded Indian in a down-pouring rain, from inside the shelter of a small cave. She was also getting out of her wet clothing when she sees the injured Indian leaning over his horse and rushes out of the cave in her bloomers to help him. I can't remember if it was then, or earlier at the hotel, that Conner said,"I didn't know we had a closet exhibitionist". The lack of realism and their modern day speech, rather than that of the mid-1800s, may have been a contributing factor in my inability to connect with the story.
Sometimes the last half of a book is better than the first, but I just couldn't stick it out long enough to find out....6+ hours was enough.
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