Monday, December 15, 2014

Review and giveaway: Nellie by Cynthia Woolf

Nellie (The Brides of San Francisco I)

by Cynthia Woolf

Quick Facts                                        
Release Date:  November, 2014                
Genre: Historical Romance. Western                                              
Formats to buy: Paperbacks and all ebook formats

Book Synopsis
Nellie Wallace is a young widow with two children. In post civil-war New York, the men are scarce and none want the burden of a wife with children. Her dead husband's family is wealthy, and cruel. Desperate to escape their influence, and eager for a home, a husband, and a stable life for her children, Nellie decides to make a new life in San Francisco as a mail order bride.

Saloon owner Blake Malone is a bachelor and likes it that way. He worked hard for everything he has, but the San Francisco City Council won’t approve his plans to build a family emporium unless he is a family man himself. The solution? A mail order bride from New York who will bring him a ready-made family, stability, and the council's approval.

Blake expects his future wife to care for his home and, other than helping him impress the city council, to stay out of his business. He expects life as usual. What he gets is an unexpected desire to win Nellie's heart, a dangerous threat to his new bride, and a rich benefactor determined to steal his new family out from under him.  Blake believed his battle for success a hard one. But he will discover that the battle to win Nellie's heart and keep his family safe is going to take everything he's got.



April 28, 1865
RAP! RAP! RAP!If only she could fix her problems with a needle and thread she’d be set. Nellie looked up from the socks she was darning toward the knocking on the front door.Who could that be? She set aside the socks, straightened her dress, checked her reflection in the mirror on the wall in the hall, patted her blond hair back into place and then answered the door.“Mrs. Robert Wallace?” asked the soldier in dress uniform who stood at attention on her front porch.Oh, God. No. Please. No. “Yes,” she said, trying to keep the tremor from her voice. “I…I’m Mrs. Wallace.”The young soldier handed her an envelope. “I regret to have to inform you that Lieutenant Robert Wallace was killed at the Battle of Appomattox on April 8, 1865. I’m sorry for your loss, Mrs. Wallace.”Nellie didn’t know what to say over the lump in her throat. She always knew this could happen—from the first moment Robert joined, to his last farewell eight months before Violet was born.“I, uh, thank you, Officer…”“Black, ma’am. Sergeant Black.”“Thank you for letting me know, Sergeant.” Her grip tightened on the door knob. “I…I have to sit down now.”“Of course, ma’am. Do you need help?”Nellie shook her head. “No. Thank you. I’ll be alright.”The man saluted her, turned and walked down the sidewalk to the waiting carriage.How many of these calls did he have to make today? Was I the only one? I doubt it. Not in a city the size of New York.She closed the door and leaned against the wall next to it, her legs no longer able to support her, she slid to the floor. Tears left salty trails on her face, but for the life of her she couldn’t remember crying. Screaming, cursing God, yes, but crying, no. Even though our marriage wasn’t what I’d dreamed it could have been when I was a child, I shall miss him. He had his good side, he was funny and could make her laugh. He was gentle every where except…no I will not think about that now. I endured and have two beautiful children.How am I to tell Henry his father is dead? Violet was just a baby and didn’t know her daddy but Henry… Her son missed his father something fierce. Robert had doted on Henry. They spent so much time together that Henry cried for days when his father left the last time. And now I have to tell him his father is never coming home. How do I do that?She wiped her cheeks with the backs of her hands, took the hanky from her apron pocket and blew her nose.  No need to put it off. The task would be difficult enough, without waiting and making it harder. Perhaps she and Henry could grieve together. In any case, she needed to be strong for her son and daughter. She was all they had now.Taking a deep breath, she mounted the stairs to the play room and her children.

5 super stars

The first book I've read from Cynthia Woolf was "Fiery Bride", also  about a mail order bride. After that, I read 3 more, also historical, which I enjoyed greatly but to be honest, I believe mail order brides is what this author does best. I simply loved this book.

One thing you need to know before jumping into one of Cynthia's books is that they share something in common: they are simple (forget those hard to understand plots) and also they are sexy but nonetheless classy. We have some hot scenes but nothing too graphic.

In this book we meet Nellie a sad widow that needs to go on with her life because she is tired of enduring her awful in-laws for the sake of her children. 
On the other hand, we meet Mr Blake Malone: sexy, galant and mysterious. Also with no wish to fall in love. Ow! and he owns a saloon...

They meet due to an arrangenment that is extremely clear. He will provide the money, she will provide the family he needs in order to fulfill a business deal.
None of them is expecting to feel so attracted to each other.

I loved the way Blake was able to reach Nellie's heart and go past her fears. She unravels when they are together and to see how the love grows is mesmerizing.

We also have some other interesting characters, such as Maddie (crazy as a cow but I loved every time she showed up because she spiced up the story) and little Violet (so sweet).

The plot, as I said, is simple but entertaining and the book just flows. I kept turning the pages and read it all in a few hours.

The writing was nice and yes, I will totally recommend it.

Get to know the author:

Cynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of ten historical western romance books, one short story, and one novella in the anthology Lost in a Kiss, with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.



Other Titles by Cynthia Woolf:

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  1. Great review! =) Thank you for touring with us!

  2. Hi, Cynthia! This book sounds awesome and you set it in one of my favorite places to visit--San Francisco. Much luck to you. Hugs.

  3. Enjoyed the article and the excerpt.

  4. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, and than you for the wonderful review. I appreciate it very much and it makes me very happy that you liked my book.

    1. YW! It was great, I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

  5. I love this book! I have read it and I just have to say that it is a favorite of mine. It keeps you wanting more! I did not want it to end! Would definitely recommend!

  6. Hm, this may come through twice. I wrote a comment and hit publish and ... nada. Just wanted to say that this one I've got on my reading list for the new year. Congrats on being a prolific writer, Cindy.
    Best wishes!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sydney.

    2. Only one comment, no worries! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Loved the excerpt! Can't wait to read this book. Cindy is a terrific author!

    1. Hi Lana. GLad you liked the excerpt. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. What a wonderful review! It makes me want to read the story!

    1. TY Melissa! You should give it a try!

  9. Great review as always, I really like the cover you did go with...much better than the other one (the town in the background). I graduated H.S., Junior College and ran track and cross-country for years all over the Bay Area (too expensive these days, but it was a great place to live back in the 50's and early 60's)! (-:

  10. I discovered your books about a month ago, and i have been a loyal fan ever since. I think your style of writing is excellent.



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