Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: 'Ruby' by Juliet James


Every cloud has a silver lining, or so Ruby had always been told, but after working for Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, doubting had become easy.
It’s 1884 and beautiful twenty-year-old Ruby works a decent job as a house-worker in a lavish home belonging to the owners of the “worst school in Pittsburgh.” When the husband claims his wife has “shut up shop” meaning no more romance in the bedroom, he decides that Ruby should provide those services, too. The vile and disgusting man has Ruby on the hunt for an escape from her undesirable life when she comes upon an advertisement from a rich Montana man looking for a bride. He sounds too good to be true, but after exchanging a few letters, Ruby packs up and heads for Montana.
Unfortunately, things are not always what they seem, and Ruby’s belief in a “silver lining” starts looking a bit tainted in Montana. Slim Jim turns out not to be the perfect man Ruby envisioned after all, but upon her arrival in Big Sky Country, a whirlwind wedding followed by a hotel room honeymoon that serves only her new husband’s needs, leaves Ruby confused and scared. Finding out there are more farces than truths when it comes to Slim Jim, Ruby welcomes her new friendship with Lettie, who knows Slim Jim as the true scoundrel he is. On Ruby’s behalf, Lettie makes a deal with Slim Jim, and soon bride-worthy men start admiring Ruby. The three Wilkinson brothers, each more handsome than the next, decide it is high time to find brides for themselves making things even more interesting for Ruby.
This quick read tells a decent story, but there is not much “meat” to the tale. The writing and editing are both good, but the story just scraped the surface making it feel more like a draft than a final version, especially at the end, which lacked detail and wrapped up the next day/month/year in summary form. I would love to read something full length or more detailed that this writer has written, because she does have a flare. Several more Mail Order Bride books are available by this author, and given the talent in Ruby, although it has room for improvement, I am not opposed to trying another.
If you enjoy historical romance, or happen to be a mail order bride story fan, this might be the perfect quick read for your next lazy day afternoon or vacation getaway.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.