A Blue Willow tea set, a tragic past, a worn letter, and devotion to her two younger sisters, is all that mail order bride Catharine Olsen brings from Amsterdam to Cheyenne, WY to meet her future husband. Peter is a gentle, but hard-working wheat farmer, who doesn't realize the extent his meddling mother will go to in order to discredit his bride after he decides not to marry the lady she chose for him. Will Catharine's secret past threaten the idyllic life she has created with her new husband?
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Customer Reviews for Deeply Devoted: A Novel - eBook
Catharine Olsen, from Holland, was willing to be a mail-order bride to start her life over. Peter Andersen, in Wyoming, wanted a mail-order bride because he couldn't find a woman to suit him, even with his mother's unwanted help.
Both parties left parts of their lives out of the letters that they exchanged over several months. Peter sent the money for her voyage, but didn't tell her that his mother, Clara, desperately wanted him to marry Dorothy Miller so he didn't let his mother know that he was even writing to Catharine, yet alone planning on bringing her to America so they could marry. Catharine used the money she had left from her parents shipping business, after they died and left her guardian over her two sisters, to pay for the voyage for Greta and Anna. Peter didn't know anything about her sisters or the fact that she'd been married before and lost a child in her past life.
Peter picks Catharine and the girls up at the hotel and takes them to lunch to discuss things, still not realizing the sisters will live with them, then the problems begin because as they are leaving his mother is arriving, sees him with the 'ladies' and demands to know what's going on. Peter invites his mother to the wedding and she shows up with his grandmothers wedding ring that 'he was going to give to Dorothy' and tries to stop the wedding that way. Catharine doesn't let her get away with it and agrees to marry Peter.
Since Clara's ploy with the ring didn't work, she hires a private investigator to check Catharine out. She thinks Catharine is out to get Peter's money and will prove it, she thinks anyway. The investigator discovers that Catharine was married before but can't find a divorce decree, so he says! Clara wastes no time in letting Peter know this piece of information.
Can Peter trust Catharine, why didn't she say anything to him about her previous marriage, she didn't tell him about her sisters coming, what else might she be hiding. Can Catharine believe that Peter loves her, he didn't tell her that he dated Dorothy, he didn't tell his mother that she was coming and he was going to get married, what else might he be hiding? Will this marriage survive?
An enjoyable book to read and yet again, another book that shows you should be honest in all things and trust God to lead you in your life. Maggie did a fine job of keeping me interested, so yes, I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series, Twice Promised, to come out in September for the Kindle and in October in paperback.
I won this book at southernbellewriter(dot)blogspot(dot)com, I was not required to read the book or post a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I was first captivated by Ms. Brendan's hand at penning Christian Historical Romance after being loaned the Heart of the West Trilogy by another reader who highly recommended them. I read 1 book a day, for three days in a row, and was hardly able to put the books down.
It was because of this, that I was extreamly excited to get my hands on a copy of Deeply Devoted. I devoured this novel in the same fashion, within a 24 hour period. I just could not put it down...even when my eyes told me enough was enough.
The story revolves around Ms. Catharine Olsen, and her two younger sisters, Greta and Anne, who travel to America by way of Amsterdam, after Catherine answers an add for "mail order brides". Together with her sisters, she makes the trip across the country, to the wide open spaces of Wyoming, to start her new life with her new husband Peter.
The phrase "mail order bride" might be enough to turn off any seasoned reader, as it is a story line that is frequently used in historical literature. Let me assure you, I have read my fair share of these novels as well, and this book is simply different, on some many levels, and does not heavily focus on this topic. Have no fear...
The character development within the novel was wonderfully done. To some, it might seem that Catherine was far too accepting of her situation, and "fell head over heels" with Peter too quickly. But there is only so much that can be said within the confines of a novel. Take it or leave it, sometimes less is more.
The play by play between Catherine and her husband Peter was endearing and heart felt. I was reminded of my own Grandparents, and their life long love story.
Of course, not all happy endings begin with happy "starts" and prior histories, as the reader soon finds out. As Catherine finds herself wanting to reveal her past more and more to Peter, she finds it more and more difficult to do. Life, and lifes changes come rapidly, and Catherine finds herself in a tough spot. Should she, or shouldn't she? And will Peter still love her when he knows the truth?
Of course, one cannot leave out a spectacular cast of secondary characters, who are the "bread and butter" of the story, and hold everything together. From the precocious Greta, and her secondary love story, to the younger sister Anne, who would bring a smile to the face of anyone who has ever had a younger sibling. Not to forget, the story has it's fair share of villianous characters, including Peter's meddling mom Clara, and her private investigator friend. The invidual subplots and stories keep the reader on their toes and intrested, wondering what happens next.
I will be anxiously awaiting the next in this series, which I have been told do involve Greta, and finally Anne, allowing the story to conclude full circle.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone wanting good, clean romance, without overbearing Christian undertones.
This novel would also be perfect for young adults as well as adults alike.
Many valuble life lessons in love, honestly, and devotion are within these pages, and hopefully can serve as an example to many.
Maggie Brendan takes us on a delightful, but painstaking journey of one mail-order bride's quest to find love and trust in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the late 1800s. Catharine Olsen leaves Holland with her two sisters to marry a man she has only met through letters. As Catharine arrives in Wyoming with only her mother's Blue Willow teaset, and a tragic past, she has high hopes that she can make a new start in life and find security, if not love, with the kind man with whom she has been corresponding, Peter Andersen.
Peter Andersen, a wheat farmer, is quite taken with his lovely new bride, but is quite chagrined as well, to see that she has brought along her two sisters, Greta and Anna. Catharine knows nothing of domestic skills, but does her best, in spite of being fought on every hand by Peter's mother, Clara, who had her heart set on her only child marrying the woman of HER choice. Soon troubles abound as Greta starts sneaking out to meet a young soldier she fancies herself in love with...and Clara unearths a terrible secret concerning Catherine; one that threatens to unravel every bond of love and trust that she and Peter have worked so hard to build.
Clara has been a lonely widow for years, but will she finally find love in the private investigator who she hired to find out about Catharine, or will he betray her trust, as Catharine has betrayed Peter's? Will Catharine ever find forgiveness with Peter, and what role does the lovely Blue Willow China play in the restoration of this family?
I simply loved this book! Maggie Brendan knows how to tell a story that will keep the reader saying, "I'm gonna read one more chapter...just one more chapter." Her characters are easy to fall in love with and I miss them already...even poor Clara, who is simply a victim of boredom and loneliness. A wonderful story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, that is guaranteed to leave the reader's eyes filled with tears at the satisfying conclusion! Maggie Brendan's best yet...can't wait 'til the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series!!
Mail-order bride Catharine Olsen surprises her new husband, Peter Andersen, when she brings her orphaned teen sisters with her from Holland. What a change this brings about as the well-to-do Olsens face the hard work of life on a prairie farm in Wyoming territory. Catharine must learn to cook and run a home as well as to love and trust a man she’d never met in person. Both Peter and Catharine struggle with being totally honest, allowing hurts to displace love at times.
This book actually contains three romance threads: Besides the newlyweds, Catharine’s oldest sister, Greta, falls for a soldier she meets at the depot when they arrive, and Peter’s widowed mother is taken in by a private investigator she hires to check on Catharine’s past. These developments add greater conflict to the tender story.
The strong characters and realistic unfolding of the tale make for an enjoyable read, and we can learn lessons about honesty and open communication. One thing that bothers me is the acceptance of divorce and remarriage, which I do not believe is biblical among Christians.
Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan is a delightful read about a mail order bride, Catharine Olsen, from Amsterdam, Holland. She arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming to marry the man she's been exchanging letters with, Peter Andersen. Catharine hopes he won't mind she brought along her two younger sisters, her mother's Blue Willow tea set, and a past full of heartbreak.
Struggling whether or not to share her past, Catharine also must contend with Peter's mother who seems intent on sabotaging their marriage. She lives in fear that Peter or his mother will discover her secrets before she's ready to share them. Will Peter love her when he finds out the truth?
I enjoyed reading this book with a new twist on the mail order bride era of American history.
Well, I love books about mail order brides, and this one was awesome, one of the best I’ve read! I was so touched by Peter’s acceptance of Catharine’s sisters and his attitude toward Catharine. And well, Peter was just a romantic sweetheart swooning his new wife and trying to please her in every way. And I am so glad he didn’t let his mom ruin his life. Along with the characters of Peter and Catharine, I enjoyed the sisters as well as the other characters in this story. The author truly has a way of creating characters that capture your attention early in the story.
In Deeply Devoted, Maggie Brendan creates a wonderful romantic story of love, devotion and forgiveness, creating unique and remarkable characters that are so real and believable. And what a wonderful Wyoming town to live in with its kind and friendly people willing to help out when their neighbors are in need. And the author describes the area with its dryness, wind and hardly no rain, especially for a wheat farmer in such detail the reader is drawn into the setting as much as the story. I wanted to take a trip to Wyoming while I was reading this book!
If you like historical fiction this is a must read for you. Grab a copy of this book with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and enjoy the journey of the wheat farmer and the mail order bride. You will not be disappointed! Now just waiting on the second book!
“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55
Maggie Brendan has taken a unique look at the mail order bride story by "ordering" a bride from Holland in the first book in her Blue Willow Brides series, Deeply Devoted. A story of secrets kept, burgeoning love and a rather vindictive mother in law builds the tension throughout this traditional tale. Both Catharine and Peter are well developed characters who make numerous errors of judgement when it comes to communication and trust, which I was pleased to see. Interestingly, I was a bit disconcerted by Peter's ability to understand Catherine and her sisters' perfect english - no doubt it would have been heavily accented and difficult to understand from time to time but this doesn't seem to be an issue. For those looking for a sweet romance with extra depth in that it delves into divorce at a time it was hardly considered, Deeply Devoted, might just be the ticket.
Catharine Olsen leaves Holland to become a mail order bride to a man in Wyoming. When she shows up, Peter Anderson is glad that she's there. However, Catharine just might have forgotten to tell him one thing. Oh, it's a small thing. Only that her two sisters were coming along with her. The perfect way to start a marriage! Peter may be a bit frustrated, but he recovers quickly and is glad that she's all she seemed to be in her letters. He's kind to her, patient, and truly seems to love her. Just because Peter loves her as his wife doesn't mean that all of his family is thrilled that he's taken this route in finding a wife. His mother certainly doesn't hide her feelings for Catharine and sets out to do all she can to ruin their marriage. Catharine is terrified that with enough prying by her mother-in-law, some of Catharine's deepest secrets and a past that she'd rather have concealed.
With several stories weaved throughout the main story, it makes for a wonderful book that is hard to put down. It's a book that seems to draw you in from page 1. I've never read anything by Maggie Brendan but I definitely plan to now. I can't wait until the second book comes out in this series. I'm sure it will be even better than this one!
________________ I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55
As soon I started reading Brenda’s newest novel, “Deeply Devoted”, I could hardly put it aside to get my work done. Brenda’s spirited writing has spurred me back into reading fiction. (I am such a non-fiction book addict.) I was warmed by the romance, held captive by the conflicts in the plot and was entertained with the dialogue and storyline. Thanks, Brenda, for continuing to write wholesome, captivating stories!
Within the pages of Deeply Devoted, you will find a story about people adjusting to a different way of life. You have Peter and Catharine, newlyweds, in a house with Catharine's sisters... all of them who know nothing about how to keep a house, or even cook for that matter (all except Peter that is). Peter has to put his frustration aside and learn to deal with the other people in the house besides his wife. Peter is also having to deal with his mother, who does not like the idea of him sending off to find a bride when she had the perfect girl already picked out for him! And then, you have Catharine, who is still hiding an important fact about herself from Peter.
This book has a great story line. Catherine's secret added a twist to the book. Oh, and you can't forget about the beloved china that Catherine brought along with her.... read and find out what happens when Peter brakes one! Deeply Devoted is the first in The Blue Willow Brides series. Deeply Devoted is a very enjoyable book to read. I can't wait for the next one to come out.
Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan is a sweet romance that comes with baggage. Catherine Olsen is the star of this book. She accepts the mail-order-bride proposal from Peter Anderson. What Peter doesn't know is Catherine is bringing along her two sisters and big secret.
I enjoyed this delightful easy to read book. It's part of a series called Blue Willow Brides. I'm going to go back and read those.
Maggie Brendan has done it again. This is the first book in a new series that promises to be just as engaging as the last series she wrote. It will draws readers in to the story and leaves them wanting to see more of the story unfold.
Catherine Olsen is a beautiful lady touched by tragedy and heartache living in Holland. She has struggled to hang on to her life as it is turned upside down. However, after the sudden and unexpected loss of her parents the finally tragedy shatters Catherine's heart. Left with the charge of her two sisters Anna and Greta, and longing for a new start in life Catherine answers an add for a mail-order bride. Through the correspondence with Peter Anderson Catherine falls in love with the caring and tender Peter Anderson.
Across the world in Wyoming Peter Anderson is the only son of a doting and controlling mother. Clara, Peter's mother, has his life planned. She has given him the farm that was once her and her husband and she has chosen the "perfect" bride for him. Dorothy is a Cheyenne socialite and is deemed a perfect match despite the fact that Peter has no feelings past friendship for the beautiful lady. Wishing to find someone to share love with Peter places an add for a mail-order bride and begins correspondence with Catherine Olsen. In her letters he finds a woman that truly is his answers to prayers. Not telling his mother his plans, Peter brings Catherine to Wyoming to be his bride.
Thus begins the tale that will bring the reader to the edge of their seats. Brendan has done an excellent job at making her characters real and believable. Will the things left unsaid by Peter and the secret heartache that Catherine has hidden tear the two apart. Or will their individual faith and their united love be enough to overcome these things and begin a healing process for Catherine. Is love really enough?
This story is written so well that it is an easy and quick read. I found myself in tears when the fullness of Catherine's heartbreak is revealed. I then found myself angry at those who dared to meddle in the matters of the heart. I wanted more than anything for the truth to come out before it was too late. Truly this is one story that does keep the reader guessing until the end what the ultimate outcome will be.
Excellent job Maggie Brendan! I can't wait to read the following stories in this series.
Thank you Revell for this review copy.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan will resonate with those who have trust issues. I bawled my eyes out (no news there, I know!) in places as I felt the pain of Catharine's past and her inability to fully trust in the present.
This book is set in the west during the era of mail order brides. I have always admired the strength and courage these women must have had to present themselves as brides to complete strangers. Catharine was no different.
I also admired the trust that Catharine and Peter had in God, as farmers, He was in control over whether their crops failed or made a profit for their livelihood. Farming is hard work as it is without considering the weather factor.
Maggie Brendan's first book in her Blue Willow Brides series was a very enjoyable read for relaxation. It had all the good read qualities since it made me laugh, cry and feel the pain and hurt of the characters.
Two thumbs up from me!
Please note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review, but the thoughts and opinions expressed above are entirely my own.
Peter Andersen is a simple farmer who longs for a bride of his own. Overlooking the local girls, Peter corresponds with a mail-order bride from Holland. Each letter he receives convinces him more that Catharine Olsen is the right woman for him. When she arrives, he is pleased with her beauty and sweetness. However, she failed to mention that she would be bringing her two younger sisters to live with them. Frustrated and unsure about this turn of events, Peter takes a leap of faith and marries Catharine the day after she arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Settling into life as a married man and older brother-figure is undeniably difficult, but quite satisfying. However, when Peter's mother, Clara, conducts a private investigation, Catharine's secrets are exposed. Will their new relationship survive? Can Peter and Catharine learn to trust God and each other?
Deeply Devoted is the start of Maggie Brendan's Blue Willow Brides series. Filled with a tender romance between Peter and Catharine that many readers will enjoy, Deeply Devoted also addresses deeper issues of Catharine's previous failed marriage. This drama adds tension to the plot and keeps the plot from stagnating. Personally, I thought the story moved a little too slow, but other readers may feel differently. The characters of Deeply Devoted were well-developed and Clara's internal conflict was especially intriguing.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Secrets. Lack of communication. Some of the same things that cause marriages to fail today. That’s what threatens the mail-order bride, Catherine Olsen, and her husband Peter Anderson. The couple did reveal much about themselves and their feelings during their correspondence courtship. Perhaps that is why they began their marriage with deep devotion and romance. But a meddling mother-in-law, a private detective, Catherine’s two sisters and the couple’s uncertainties pull at threads that try to unravel their love and marriage. I like Catherine and Peter. Maggie Brendan created characters readers will care about. I worried right along with them as circumstances and secrets lurk in the shadows waiting to snatch their hopes and dreams. You’ll enjoy this book. I recommend it. Note: I was provided a review copy of this book.
This spring I read a beautiful mail-order bride story by Catherine Richmond (Spring for Susannah) and I was blown away and figured it would be a long time before I read another on par with it. This fall Maggie Brendan has once again proven that mail-order bride stories can be fresh and exciting. It just goes to show that even if you think there can't possibly be anything that hasn't been written before in a romance the right person with the right kind of talent may come along and blow that thought out of the water. Ms. Brendan is definitely one of those talents.
Catharine Olsen leaves the tragedy of her past behind her as she sails to America to meet her husband Peter Andersen little does he know that Catharine brings more baggage than just her mother's Blue Willow china. Both want their relationship to work but Peter's nosey mother, Clara will go to any length to prove that Catharine has ulterior motives when it comes to marriage. Secrets kept and a drought and pestilence threat could prove to be the straw that breaks their tenuous romance in two.
From the first page I was captivated. I loved seeing a real romance develop between two people who first fell in love through letters. It seems in most mail-order bride tales the love story unfolds gradually and by the end they're married (predictable) but not so with this book. Ms. Brendan does not shy away from issues like love and intimacy. Everything is tastefully done and not offensive in any way and the story just gets better and better.
The secondary characters are equally as impressive as the main characters. Catharine's little sisters, the nearly grown Greta and the precocious Anna definitely cause their fair share of problems but they support their eldest sibling as any sister would. I'm really looking forward to reading more of Anna and Greta in this series. It will be especially interesting to see what happens between Greta and her beau (who I don't like very much). Don't even get me started on Clara Andersen, oy vey that woman most definitely fits the meddling mother-in-law mold, however she does gain your sympathy by the conclusion of the book.
As far as romance goes Deeply Devoted is one of my favorites this year. If I hadn't already promised this book to someone else it would be going on my keeper shelf. Maggie Brendan has definitely outdone herself with this book, it is by far my favorite of hers to date. If you only read a few romances this year make sure Deeply Devoted is one of them.
*Thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy*
I love Maggie's writings and this book was a page turner! You just get into the book and can't put it down! You feel like you are there living the excitement! I've read all of Maggie's book and have loved them all!