Today’s book, Sophia by Cynthia Woolf, is another Mail Order Bride story. While it is technically the 4th book in the Brides of San Francisco series, these books can easily be read in any order or as stand alone novels. Some of the characters appear in multiple books in the series, yet there is no need for them to be read in any particular order. There are a few mildly descriptive sexual encounters, so this may not be the best story for younger readers, but they are not as graphically detailed as some of other books I have reviewed lately and are very appropriate to the story without being overwhelming or feeling unnecessary.
This story starts out with Sophia seeing her fiance (Martin) in a romantic embrace with her fraternal twin sister Angelina. He had recently convinced Sophia to have sex with him in advance of the wedding, yet now she learns that he intends to marry her sister instead. Sophia is dark haired and very curvy whereas Angelina is blonde, blue-eyed, and extremely slim with almost no curves. Their parents have always favored Angelina and given her everything she wanted. It seems that whatever Sophia has, Angelina has always felt a need to take from her. Now she has stolen Martin from Sophia and will be marrying him.
Unwilling to remain where everything reminds her of her foolishness in giving herself before marriage to the man who is now marrying her sister, Sophia visits the offices of a mail order bride agency. There she is immediately matched with a man in San Francisco who has 4 children and who recently lost his wife. Robert had been a ship’s captain, and while he was away his wife had been cheating on him with other men and was about to leave him when she died. He is not willing to give his heart again, which is just fine with Sophia as she has also had hers broken by someone professing love and then proving himself to be false.
When they meet, there is an instant attraction between them. Sophia confesses that her sister and former fiance considered her fat, but Robert lets her know that he does not feel the same. He likes her feminine curves and in no way considers her full figure as anything less than beautiful. The next day he takes her to meet his children and they are married that afternoon. Sophia adores his children, and unlike his previous wife, spends a great deal of time with them. Then she receives a letter from her sister.
It seems that Martin has died and as Angelina has no desire to wear mourning black for the next year, she is coming to stay with Sophia and her new husband. While Robert goes out of his way to reassure Sophia that even though she doesn’t have his love, she is not about to lose him to her sister. They are married, and unlike his deceased wife, he will not betray his marriage vows. As expected, once Angelina arrives, she begins making Sophia feel inferior and sets her mind to stealing her husband.
This story is well written, well edited, and entertaining. While it does come to the usual expected ending, there are some interesting twists along the way. If you enjoy mail order bride stories, this is a good one to read. I know I enjoyed it.