"Adrianne Wood lays the track for a steamy westward journey when a plucky heiress and a rugged railroad tycoon make sparks fly on the rails.
Emily Highfill Grant is done with the rules of Boston society. She wants adventure—to see things she’s never seen before—and that’s exactly what she gets when she sneaks onto a train bound for San Francisco and finds herself face-to-face with a handsome, bare-chested stranger . . . who is also her wealthy grandfather’s nemesis.
As stowaways go, the breathtaking woman who turns up in Lucien Delatour’s private Pullman Palace car is most intriguing. Though she refuses to reveal more than her first name, Emily creates a lot of scintillating commotion on their cross country journey. But when Lucien discovers her true identity, the real trouble begins, and he faces a choice between the trailblazing railroad he invested everything in, and the feisty lover who captured his heart."
Stowaway Bride is a book that has a lot of positive things going for it: a captivating plot, well-crafted characters, a hot romance and most of all a fun story with many funny situations that will make you either laugh or smile.
Emily Highfill Grant wants to surprise her mother who is bound for San Francisco because Emily wants to see more of America, and this is her chance. Her family owns the private Pullman Palace car attached to the train she's travelling in, but when she goes out of her hiding place in the train to surprise her mother, she isn't there. Instead, she discovers that her younger and impulsive sister Annabelle has followed her and she discovers the man who rented the Pullman Palace car in the last minute. The man is the attractive Lucien Delatour. He's a Wyoming rancher and a railway owner trying to save his railroad from saboteurs. He thinks Charles Highfill, Emily's grandfather, is behind it. Emily doesn't know any of this yet. All she knows is that she has to hide their names so that they can travel cross-country without Lucien alerting their parents. Lucien doesn't want the added responsibility of taking care of them. However, as the journey progresses Emily helps Lucien with his work and he eventually changes his mind. They find themselves more and more attracted to each other, too. Challenges are ahead of them, though, and when Emily's real identity is revealed their love is tested...
Throughout the train ride in the early part of the book, the author excelled in writing a wonderfully done falling-in-love dance between the two - when Emily and Lucien kiss for the first time you feel the moment and the emotions these two people are feeling, completely. Emily is a feisty and intelligent heroine, and Lucien is a passionate and risk-taking hero. They are both lovable and funny characters who are part of the reason why this book is such a page-turner. My only critic is that there's a moment in the story during a sexual encounter with Lucien where I felt her knowledge and reaction to it was a bit unrealistic. One could argue that Emily also adapts to things a bit too quickly, sometimes, but beyond that I think the historical accuracy was done well.
One of the things I loved with this book was that there was plenty of interesting plot and suspense to go along with the romance. The pacing, too, was just right. It felt like a quick read because of that. Yet, you go through so much with these characters as the story is filled with surprises and turns. I think most romance readers would enjoy this book - while there's a lovely balance between the romance and the historical elements, I still felt that a none-historical reader would enjoy this rollicking read. Said differently, it's an accessible read. Furthermore, even though this is book two in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
If you want a feel good book with plenty of humor and a captivating and hot romance, you really can't go wrong with this book. To me, this was such a great adventure of a read that I enjoyed fully.
Reviewed for Romantic Historical Reviews.