Review: Bluebonnet Bride by Colleen Coble

Series: Butterfly Palace #1.5

bluebonnet bride -colleen cobleAt the turn of the 20th century, Elli Korpela boards The Baltic with hundreds of eager women, all seeking new beginnings and brighter futures in America . . . as mail order brides.

Escaping a forced engagement, Elli seeks refuge in a faraway marriage, desperately needing her new life with a Texan named Nathan White to be safer than the one she left behind in Finland. And as she glimpses her future husband and his darling niece at the train station, she instantly knows her risk will prove the best decision she’s ever made.

Until he became the guardian of four-year-old Hannah, Nathan White never took an interest in marriage, arranging a mail order wife to simply love and care for his orphaned niece. That is, he never took an interest until he laid eyes on the beautiful Elli Korpela.

After a fairytale ceremony in the gardens of the grandest estate Elli’s ever seen, a place called Butterfly Palace, their peaceful beginning takes a disquieting turn as an intruder brutally attacks Elli in the middle of the night. Nathan intervenes, but the devil escapes unidentified, leaving Elli to face two chilling possibilities: either the attack was arranged by strike workers in Nathan’s employ or her shadowy past followed her into the present – and across the sea.

As the danger mounts, Elli and Nathan must face their enemy together, fighting to stay alive – and fighting to stay man and wife. 


2.5 Drink Me Potions

After gobbling up the previous novel, Butterfly Palace, I was desperate for more of these characters and in that time period. So frankly, I went out in a crazed search for the next book.

Bluebonnet Bride was mediocre at best. I had wanted to like this novella, but it was so short and the romance between Nathan and Elli was so fast and quick. I knew that it was gonna be fast since this was an extremely short story but I had wanted more.

Coble took on too much by trying to make it into a little mystery as well surrounding Elli’s past that may have come across the seas with her. It just didn’t bode well when the “attacks” on Elli happened so shortly after she just got settled in with Nathan and his little girl.

I loved the glimpses I got to see of the characters from Butterfly Palace but it wasn’t completely worth it. This book may have focused on a secondary character from that novel, Nathan White, but really, I feel Coble could’ve made it into a full novel quite easily if she fleshed out the “mystery” more.

Or you know, write one based on another of my favourite characters from that book. *crosses fingers tightly*

There’s not much more to say considering the story itself had little substance. Nathan and Elli made for a cute enough couple, but I didn’t have enough time to care for either of them deeply in that way. It was just another romp through a familiar setting that I wasn’t quite willing to say goodbye to yet.

Overall Recommendation:
After the glorious finish to its predecessor, Bluebonnet Bride lacked in so many ways, most probably due to its very short length. Coble could’ve extended the mystery and romance in this novella into a very full length novel and I may be able to push up my rating a little bit. But as it stands with how short it was, the mystery and its resolution felt harried due to its shortness, and the romance built too quickly for me to feel anything beyond a small contentment that all is well with this time period I’ve come to love.

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