At First Sight: Shay Brandenberger has her own share of problems - like struggling to keep her family's ranch afloat and raising her 12 year old daughter on practically no money - and she doesn't need the worst mistake of her past coming back to haunt her.
But that's exactly what happens when rodeo star, Travis McCoy comes back to their hometown, Moose Creek, Montana, to take care of his parents' ranch.
Back when they were 18, Shay and Travis had eloped, but then Travis left her standing at the courthouse steps and ran off to Texas. It took Shay years to live down the humiliation, and she doesn't want to stir the collective memory, particularly now that's she's divorced and her ex died recently.
But fate isn't on her side when she's asked to play the part of The Bride in the town's Founder's Day reenactment, and Travis is chosen to play the part of The Groom. And when their long-lost marriage licence gets mixed into the whole thing? Well, Shay and Travis end up accidentally married.
Shay is angry, but Travis sees it as his one and only chance to make things right between him and Shay. He has always known leaving her like that was a mistake and, for a long time, he thought he had lost her forever. So now that he has Shay within his reach again, he's not letting go. So he comes up with a proposition: If Shay gives him a chance and stays married to him for 5 months, he'll help her run the ranch and keep things afloat.
Second Glance: I don't know what drew me to The Accidental Bride but I ended enjoying it a lot. I liked Shay and Travis and how they had to work through their issues together. It made sense to me that Shay was resentful and mistrustful because he had hurt her and betrayed her trust before - I did feel she let it go a little too long, but over all, it made sense.
Travis learned the hard way that what he had lost wasn't coming back just because he wished it, but he was ready to be patient and work at it. He was, over all, a good guy who had moment of cowardice that made him lose the person he loved the most.
I also liked Shay's daughter Olivia, she sometimes sounded a little young, but over all was a hard-working girl and loved her mom. And the town's people were very nice, I liked Shay's best friend and her husband and child, and Miss Lucy, an elderly woman who likes to play cupid.
Now, I did feel like the whole Christian aspect of the book became a little heavy-handed in the last quarter of the book. And that Shay sometimes just complicated things for herself with her reluctance to talk to Travis and get things out in the open. And Travis sort of did the same too, and was reluctant to talk about some things with Shay.
Also, even though Travis warns Shay about throwing money to solve Olivia's problems, he kind of is the king of throwing money to solve Shay's problems and win her back.
Bottom Line: All in all, The Accidental Bride was a very fun read. It's the second book in the Big Sky Romance series but it can be read on it's own without trouble.
“I’d like to run that mill awhile.”
Shay tilted her head. “You’re practically a newlywed. I’m sure your mill’s just fine.” - Shay and Abigail