Leisure, Mar 2004, 384 pp.
Under suspicion of embezzlement Abigail Pierce, accompanied by her sister Moriah, flee St. Louis to run their late father's store at Fort Lookout, Colorado. The commander of the army post, Captain Bryce McGregor tries, but fails to persuade the siblings to go home as they do not belong in the rugged unsafe Rocky Mountains even inside the fort. Bryce does convince the women to stay with him until the store can be renovated and made hospitable. His young daughter Pamela serves as a perfect chaperone so Abby and Moriah accept the kind offer.
Pamela adopts Abby as a mother figure and the former St. Louis resident cannot stop her heart from reaching out to the young child. Inadvertently Pamela plays matchmaker as Abby and Bryce fall in love. However, Abigail willingly sacrifices her happiness because she knows the scandal she fled would destroy the man she cherishes as a rising officer cannot afford a dishonored (even if she is innocent) spouse.
There are few if any authors that can provide such well drawn characters including secondary players with a colorfully vivid nineteenth century Americana panorama inside an exciting historical romance than Leigh greenwood can. His latest tale INDEPENDENT BRIDE matches up two honorable individuals in love and encouraged by her sister and his daughter and even to a degree his men, but those same principles stand in their way of happiness. Mr. Greenwood shows that principles are important even if it costs achievement of a personal goal all that within a fabulous post Civil War romance with a deep message.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner