About the Book
Book: The Kitchen Marriage
Author: Gina Welborn & Beccan Whitham
Publisher: Kensington Publishers
Genre: Inspirational romance/Historical America set in the old west
Release Date: September 25, 2018
A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .
When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . .
Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .
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About the Author
GINA WELBORN is the bestselling author of sixteen inspirational romances. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers, and serves on the ACFW Foundation Board. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five children, several rabbits and guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn’t realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Visit her online at GinaWelborn.com.
BECCA WHITHAM (WIT-um) Multi-published author, paper crafter, and Chai tea lover, Becca and her twelve-foot-long craft cabinet follow her husband of more than thirty years to wherever the army currently needs a chaplain. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories of faith that touch the heart. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a Genesis Contest finalist. Connect with her online at BeccaWhitham.com.
Guest post from Gina & Becca
What’s better than fulfilling a dream? Why…taking the journey with a friend, of course. And we have the army to thank for it. Gina, whose father spent most of his army career at Fort Sill, had just moved back to Lawton, Oklahoma when Becca’s husband received orders to Sill. We were both looking for friendship and found a kindred spirit.
When we first conceived the Montana Brides series over Frappuccinos (Gina) and Chai Tea Lattes (Becca) at our local Starbucks, we set out to make our make our mail-order bride stories different.
The first thing we decided on was setting our series in Helena, Montana because, in 1888, the city boasted the most millionaires per capita in the United States. We liked the idea of a former mining town grown into a cultured city and that it wasn’t the usual isolated ranch setting for a Western.
We also wanted to create stories of mail-order bride romances gone wrong. In fact, our original series title was Mail (Dis) Order Brides. We brainstormed all the ways a mail-order bride story could go sideways and settled on our top three: a widow before a wife; two brothers, one bride; and a deceitful—though well-meaning—matchmaker. The Kitchen Marriage is the second book in this series and puts our heroine, Zoe de Fleur, between twin brothers, Isaak and Jakob Gunderson. Like our first bride, Emilia Stanek (The Promise Bride), Zoe shows up in town knowing no one. Does that sound familiar? As a former military kid and current military wife, we are very familiar with needing to start over, forge new friendships, and make strangers into family.
Thank you for taking a journey into the past with us. We pray you find our stories filled with hope, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham
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To celebrate her their tour, Gina and Becca are giving away a copy of The Kitchen Marriage to ten lucky winners!!
Be sure to comment of the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d772/the-kitchen-marriage-celebration-tour-giveaway
Zoe de Fleur, a kitchen cook, finds herself without a job when a male chef takes issue with her and forces her employer to fire Zoe. Without any recourse, her young friend Nico convinces Zoe to go west to become a chef at a hotel. Because Zoe is French and cannot read English well, she embarks on a journey laced with deception. Rather than sending her to become a chef, her actual destination involves matrimony. Also, Nico fails to mention that he plans on coming west as well. Living in today’s time, I felt incredible sympathy for Zoe being forced from her job as well as her home only because a man decided she needs to go.
Isaak and Jakob Gunderson are twin brothers who are nothing alike. Both are strong-minded and determined. Unbeknownst to Isaak, Jakob sends for a mailorder bride, namely Zoe de Fleur. Isaak’s immediate dislike for Zoe is understandable, but not appreciated by his brother or Zoe. Of the three characters, I have to say I liked Zoe the best. She was down-to-earth, charming and incredibly giving.
From the moment Jakob comes into the story along with Isaak, I felt that Jakob was the wrong man for Zoe. The story seemed to slow down at parts while capturing my interest and attention at other parts. I found Jakob to be somewhat petulant, irresponsible, and at times annoying. At the same time, I found Isaak to be condescending and rude to Zoe. Once it became clear Isaak and Zoe were meant to be together, I could not wait for them to realize that fact.
One of my absolute favorite things in this story is reading about Zoe cooking and her use of herbs and other items in her cooking. I also enjoyed reading about Zoe’s relationship with her father before he died. The attention to detail in these sections captured my attention and my heart.
By the end of the story, I had fallen in love with the idea of Zoe, Isaak, and Nico becoming a family. But I found myself distracted by the extra characters in the background plotting, scheming and otherwise attempting to cause problems without having any real details about what was actually going on. Having not read the first book in this series, I have to wonder if I would have benefited from reading it first. This book is definitely not a stand-alone book, I feel anyone reading it needs to read any and all other books in the series to truly grasp what is going on with the overall story.
I do recommend reading this book, but I recommend reading it in context. Otherwise, you may find yourself as frustrated as I did about not knowing the whole story. Still, I have to say the authors did an excellent job capturing the mood of the time and the potential difficulties and traumas that could result from choosing to order or to become a mailorder bride. So check this book out for yourself and let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.