Mail Order Switch

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A young woman running from her guardian agrees to swap places with a frightened mail-order bride.

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Description

Liz will do anything to get away from her evil guardian, and she was prepared to disguise herself as a boy and look for work as a ranch hand. When Caroline, a stranger on the train next to her, sees through her “boy” disguise, and begs her to take her place as a mail-order bride, Liz doesn’t hesitate long before saying yes. It’s got to be easier than working on a ranch, and as a married woman with a new name, she’ll be out of her guardian’s clutches forever.

Wade Malone has been looking forward to his new bride for months, but when “Caroline” finally arrives, things don’t exactly add up. For one, “Caroline” was supposed to be twenty-five years old; the woman who came off the train doesn’t look a day above sixteen. He has a strong aversion to liars, particularly in a wife. But he’s also a man who keeps his promises and whoever the woman is at his side, he’s made a commitment.

That doesn’t mean he’s not going to handle his new bride very firmly indeed. Then, against all odds, Liz starts to fall for the no-nonsense rancher and his family. How will she ever keep him from finding out the complete truth about the switch?
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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

“Your hair is coming down.”

Liz dipped her head low against the seat in front of her and tried to stuff the long golden strand of hair back up under the ragged cowboy hat. She briefly glanced at the dark-haired woman next to her and hoped no one else had noticed the slip. She looked back out the window at the sun-scorched prairie grass rushing by the train. How in the world was she going to pull this off?

“There is no way you are going to fool anyone dressed like that,” the lady’s soft voice answered her thoughts.

“What?” Liz snapped as she turned to her seatmate again, silently taking in the troubled brown eyes and the worry lines above her thin brows. The lady wasn’t harsh, but she looked worried?worried about Liz? No, it couldn’t be that.

“I don’t know why you are dressed like a man, but there is no way you are going to pass it off. Even if your long silky hair didn’t keep falling down your angel face, those pink, heart-shaped lips and sooty lashes will give you away. Not to mention those curves. Those britches aren’t hiding anything.”

Liz dropped her face in her hands willing herself not to cry. The old hat that was too big anyway tipped forward letting the rebellious strand of hair fall loose at the back of her head once more. What was she going to do? She had nowhere to go. When this train got to Denver, she had to get off. That was all the money she’d had for a ticket. She had hoped as a man she would be able to get a job on a ranch. Granted she didn’t have experience, but she could learn couldn’t she?

“You want to talk about it?” The woman’s voice was kind.

Liz turned back to her, weighing the question. Liz had been sitting next to the woman for two days, ever since Liz had boarded the train in Chicago. The woman had been by the window then, but had let Liz sit there the next day.

“It’s just not safe to travel alone?” Liz just wouldn’t tell her the whole truth. She couldn’t tell anyone that she might have killed a man, even if it was self-defense.

“I’m Caroline.” The lady held out her hand and smiled, but the smile seemed forced. ?

“Elizab-” Oh no! She shouldn’t have used her real name. What if there were people already looking for her?

“It’s okay, honest. Whatever you are running from? I’m not going to tell anyone. You look like you need a friend and I could surely use one right now.” Her hand came to rest on Liz’s arm and her large brown eyes softened. She was maybe in her mid-twenties, if Liz had to guess, not too much older than she was.

“Thank you.” She brought her hand up to rub the aching pressure from her forehead. “I had to get away. The day I turned eighteen my uncle, my guardian, tried to force himself on me.”

“Oh no, that is dreadful. Where are you going to go? I mean what will you do?”

“I don’t know? I thought I could get work on a ranch?if I could act like a man. My uncle wa- is my only family. My parents passed away nigh on a year ago.”

“I’m sorry, but I think even if you cut your hair you still wouldn’t pass, even for a boy. You’re just too pretty.”

“Shh?”

“I’m sorry.” Caroline bit her lower lip and tried again. “Have you ever thought about being a mail-order-bride?”

“What? What is that?”

“Exactly what it sounds like.” She reached into her valise and pulled out a newspaper. “Here, read the one I’ve circled.”

Widower- looking for a woman to care for two small children.

Must know how to cook and clean. Marriage in name only. Apply in writing.

The ad was listed under a column for mail-order-brides, and there were probably ten more ads. She could do that! Well, maybe not that one; she didn’t know how to cook, or clean, or even care for children.

“That is what I’m doing. I’m on my way to Colfax to meet my man.” The dark-haired woman pursed her lips and the previous look of discomfort returned to present itself in the lines above her brow and the rigid way she held her shoulders.

“You must be so nervous! How do you know he isn’t a monster? Or very old and ugly?” Liz shuddered again reminded of the many times her father’s brother had let his hands wander. Uncle Rupert’s advances had become more and more disgusting as the time had gone on, the dirty rotten lecher.

“Well, you can’t be sure, but we have written letters to one another. I keep telling myself that is enough. But?”

“But- what?”

“But, I don’t want to do this now.” Caroline bit through her lower lip. It was no wonder; she had been worrying it with her teeth for quite a while. Liz watched as a spot of blood appeared, just before her tongue darted out to clear it away and then she sucked it in under her top lip.

“Well, what can you do then?”

“I have to go?he paid for my ticket. I can’t let him down.” She sat back with a heavy sigh.

“I wish I could help you.”

“It will be all right. I hope so, anyway.” Caroline put the newspaper back inside her bag and pulled out a couple envelopes.

As she started to read one of the letters Liz turned to watch the scenery glide by her window again. Was it too late? Could she possibly find one of those mail-order things? Maybe at her next stop she could find a newspaper. She only had a day and her train ride would run out. She would be in Denver. What was the next stop?

“Do you want to read his letters?” Caroline’s voice broke through her thoughts.

“Are you sure?” Liz sat back and took the letter held out to her when Caroline nodded.

Dear Caroline,

Thank you for your response. It gives me peace that you are also a widow, and your age is good too. Since my wife, Hannah, died only three months ago, you will understand my feelings in wanting this to remain a marriage in name only.

I have two children, Molly is four and Jonah is eight months. I need someone who can care for them and take up the role of a wife around the ranch. If it were not for my children I would not find this necessary. I hope you understand my position.

I am a hard-working man and very busy most of the time. I am honest and fair; my hands like to work for me. ?I think that most folks would give me a good reference. I don’t think I am hard to look at, although I’m hesitant to boast and say I’m a good-looking fellow. I am thirty-five years old. I know some people fear the unknown in this type of situation, however, since this is not going to be a love match, it should hardly matter.

If you can tell me about yourself, that would be helpful. Is there anything important that I should know before you arrive? Do you like children?

Thank you again for your willingness to give of yourself.

Wade Malone

“Well, he sounds like a nice enough man,” Liz said and looked to Caroline, trying to reassure her.

“Yes, but I’m not sure I’m ready for this. I mean I loved my Jacob? It will be hard to be married to another. I should be comforted by the fact Wade says it will be in name only, but somewhere deep inside I want to have a husband who loves me, again.” Her warm brown eyes were swimming in a pool of tears she brushed away just before they spilled over. “I was drawn to the children, because Jake and I, we never? had our own.”

“Well, you can focus on them then.” Liz smiled softly, trying to cheer her new friend. “They will love you immediately.”

“I don’t think I can do it. I don’t know how I even got myself on this train. I never do anything spontaneous. I just want to go home. I should have listened to my mother.”

“Maybe I can go with you and help!” Liz gave Caroline an exaggerated wink and laughed. Even if delivered in jest she felt lighter than she had in a long time.

“Maybe you could go for me.”

“Oh sure.” Liz chuckled to herself as she watched a river come into view and ramble on alongside the train.

“No, really! You could pretend to be me and marry Wade. It would fix both of our problems.” Caroline’s voice rose in pitch. “He would never know the difference. I didn’t send a likeness. All he knows is my age and well, hmmm?” Caroline reached for Liz’s hat as the younger woman turned back toward her.

“No?” Liz swatted at Caroline’s hands. “?and quiet down! Everyone on the train is going to hear you. You told him you have dark brown hair and brown eyes and you are what mid-twenties? I’d never pass.”

“You have brown eyes, too! And I’m twenty-four, you can pass for that.” She was chewing on her poor lower lip again.

“No, I can’t pass for twenty-four. I barely look my own eighteen.”

“But you thought you could pass for a man?”

“That was different. I don’t have brown hair either.” Liz crossed her arms and sat back with a sigh. She sure wished that she could switch places with Caroline, but she knew it was impossible.

“Men think everyone’s hair is brown, trust me. I was married before. Elizabeth, please! You are like an answer to my prayers. I can’t go through with this, and you need a place to go. Just think about it.”

Liz didn’t respond, couldn’t respond. She needed to think? she had to think of a way to let this truly deranged woman down gently.

She couldn’t possibly pull off such an act. She was too young, she didn’t look the same, she wasn’t a widow, and she couldn’t cook or clean. The poor man needed a wife who would be able to help him. Not her, she couldn’t help with anything?and she was a murd?

An announcement interrupted her thoughts. “Next stop, Hastings. We will be stopped for an hour. If you leave the train station please return to the train promptly as the train will not wait for you. I repeat: next stop Hastings.”

?Liz peered out the window, looking for some sign of the city mentioned. She saw rolling hills with tall brown grasses and towering pines, rocky hills and ledges, but no town in sight.

“I am not going on.” Caroline’s voice cut through her thoughts. “I’m buying a ticket and going home.”

Liz turned around fast to meet her new friend’s eyes. “Are you sure you want to do that? Maybe you should give yourself some more time.”

“No, I shouldn’t have come. I’ve wasted so much time.” Caroline looked weary; her shoulders had lost their stiff height. She’d stopped biting her lip. She even looked at peace with her decision.

They had just met but Liz was going to miss her. She had somehow felt safer having the woman next to her for the past two days, and now she felt as though they were friends. If only she could talk Caroline into going to the rancher and just taking her along. Maybe she could pretend to be her sister? they could come up with a tale that she had to bring her at the last minute.

“I will leave my ticket and letters with you in case you change your mind and want to go on to marry Wade.”

“No, Caroline. Won’t you change your mind? If you want to go, I’ll go with you.”

“No, I’m going home, but I will give you a dress and all the correspondence. You can marry Wade and tell him the truth later. It’s perfect. You need a place to go.”

“We have arrived at Hastings,” the conductor shouted. “If this is your destination please pick up your luggage. If you are travelling farther please return to the train on time. Again this is Hastings; our next stop is Fort Morgan, Colorado, in four hours and Denver in the morning.”

“Please, don’t leave yet.”

“Come with me. We’ll talk and you can change into one of my dresses.” Caroline reached for Liz’s hand, she grabbed her valise, and with a sway of her skirts between the seats, she dragged Liz toward the door.

It was a very different Caroline who boarded the train headed to Colfax, forty-five minutes later. Liz was as nervous as a lady of the night in a church, when the conductor passed by her seat before the train started moving again. She didn’t know why she was so jumpy, but she worried that everyone who looked at her would know she was trying to be somebody she wasn’t. She hadn’t been that anxious dressed as a man.

She laid her head against the glass. The grass was thinner here, and it seemed to slowly disappear as the train barreled on. The hills were getting steeper, and the ledges rockier. Was it a sign of the troubles that lay ahead for her?

Colfax was almost two more whole days on the train farther than Denver. At least Caroline had meals paid for in the dining car. Liz had been munching on apples and stale bread. In Chicago, she put the things she wanted from shops on her families’ accounts, so she had little need for coin. And she’d not had time or opportunity to get more money before she’d run. She’d been too afraid. So after buying her ticket and some food, she had very little left of the bit she’d taken from Rupert’s study. She saved the rest for when she arrived in Denver.

Now, if she could work this out, at least she wouldn’t have to worry about food, or where she would go. She reached in her bag to read the other two letters from Wade. She should try to figure out as much as she could about the man she was signing her life over to.

Dear Caroline,

I appreciate your openness about your husband; again that makes you the perfect candidate in my eyes. We have a lot in common, it seems. I hope that you won’t miss your mother too much; we don’t have many women folk nearby, nor many other neighbors for that matter. Town is half-a-day’s ride from our ranch. It is a rather lonely existence. I hope that you will be fine with that.

I am not worried about you knowing how to care for the children; to be honest, little Molly can almost take care of herself and the baby. I know that is not right, what I mean is she is a smart little girl and thinks she is Jonah’s mother. She will help you figure everything out. I know that they need a mama and I will be thankful to have this business settled.

Is there anything else you think you need to know about me? If not, then I will send money for your train fare after I hear from you again.

Thank you,

Wade Malone

Well, it was good that he didn’t have neighbors because then it would be harder for anyone to track her down if they came looking. And it was a positive note that it didn’t require much skill to care for the children. Now, if only she could figure out how to overcome the rest of the shortcomings.

Liz folded the letter neatly, slid it back inside the envelope, and got the last one out. She didn’t start reading it right away; this time she took a minute to think about him. His handwriting was neat, his spellings accurate. Although he couldn’t be accused of being unnecessarily wordy, he had written three letters to Caroline to help make this mail-order marriage successful. And although he made it sound more like a business proposition, he must have been very much in love with his first wife. That had to say something about the man. And he was willing to remarry simply for his children to have a mama. He had to be a good man. She should feel better about the situation, but it made her feel worse for trying to dupe him. She sighed as she focused on the smudged print in the last letter. Unfortunately, it was hardly informative.

Dear Caroline,

Here is the money for your ticket. Please wire me when you leave, so that I can plan to be there for you when you arrive. As I said before, the ranch is a half-day’s ride from town. Have a safe trip. We anxiously await your arrival.

Wade

Liz put the letters away with a quiet resolve; she could do this. It was easier to pretend to be Caroline the widow than to be a man, right? She would just have to let this poor fellow down by telling him at some point, probably pretty soon, after her arrival that she was very proficient at burning water. Or that she had made her mother cry most every day that she had spent in the kitchen with her and Mrs. Humphrey as they tried to teach Liz the art of cooking.

Liz understood much of what it took to run a large household, from managing the housekeeping staff to menu and party planning. She could sew and embroider; her needlework was most impressive. And music — she could entertain their party guests delightfully with her gift of singing and the pianoforte. But actually cooking?she’d failed miserably, to the point where she’d been banned from the kitchen. And now, in the few words he chose to include in the advertisement, those are what he included as most important. How was she to let him down? Sooner rather than later, just get it out of the way? And if she was already married to him what could he possibly do to her?

She resolved to be the world’s best Mama, and maybe she could find some other ways to make up for her shortcomings. She could learn to cook or clean, if she could find someone to teach her, and she wasn’t afraid of hard work.

But, it was all too soon that the conductor was calling out the stop for Colfax. Hadn’t he just called out the stop for Denver, the one she was supposed to get off at? Oh, why had she let Caroline talk her into this? She peered out the train window looking for Wade. She didn’t know what he looked like but she should be able to tell if there was a single man standing by the station with an “I’m waiting for my new wife” look on his face.

“Last call for Colfax. We’re not staying in the station. If you are getting off in Colfax you must exit. Mam, aren’t you getting off here?” The tall man in a dark blue uniform came over to her.

“Oh, yes, I do apologize. All this time and I must have dozed off.” Liz reached for the satchel Caroline had given her and slowly squeezed through the aisle to the door. As she stepped down to the boarding dock, she didn’t look around. She assumed Wade would find her, and she couldn’t have handled making eye contact just then anyway. She had to get herself together.

Liz made her way to the bench in front of the station and sat down to wait. Her hair was a mess, strands blowing free in the breeze. Caroline had helped her plait it in Hastings when she changed into one of her dresses, but some of it had come loose.

“Excuse me, Caroline? Caroline Lowe?”

Elizabeth looked up to meet the confused blue-eyed gaze of a dark-haired cowboy. “Um.” She cleared her throat. “Yes. Mr. Malone? I’m sorry, I must look a wretch.”

“No, it’s just?I pictured you different. I? uh looked for your trunk, but I couldn’t find it.”

“I lost it on the stage coach during the first stretch, well not me, the stage hands did, they’re supposed to send it on? if they find it” Amazing how lying just came natural to her.

“Oh, well I thought you might want to freshen up and have some lunch before we go to the preacher. Then we will start for the ranch. It’s a long ride.”

“I have another dress in my bag, thankfully.”

“Well then, we will be on our way.” He took her arm and led her down the wooden sidewalk.

Liz was afraid he would feel her heart banging against her chest. She could feel it in her ears and in her neck.

“You look fourteen, not twenty-four.” He glanced sideways at her as he walked beside her.

“I hear that all the time. I knew I should have sent a likeness.” She tried to laugh but it sounded fake even to her own ears, which were beginning to feel decidedly warm. At least he could have said she looked eighteen. “Well you said you weren’t much to look at!” she blurted and then heat crept up her cheeks as she realized what she had just implied.

That was just what he didn’t want, some simpering female falling in love with him. She could not think of him like that just because he was so well put together. Perhaps she should tell him the truth about her cooking and such sooner. It would be easier not to like him when he was mad at her.

“Is that what I said?” He let go of her arm to open the door of the Pioneer Hotel and took his hat off. She ignored the question and stepped inside.

“Well, hello. Miss Caroline, I presume?” A short and round elderly gentleman with ruddy cheeks stood at the desk and beckoned her to come forward. “I have a room ready for you to freshen yourself.”

“This is Mr. Mendenhall, Caroline.” Wade took her arm again and led her up the staircase behind the stocky gentleman.

“I’m sure you are fatigued and will need more than this after your trip. But Wade says you will be leaving right after the ceremony. In a town the size of Colfax, this is exciting. I mean, it’s the first time anything like this has ever happened in Colfax. Well, here you are anyway, fresh water in the pitcher and linens, too, and if you need anything else just ring the bell and I will send a maid right up.”

Mr. Mendenhall backed away with a nod and left Wade at her door. “How long do you think you’ll need? Will a half hour be long enough?” He was still holding his hat in his left hand, his right hand reached up to push his sandy shoulder-length hair back out of his face.

There was never going to be enough time. How was she supposed to go down there with him, stand before a preacher somewhere and lie? Would she have to put her hand on a Bible? Would God strike her dead?

“Do you need to lie down for an hour or something? If you need to we can push it. I know it has been a long trip. I just hate being away from the ranch any longer than necessary.”

And then he was nice to her, too. How could she lie to this man? "No, I ?uh, I will be fine; I slept on the train. Just give me that half hour.” She backed into the room and closed the door. She needed to hurry and marry the man before she blew it and he found out the truth. Then it would be too late.

Liz was grateful that Caroline had given her some clothing, but she hadn’t been able to provide her a corset or shoes. The boots she had on under her dress were the cowboy boots she had worn with her man clothes. Thankfully they didn’t show under the skirt of her dress. Caroline was also a little bit bigger than Liz so her dress fit just a tad loose and long. When she pulled the mauve dress from her bag, however, she decided not to change after all. The dress was just too wrinkled from being rolled up and stuffed in the satchel.

So, after she washed her face and hands and said a quick prayer, she headed downstairs to find Wade. The sooner they got this over with, the sooner she could relax. She couldn’t focus on the lunch placed before her in the hotel dining room, nor the conversation Wade was trying to make. It seemed she barely remembered how she came to be in the little church building with the preacher only a few minutes later.

“Oh,” Liz gasped and tried to cover the paper when Wade looked over at her. “I- uh- just started to sign my maiden name.” She giggled nervously. She had begun to write Elizabeth instead Caroline and didn’t know what to do.

“That is what you are supposed to do,” the preacher supplied.

“Oh, good.” She hesitated for a moment and then finished. Maybe he wouldn’t look at it. He had already signed his name. “You may kiss your bride, Wade.” The preacher winked at him.

Liz stopped breathing. Would he do it? She looked at Wade as he dipped close and his lips came down to press against hers in a brief nothingness peck.

He reached for the paper. “Let’s go.”

“Wait, I still have to sign it.” The preacher chuckled.

Liz was going to die on the spot. She was never going to make it through this day. Would he notice it? She should never have come here.

“Just a minute, this is a mistake?Oh no? What is today’s date? I put the wrong date. You are going to have to initial this change, Wade, because today is the nineteenth of June, not the eighteenth? Yes eighteen-ninety-six. Can you believe it? I never thought I would live to see the turn of the century. Seventy-six years old.” The wiry old man shook his head. “Oh yes, I still have to sign that. Is there a problem, Wade?”

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4.68 out of 5 stars

78 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Kristin Elyon

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kristin Elyon

    This is the first story by Patty that I have read, and I have to say that I’m not disappointed in her writing ability. Her character development was done so well that she thought of things that I, as a reader, wouldn’t have thought of. She went into describing Liz’s character and the trials that she faced because of… well I don\\\’t want to ruin the story… but the author has so much detail that you felt like you were there with her.

    Wade’s character was also well written. He showed large amounts of compassion and understanding when it came to what Liz had been through. He was also very patient in teaching her of different things, especially about discipline and what happen to bad girls. 😉 By adding all of those details, you couldn’t help but want to find your own Wade.

    To read or not to read, may be a question many of you may ask yourself. And let me tell you, you’d be crazy not to read if you enjoy romance novels with some naughty fun.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to read more from Patty.

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  2. Margaret

    Margaret (verified owner)

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  3. sarah

    Rated 5 out of 5

    sarah (verified owner)

    Love, love, loved this story. This was the first book I have read by Patty Devlin and I was not disappointed. Liz and Wade were both great characters and could relate to both. I loved the development of their relationship and the chemistry between them. I would definitely recommend this book.

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  4. Etta Stark

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Etta Stark

    This is a lovely little story with a great premise. Liz has run away from her abusive uncle and is persuaded to adopt the identity of a stranger who she meets on a train. The stranger, Caroline, has accepted a proposal as a mail order bride but now has cold feet. Liz assumes Caroline??s identity and goes on to meet Wade Malone, the man she is to wed.
    Wade is a firm believer in discipline and there are many opportunities for him to take Liz in hand ??? usually for lying as Liz invariably gets caught out in her deception. Wade??s original intention in securing a bride was to provide a mother for his two children, following his first wife??s death. He intends the marriage to be one in name only. I don??t think it is giving too much away to say that Wade and Liz begin to develop feelings towards one another as Liz responds to Wade??s discipline and protection.
    A sweet story with two very likable protagonists.

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  5. Etta Stark

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Etta Stark

    This is a lovely little story with a great premise. Liz has run away from her abusive uncle and is persuaded to adopt the identity of a stranger who she meets on a train. The stranger, Caroline, has accepted a proposal as a mail order bride but now has cold feet. Liz assumes Caroline’s identity and goes on to meet Wade Malone, the man she is to wed.
    Wade is a firm believer in discipline and there are many opportunities for him to take Liz in hand – usually for lying as Liz invariably gets caught out in her deception. Wade’s original intention in securing a bride was to provide a mother for his two children, following his first wife’s death. He intends the marriage to be one in name only. I don’t think it is giving too much away to say that Wade and Liz begin to develop feelings towards one another as Liz responds to Wade’s discipline and protection.
    A sweet story with two very likable protagonists.

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  6. Debbie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Debbie (verified owner)

    Another great story by Patty Devlin. Her stories are full of emotion and a strong sense of love entwined throughout. Desperate to get away from her evil guardian Elizabeth switches places with a mail order bride that has cold feet. Wade is excited to meet his mail order bride and eagerly whisk her off for marriage. Soon he realizes some things are not adding up. He knows she is hiding something but decides it’s best to wait for her to come to him. Elizabeth is a still trying to adjust to Wade’s rules and consequences. The weight of her secret is becoming overwhelming and causes a barrier between husband and wife. Elizabeth’s hand is forced for truth when her guardian shows up to get her back. Definitely recommend this fun and adventurous read.

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  7. Debbie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Debbie (verified owner)

    Another great story by Patty Devlin. Her stories are full of emotion and a strong sense of love entwined throughout. Desperate to get away from her evil guardian Elizabeth switches places with a mail order bride that has cold feet. Wade is excited to meet his mail order bride and eagerly whisk her off for marriage. Soon he realizes some things are not adding up. He knows she is hiding something but decides it\\\’s best to wait for her to come to him. Elizabeth is a still trying to adjust to Wade\\\’s rules and consequences. The weight of her secret is becoming overwhelming and causes a barrier between husband and wife. Elizabeth\\\’s hand is forced for truth when her guardian shows up to get her back. Definitely recommend this fun and adventurous read.

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  8. Margaret

    Margaret (verified owner)

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  9. madpuss

    Rated 5 out of 5

    madpuss (verified owner)

    I loved this story. I was so sorry when it ended. I thought Wade was a loving, kind, no-nonsense guy. He was perfect. He knew from the start he had been lied to. At first he wondered what he had gotten himself into but he warned Liz that he was not the type of guy to walk away when problems arose but work them out. He was willing to let Liz come clean in her own time and to allow their relationship to grow slowly and naturally. He wanted her to trust him. The plot was great and the reasons for her spankings were realistic and not contrived.

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  10. CJO

    Rated 4 out of 5

    CJO (verified owner)

    Cute story about a young woman who takes another woman’s place as a mail order bride. The man she marries falls in love with her before he finds out her true identity, though he knows something isn’t right.

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  11. madpuss

    Rated 5 out of 5

    madpuss (verified owner)

    I loved this story. I was so sorry when it ended. I thought Wade was a loving, kind, no-nonsense guy. He was perfect. He knew from the start he had been lied to. At first he wondered what he had gotten himself into but he warned Liz that he was not the type of guy to walk away when problems arose but work them out. He was willing to let Liz come clean in her own time and to allow their relationship to grow slowly and naturally. He wanted her to trust him. The plot was great and the reasons for her spankings were realistic and not contrived.

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  12. MaryKay Wehr

    Rated 5 out of 5

    MaryKay Wehr

    All of Patty’s stories take the reader on an adventure. Her stories are sexy, contain lots of spankings to warm your cheeks along with gorgeous hero’s and sassy heroines. Mail Order Switch was no exception. The Chicagoan Switch is next on my TBR list. Keep them coming, Patty!!

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  13. MaryKay Wehr

    Rated 5 out of 5

    MaryKay Wehr

    All of Patty\\\’s stories take the reader on an adventure. Her stories are sexy, contain lots of spankings to warm your cheeks along with gorgeous hero\\\’s and sassy heroines. Mail Order Switch was no exception. The Chicagoan Switch is next on my TBR list. Keep them coming, Patty!!

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  14. Connie

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Connie (verified owner)

    Elizabeth is running away from her guardian uncle. She thinks she might have killed him. While on the train West she meets a mail-order bride who has changed her mind. They switch and Liz marries Wade under false pretenses. He is not stupid and starts noticing the inconsistencies between what he knows from letters and the reality. Really fun story. Enjoyed it very much.

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  15. Connie

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Connie (verified owner)

    Elizabeth is running away from her guardian uncle. She thinks she might have killed him. While on the train West she meets a mail-order bride who has changed her mind. They switch and Liz marries Wade under false pretenses. He is not stupid and starts noticing the inconsistencies between what he knows from letters and the reality. Really fun story. Enjoyed it very much.

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  16. LJ

    Rated 5 out of 5

    LJ

    I have enjoyed every book I have read by Party Devlin. Liz and Wade are excellent characters that you love from the beginning. Well written and ploving discipline.

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  17. LJ

    Rated 5 out of 5

    LJ

    I have enjoyed every book I have read by Party Devlin. Liz and Wade are excellent characters that you love from the beginning. Well written and ploving discipline.

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  18. sarah

    Rated 5 out of 5

    sarah (verified owner)

    Love, love, loved this story. This was the first book I have read by Patty Devlin and I was not disappointed. Liz and Wade were both great characters and could relate to both. I loved the development of their relationship and the chemistry between them. I would definitely recommend this book.

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  19. CJO

    Rated 4 out of 5

    CJO (verified owner)

    Cute story about a young woman who takes another woman’s place as a mail order bride. The man she marries falls in love with her before he finds out her true identity, though he knows something isn’t right.

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  20. drb

    Rated 5 out of 5

    drb (verified owner)

    This was a good story. I enjoyed reading it. I really like Wade and Liz made me laugh several time. I think there could have been much more written and am hoping for a sequel.

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  21. Rayanna  Jamison

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Rayanna Jamison

    One of my favorite Patty Devlin books! Patty’s writing has grown so much and this western is hot and fun!

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  22. Cindy

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Cindy (verified owner)

    Really great. Just the best. Sweet and good and wholesome and interesting. Well written and great story line. Really enjoyed it. Good characters.

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  23. gail

    Rated 5 out of 5

    gail (verified owner)

    enjoyed the story

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  24. gail

    Rated 5 out of 5

    gail (verified owner)

    enjoyed the story

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  25. Martha

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Martha (verified owner)

    Good story. A lot of spankings. Whew!

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  26. Martha

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Martha (verified owner)

    Good story. A lot of spankings. Whew!

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  27. Denise

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Denise (verified owner)

    This is a very sweet story. You don’t have to read the other, but it’s nice to have a complete understanding of the circumstances. Both characters are fun, but do like Caroline a little more, she was more feisty. Elizabeth is younger and that’s probably why. Would love to read more, maybe something when they return to Chicago.

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  28. Denise

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Denise (verified owner)

    This is a very sweet story. You don\’t have to read the other, but it\’s nice to have a complete understanding of the circumstances. Both characters are fun, but do like Caroline a little more, she was more feisty. Elizabeth is younger and that\’s probably why. Would love to read more, maybe something when they return to Chicago.

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  29. Rayanna  Jamison

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Rayanna Jamison

    One of my favorite Patty Devlin books! Patty\’s writing has grown so much and this western is hot and fun!

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  30. Meg

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This was a very sweet story about a young woman, Liz, fleeing from her abusive Uncle. On the train, her life takes a new direction as she switches identities with her seat mate who decided she couldn\’t be a mail order bride. Liz finds herself married and spanked before they even reach her new home. She immediately falls in love with Wade\’s two small children and though Wade has promised it will be a marriage in name only – well, she falls in love with him as well. When he discovers her lies, she discovers that he means business with a switch. It is a sweet, short and easy read. If you like romance with some spice, this is definitely one for your collection.

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  31. Rhonda

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Rhonda (verified owner)

    This was a very cute story. I loved the main characters together. The dialogue was smart and the plot believable. Best of all this was truly a story that showcased loving discipline, I can hardly wait to read the sequel.

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  32. Rhonda

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Rhonda (verified owner)

    This was a very cute story. I loved the main characters together. The dialogue was smart and the plot believable. Best of all this was truly a story that showcased loving discipline, I can hardly wait to read the sequel.

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  33. lana

    Rated 5 out of 5

    lana (verified owner)

    Very cute.. Love how they go toe to toe all the time but he always wins… Good spanking love story that keeps you on your toes

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  34. lana

    Rated 5 out of 5

    lana (verified owner)

    Very cute.. Love how they go toe to toe all the time but he always wins… Good spanking love story that keeps you on your toes

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  35. Redrabbitt

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Redrabbitt

    “Elizabeth “”Liz”” Castle was running away from her lecherous uncle and dressed as a boy heading west on a train. Caroline, a widow from Chicago was on the same train heading westward to marry Wade Malone as a mail order bride, but he wanted a “”in name only”” marriage, someone to cook, clean and raise his two children. On the journey Caroline notices that Liz is not a boy and they strike up a conversation. Caroline tells her about being a mail order bride, but she doesn’t want to do it, she wants to return to Chicago and convinces Liz to take her place. Who knew that Wade was a stern believer in domestic discipline. This is the story of Wade and Liz and how he deals with his wife. This is a domestic discipline story and is a clean story without discussing sex.”

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  36. Redrabbitt

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Redrabbitt

    Elizabeth \”Liz\” Castle was running away from her lecherous uncle and dressed as a boy heading west on a train. Caroline, a widow from Chicago was on the same train heading westward to marry Wade Malone as a mail order bride, but he wanted a \”in name only\” marriage, someone to cook, clean and raise his two children. On the journey Caroline notices that Liz is not a boy and they strike up a conversation. Caroline tells her about being a mail order bride, but she doesn\’t want to do it, she wants to return to Chicago and convinces Liz to take her place. Who knew that Wade was a stern believer in domestic discipline. This is the story of Wade and Liz and how he deals with his wife. This is a domestic discipline story and is a clean story without discussing sex.

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  37. Meg

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This was a very sweet story about a young woman, Liz, fleeing from her abusive Uncle. On the train, her life takes a new direction as she switches identities with her seat mate who decided she couldn’t be a mail order bride. Liz finds herself married and spanked before they even reach her new home. She immediately falls in love with Wade’s two small children and though Wade has promised it will be a marriage in name only – well, she falls in love with him as well. When he discovers her lies, she discovers that he means business with a switch. It is a sweet, short and easy read. If you like romance with some spice, this is definitely one for your collection.

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  38. drb

    Rated 5 out of 5

    drb (verified owner)

    This was a good story. I enjoyed reading it. I really like Wade and Liz made me laugh several time. I think there could have been much more written and am hoping for a sequel.

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  39. vicki

    Rated 5 out of 5

    vicki

    EXCELLET BOOK! Two young women traveling in the same direction – one a widow set to be a mail order bride; the other an unmarried virgin dressed as a boy. The widow get cold feet and decides to talk the other girl into taking her place instead of trying to portray herself as a boy. Liz agrees and marries Wade. Wade knows something everything is not as it seems, however, he falls in love anyways. Now he just needs to keep her safe from whatever she is running from.

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  40. Kristin Elyon

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kristin Elyon

    This is the first story by Patty that I have read, and I have to say that I??m not disappointed in her writing ability. Her character development was done so well that she thought of things that I, as a reader, wouldn??t have thought of. She went into describing Liz??s character and the trials that she faced because of… well I don’t want to ruin the story… but the author has so much detail that you felt like you were there with her.

    Wade??s character was also well written. He showed large amounts of compassion and understanding when it came to what Liz had been through. He was also very patient in teaching her of different things, especially about discipline and what happen to bad girls. 😉 By adding all of those details, you couldn??t help but want to find your own Wade.

    To read or not to read, may be a question many of you may ask yourself. And let me tell you, you??d be crazy not to read if you enjoy romance novels with some naughty fun.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I can??t wait to read more from Patty.

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  41. Arleen

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arleen (verified owner)

    A mail order bride, a hunk cowboy and hot spankings. What more could anyone want in a great story?? This was one of the can\\\’t put it down till the last word was read kind of book. Great plot, strong likeable characters and realistic scenes made this book an excellent read.

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  42. JK

    Rated 5 out of 5

    JK (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book! It had a great story and very enjoyable characters!! I loved the way our hero and heroine reacted to each other from the very beginning! Great little western romance with plenty of fun spankings!

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  43. JK

    Rated 5 out of 5

    JK (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book! It had a great story and very enjoyable characters!! I loved the way our hero and heroine reacted to each other from the very beginning! Great little western romance with plenty of fun spankings!

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  44. DNF

    Rated 4 out of 5

    DNF (verified owner)

    Very nice short story, enjoyable to read.I hope there will be a sequel about Caroline.

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  45. DNF

    Rated 4 out of 5

    DNF (verified owner)

    Very nice short story, enjoyable to read.I hope there will be a sequel about Caroline.

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  46. KArc

    Rated 4 out of 5

    KArc (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this story about Wade and Elizabeth. Their relationship started of rocky and though it continued to be rocky due to Liz’s deceit, it also strengthened and grew as they got to know each other. I liked the end, it almost felt like it was leading up to a sequel.

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  47. KArc

    Rated 4 out of 5

    KArc (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this story about Wade and Elizabeth. Their relationship started of rocky and though it continued to be rocky due to Liz\\\’s deceit, it also strengthened and grew as they got to know each other. I liked the end, it almost felt like it was leading up to a sequel.

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  48. Arleen

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arleen (verified owner)

    A mail order bride, a hunk cowboy and hot spankings. What more could anyone want in a great story?? This was one of the can’t put it down till the last word was read kind of book. Great plot, strong likeable characters and realistic scenes made this book an excellent read.

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  49. Jaycee

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Jaycee

    I enjoyed Patty Devlin’s historical fiction story about a woman who takes another’s place in a mail-order marriage. The main characters were fairly well-developed, even though the story was shorter than I prefer. I did like how Elizabeth and Wade didn’t sleep together for quite a while, but got to know each other first. I do wish she had told him the truth earlier though, and that she had told him what her uncle tried to do to her…perhaps then Wade wouldn’t have been quite so harsh on that final punishment and a bit more understanding of the lies and her fear! I would have also liked to have seen a bit more angst when the uncle arrived. Hopefully we will get to read Caroline’s story, and perhaps find out if the nasty uncle got his just desserts!

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  50. Joelle Casteel

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Joelle Casteel

    I was given a free copy for an honest and fair review.

    Having read snippets of the book on Patty’s website, I was so excited for its release, to read it. Meeting Liz and Caroline on the train was great fun. I enjoyed the rapport between the women. Liz’s hair slipping out from her hat was an endearing moment. I felt such empathy for both women as Caroline tried to talk Liz into taking her place as a mail order bride. Patty wrote many heart-stopping moments into the chapter when Liz arrived with Wade waiting for her. Then the quick ceremony and trip to Wade’s ranch.

    From here, I won’t give any more details, but say you need to read the book! The spankings were wonderfully detailed and emotional. And Patty wrote an amazingly perfect Happily Ever After.

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  51. Jaycee

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Jaycee

    I enjoyed Patty Devlin\\\’s historical fiction story about a woman who takes another\\\’s place in a mail-order marriage. The main characters were fairly well-developed, even though the story was shorter than I prefer. I did like how Elizabeth and Wade didn\\\’t sleep together for quite a while, but got to know each other first. I do wish she had told him the truth earlier though, and that she had told him what her uncle tried to do to her…perhaps then Wade wouldn\\\’t have been quite so harsh on that final punishment and a bit more understanding of the lies and her fear! I would have also liked to have seen a bit more angst when the uncle arrived. Hopefully we will get to read Caroline\\\’s story, and perhaps find out if the nasty uncle got his just desserts!

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  52. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    Very nice short story, enjoyable to read.I hope there will be a sequel about Caroline.

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  53. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    Very nice short story, enjoyable to read.I hope there will be a sequel about Caroline.

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  54. Laurel Lasky

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Laurel Lasky

    I enjoyed this book with cowboys, romance lots of discipline alpha male and mail order bride with secrets. My only complaint was that it was too short.

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  55. Laurel Lasky

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Laurel Lasky

    I enjoyed this book with cowboys, romance lots of discipline alpha male and mail order bride with secrets. My only complaint was that it was too short.

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  56. Adele

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Adele (verified owner)

    Very enjoyable. Although this was rather short, it was well written and felt complete. My only issue was if Wade noticed her birth date, why did he not notice her name, well itis a story isn’t it.

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  57. Adele

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Adele (verified owner)

    Very enjoyable. Although this was rather short, it was well written and felt complete. My only issue was if Wade noticed her birth date, why did he not notice her name, well itis a story isn\\\’t it.

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  58. Joelle Casteel

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Joelle Casteel

    I was given a free copy for an honest and fair review.

    Having read snippets of the book on Patty\\\’s website, I was so excited for its release, to read it. Meeting Liz and Caroline on the train was great fun. I enjoyed the rapport between the women. Liz\\\’s hair slipping out from her hat was an endearing moment. I felt such empathy for both women as Caroline tried to talk Liz into taking her place as a mail order bride. Patty wrote many heart-stopping moments into the chapter when Liz arrived with Wade waiting for her. Then the quick ceremony and trip to Wade\\\’s ranch.

    From here, I won\\\’t give any more details, but say you need to read the book! The spankings were wonderfully detailed and emotional. And Patty wrote an amazingly perfect Happily Ever After.

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  59. Linda

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Linda (verified owner)

    Good story I loved the plot, the characters and would like to a sequel set in Chicago.

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  60. vicki

    Rated 5 out of 5

    vicki

    EXCELLET BOOK! Two young women traveling in the same direction – one a widow set to be a mail order bride; the other an unmarried virgin dressed as a boy. The widow get cold feet and decides to talk the other girl into taking her place instead of trying to portray herself as a boy. Liz agrees and marries Wade. Wade knows something everything is not as it seems, however, he falls in love anyways. Now he just needs to keep her safe from whatever she is running from.

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  61. angelia

    Rated 5 out of 5

    angelia (verified owner)

    Very well written lots of romance A must read

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  62. jeanped

    Rated 4 out of 5

    jeanped (verified owner)

    A super cute story??_ This story is short and sweet and well worth the time to sit and read. I loved the interaction between Wade & Liz and how they eventually fall in love with each other??_

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  63. jeanped

    Rated 4 out of 5

    jeanped (verified owner)

    A super cute story… This story is short and sweet and well worth the time to sit and read. I loved the interaction between Wade & Liz and how they eventually fall in love with each other…

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  64. Krista Strickland

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Krista Strickland

    Patty has done it again in this page-turning Western. Two strangers meet and decide to switch places and what happens from there will amaze you and leave you wanting more. I call for a sequel!

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  65. Krista Strickland

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Krista Strickland

    Patty has done it again in this page-turning Western. Two strangers meet and decide to switch places and what happens from there will amaze you and leave you wanting more. I call for a sequel!

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  66. KatD

    Rated 5 out of 5

    KatD (verified owner)

    nice little story….could have been longer

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  67. KatD

    Rated 5 out of 5

    KatD (verified owner)

    nice little story….could have been longer

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  68. angelia

    Rated 5 out of 5

    angelia (verified owner)

    Very well written lots of romance A must read

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  69. Patricia Green

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Patricia Green

    This book is charming, romantic, and truly heartwarming. I enjoyed the way Ms. Devlin spun the tale of a woman weaving a tangled web of untruths that trips her up over and over again. Liz is well-defined and easy to relate to. We’ve all told a whopper at least once in our lives, and most of us have been caught at it. Well, Liz gets caught and has to pay the price with a sore bottom.

    I love the hero, Wade, as well. He’s a good fellow, puzzled by the confounding bits and pieces he gets from Liz throughout. And his children are sweet.

    This is not an erotic book, and it’s not presented as one, but it does have parts that, with a little imagination, take you sexy places. I didn’t miss the sex one bit because the story was that good!

    I highly recommend Mail Order Switch.

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  70. Linda

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Linda (verified owner)

    Good story I loved the plot, the characters and would like to a sequel set in Chicago.

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  71. Patricia Green

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Patricia Green

    This book is charming, romantic, and truly heartwarming. I enjoyed the way Ms. Devlin spun the tale of a woman weaving a tangled web of untruths that trips her up over and over again. Liz is well-defined and easy to relate to. We\\\’ve all told a whopper at least once in our lives, and most of us have been caught at it. Well, Liz gets caught and has to pay the price with a sore bottom.

    I love the hero, Wade, as well. He\\\’s a good fellow, puzzled by the confounding bits and pieces he gets from Liz throughout. And his children are sweet.

    This is not an erotic book, and it\\\’s not presented as one, but it does have parts that, with a little imagination, take you sexy places. I didn\\\’t miss the sex one bit because the story was that good!

    I highly recommend Mail Order Switch.

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  72. Kirsty

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kirsty (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book, it is really well written, a great plot, and lots of spanking action! I fell in love with Wade too. This is definitely (another) favourite.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  73. Kirsty

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kirsty (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book, it is really well written, a great plot, and lots of spanking action! I fell in love with Wade too. This is definitely (another) favourite.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  74. Kirsty

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kirsty (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book, it is really well written, a great plot, and lots of spanking action! I fell in love with Wade too. This is definitely (another) favourite.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  75. Kirsty

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kirsty (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this book, it is really well written, a great plot, and lots of spanking action! I fell in love with Wade too. This is definitely (another) favourite.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  76. Jennifer

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jennifer (verified owner)

    cute

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  77. Jennifer

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jennifer (verified owner)

    cute

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  78. Cindy

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Cindy (verified owner)

    Really great. Just the best. Sweet and good and wholesome and interesting. Well written and great story line. Really enjoyed it. Good characters.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

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