Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Outlaw Takes a Bride: A Book Review

I love historical fiction-my favorite era being WWII, but I'll read just about anything. Recently it seems like most of the books I've read have been set in the Old West, and it's been fun to immerse myself in that time period of America's history. I've learned about laws and customs, but I've also gotten a taste of what it would be like to live off the land-growing your food, hunting your meat, building your home, etc.

Chores such as doing laundry was an all day event: pump water into a huge tub (or get it from a nearby river or lake), build a fire, heat water over the fire, scrub clothes, rinse, hang to dry, and by the way, don't catch your long skirts on fire while you're working. I certainly have a new appreciation for the men and women who often left family behind to scratch out a living in a primitive land.

One of the Old West books I read is Susan Page Davis's The Outlaw Takes a Bride. I won it in a drawing from her website, and a review was not required, but I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to share it with Stitches Thru Time followers. I've included the buy link below because you're going to want to get this book! So without further ado, here's my review:

This is the first Susan Page Davis book that I’ve read, and I wish I had discovered her writings much sooner. I love historical fiction, but don’t read a lot of “cowboy” stories. I may need to change that. The Outlaw Takes a Bride is a well-written, well-researched story with a fascinating premise. The characters are realistic and complex, with strengths and struggles. Sally is sensitive and tender, yet resilient. Her faith is a natural part of her everyday life. Despite living a lie, John is a true gentleman in his thoughts and behaviors to ally. He is not cavalier about the situation, but rather his subterfuge gnaws at him as the story progresses. 

Descriptions of daily tasks effectively evoke the era and gave me an understanding for how challenging it would be to live without modern conveniences, yet made me appreciate the simplicity of the lifestyle. I learned a lot about the social customs, attitudes, and attire of the Old West, and I enjoy a writer who can include that sort of information without it being dry or textbookish. I enjoyed getting to know Sally’s parents, and how they were integrated into the story at the end. I loved the ending. It was exciting and unexpected, and kept me turning pages. This book won a Will Rogers Medallion Award, and I can see why. I look forward to reading more by this author. Highly recommended.

You can purchase The Outlaw Takes a Bride from Amazon.

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win Driver's Confessional by David Winters. Winner will be announced at the January 29th Weekly Windup.

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, blogger, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone's throw from Fort McHenry, she has lived in historic places most of her life. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes historical romance and mysteries. Linda is a docent for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library. She lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Visit Linda at or sign up for her newsletter


  1. A lovely review for The Outlaw Takes a Bride. I'm adding it to my growing TBR list. I've always enjoyed historical fiction books.

    1. Marilyn, my TBR is growing too! I wish we have 72 hours in one day LOL

  2. Thanks Linda for a great review. I am always glad to see Susan's books recognized.