Nellie Wallace is a young widow with two children. In post-Civil War New York, the men are scarce and none want the burden of a wife with children. Her dead husband's family is wealthy, and cruel. Desperate to escape their influence, and eager for a home, a husband, and a stable life for her children, Nellie decides to make a new life in San Francisco as a mail-order bride.
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Annie Markum grew up with a Bible in one hand and a disapproving father holding the other. At 22 she dared to dream of a different life and risked everything to become a mail order bride. One year later she finds herself on a friend's doorstep, penniless, pregnant, and a widow. Her husband was an honorable, churchgoing man, and she believes her father will allow her to come home. To get back to her father in New York will take money she doesn't have. She's got no choice but to accept work as a cook in a local saloon.
Cora Jones has a dilemma. She was engaged to be married but her fiancé Asa Woods was killed in the Civil War. She'd never been madly in love with Asa, but she did care for him deeply and grieved his loss. When she stopped grieving she decided she wanted to put everything behind her and became a mail order bride for Harry Belcher.
Working long hours in a New York City bakery is not at all what Sophia Hayes had planned for her life. When her fiancé breaks their engagement to marry her thinner, blonder, more beautiful sister, Sophia knows it is time to do something drastic, something completely unexpected. All she's ever wanted is to have a husband and family of her own. Agreeing to be a mail-order bride seems the perfect answer.
Amelia James grew up performing on the stage. Her stunning voice made her the darling of New York's theater district since she was 15. She's never been more than an asset to her mother, never been just a woman to the young up-and-coming men who want to use her to advance their own careers. Amelia loves to sing, but is willing to give up fame, fortune, and her future on the stage for just one thing...love. Convinced she'll never find what she needs in New York, she makes the decision to leave her life behind and travel to the other side of the country as a mail order bride.