Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer – Book Review, Preview

Posted September 3, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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A conversation on Facebook discussed least-favorite plot elements – those that drive people absolutely crazy and cause them to stop reading a book.

Several women mentioned things which aren’t necessarily plot elements – language, graphic violence, sex. Certainly those items make me set a book aside as well. And you probably feel the same way, which is why you are reading my thoughts on books I’ve read.

One thing was mentioned more than the others were and it happens to be a pet peeve of mine as well. A plot that revolves around a miscommunication that could have easily have been cleared up with a simple conversation. Really! Can’t they just talk about it? Are they children or what?

What are some of your reading pet peeves?




Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer – Book Review, Preview

Mail-Order Misfire: Front Range Brides

by Davalynn Spencer

Series: Front Range Brides #.5,
Published by Wilson Creek Publishing
Publication Date September 3, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Colorado Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults


Book 2 in the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection—and prequel for the Front Range Brides series—Mail-Order Misfire exposes the heart of a widowed lawman when he meets the bride his nine-year-old daughter wrote for without telling him.

Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl, Gracie, wants a helper for her preacher/sheriff papa and a mama for herself, so she writes their former pastor in Missouri asking for a mail-order bride.

Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor receives a letter from little Gracie Stidham, he sees a solution for everyone’s problem and encourages Etta to answer Gracie’s request.

Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta Collier risks everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and perhaps find a second chance at love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: An Unexpected Redemption, An Impossible Price

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Multiple miscommunications drew Bern and Etta together and threatened to pull them apart. While this generally drives me crazy in a story, Davalynn Spencer made it work – well – in Mail-Order Misfire.

The first miscommunication occurred when Gracie penned a letter, unbeknownst to her father, requesting the pastor in Missouri to help to find him a wife. Bern’s character came through loud and clear in the way he reacted to this news. In the kindness he showed Gracie and the arrangements he made for Etta so she would not end up stranded in a strange Western town.

Bern was a paradox. Preacher and sheriff. Tough and yet tender-hearted. Strong and yet insecure. One of my favorite types of heroes. His love for the Lord and determination to do what was right and just at all times made my heart happy.

Etta’s straightforward manner was refreshing. She spoke what she thought, most of the time. While she wouldn’t consider herself strong, especially after being put in a position where she had to flee and agree to this crazy mail-order business, she really did have a strength that went beyond what was clearly visible.

Gracie was an adorable pre-teen who knew that she knew what her papa needed. At the risk of his displeasure, she had the courage to step out and do what she felt was right. This sweet girl captured my heart with her deep love and ability to see things not evident, like Etta’s need for protection.

Looking back, I see that Davalynn Spencer is one of very few authors I have given only five star reviews. I don’t give them out easily. A story must be beyond merely good. Mail-Order Misfire has the right mix of romance, an accurate sense of taking place in the time and place it claims to be in, and spiritual lessons that are woven naturally throughout.

Lovers of historical, Christian fiction will get a bang out of  Mail-Order Misfire.


Davalynn's Mail-order Misfire Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • New cover for Mail-order Misfire.
  • Rural 1800's Kitchen  Notice the Water Pump against the wall?
  • Mail order bride - with a twist    Mail Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer     #bookmemes #bookquotes #quote #bookreview #amreading #bookish #booklover #books #bookblogger #goodreads #booklove #bookaddict #reader #ilovereading #totalbooknerd #bookgeek #becauseofreading #bookoftheday #bookaddiction #bookblog #lovereading via @amongTheReads
  • Similar to the fireplace in the study of Bern Stidham's home.
  • If Bern had a mustache ...
  • The way I see Bern Stidham. Viggo Mortensen, of course, but look at those eyes ...
  • On pre-order special at $1.99. Reserve your copy today!
  • Victorian - 1880 mourning dress, similar to what Etta Collier wore, but without the long veil.
  • Little Gracie got the whole thing going between her papa and Etta.
  • Sheriff Bern Stidham. Some people may think this is Viggo Mortensen. Whatever.
  • Etta Collier knows her way around horses, but as a seamstress, I can imagine her creating a delightful dress like this one.
  • Etta Collier - thought I think I prefer the model on my recently-revealed cover! Let me know which one you like better.
  • My grandmother had a newer version, but along the same idea as this one. Seems like it would be easier than the wooden-plunger type.
  • Would love to have one of these.
  • This 1895 photo from Lake City shows it to be more of a mining town than my fictional Lockton, CO. But the setting looks about right.
  • Donkey Sledding ~ Not what I have happening in Mail-Order Misfire, but the town is similar to my fictional Lockton, CO
  • Mourning Dresses
  • Seems like an unpleasant way to be photographed with your family or friends.
  • Late Victorian black lace mourning dress. Appears that originally it was a 2-piece dress that a previous owner has attached together to make a one-piece dress. Made from a check silk or silk blend lace over a silk blend taffeta underdress with jet bead buttons for decoration in front and a small loose panel of jet on netting down the back covering the hook line. It closes with hooks in back and there are nine internal bones in the bodice for fit. The Golden Hanger/Ruby Lane

About Davalynn Spencer

Wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer writes cowboy romance. She is an ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction. And she’s fairly certain that her previous career as a rodeo journalist and crime-beat reporter prepared her for life in Colorado wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.

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