Willow Peterson has finally recovered from the death of her husband, and finds a job as a portrait painter in the studio of Trenton Van Der Veer in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Trenton is still single, his previous relationship with Susanna not having ended well and leaving him distrustful where women are concerned. Well, having an employee who he thinks is married turn out to be single is really going to help that. Meanwhile, Susanna is on her way to Cripple Creek to reunite with Trenton, then move to New York with him (not that he is privy to this plan).
As the fourth book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series, Twice a Bride obviously expands on the characters in the previous books. This makes it a little hard to get in to, and I suspect it would be best read as part of the series rather than on its own. As well as Willow, Trenton and Susanna, there are four Sinclair sisters: Nell, Kat, Vivian and Ida, along with their respective husbands and children as well as assorted friends and neighbours. It’s a lot of names and relationships to keep straight.
The author does a good job of adding enough backstory to make the plot understandable, but not so much that it gets bogged down. What does slow the book down is the sub-plots around the minor characters, which distract from the main plot. They are all fully-developed characters (which is excellent), but the effect is like having walked into a party or a church where you don’t know anyone, yet everyone else does know every other person and has done for years. It’s confusing and uncomfortable. An enjoyable story, but best read as part of the series.
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