Cartwright Men Marry, The

3 March 2021

The Cartwright Men Marry
by Monique Desrosiers
Published by Wood Dragon Books
Review by Toby A. Welch
$19.99 ISBN 9781989078242

I love when a book sucks you in immediately with a great action scene. This one does just that, pulling you into an avalanche in 1863 before launching into present day.

The Cartwright Men Marry jumps often from the years in the 1860s to current day. At its heart, this book is two separate stories linked by history and family roots. Desrosiers seamlessly pulls off the constant shifting, never making it awkward for the reader. 

As a child of the 70s, this book had a Bonanza vibe right from the get-go for me. (For you millennials and non-TV watchers, Bonanza is an American Western TV series that ran from 1959 to 1973, a record-breaking 14 seasons. The show featured a family of Cartwright men dealing with ongoing moral and situational dilemmas.) The names sounded familiar, as did some of the history, and I discovered why. When you get to the end of the story, Desrosiers includes a page titled Why I Wrote The Cartwright Men Marry. She explains how binge-watching Bonanza in December 2018 inspired this book. She couldn’t stop thinking of what kind of husbands the Cartwright men would have made and you will find the answer in this book. Fans of Bonanza will likely love this read.

The heart of this book for me is about love and the struggles people go through to find and keep it. As a romantic, I ate up every page! I rooted for some of the couples more than others and cheered when my favourites were able to make it work. (I don’t want to delve too deeply into the plot or this review will need a big “Spoiler Alert” warning on it.)

Let’s talk about dialogue for a moment. When it is done right, it adds to a story in a harmonious way. When it’s sloppy, it is painful to read. And there is such a fine line between too much dialogue and not enough. Desrosiers is a master at dialogue, balancing all those aspects perfectly. It made this book an even greater pleasure to read. 

Desrosiers included 13 questions at the back of the book, Questions for Book Clubs. I love that! This would be a great read for a book club to consider choosing. 

At the back of the book you will also find three family tree charts that detail the characters. As this book has a lengthy roster of players, the chart is handy for when you need to refresh your memory on who you are reading about. 

For romance fiction fans who like a bit of intrigue and a hearty dose of the cowboy vibe, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of The Cartwright Men Marry


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