Emma Byrne grew up in a Catholic orphanage in Boston, and her prospects are limited. She and her group of girlfriends, who all met in the orphanage, are barely getting by, working as nannies, cooks, and live-in maids for rich families. When Emma’s employer, Gerald, threatens her with losing her job if she doesn’t submit to his very unwanted advances, she stumbles onto an opportunity to be a mail-order bride and decides that couldn’t possibly be worse.
Except that the groom in question had no idea that his brother sent for a wife. When Emma shows up, at the train station in Bozeman, MT, it’s her groom’s brother, Joshua that is there to greet her. As it turns out, Ethan is furious that his brother went behind his back and sent for a wife. He’s still grieving from the unexpected death of his wife Allison only a year earlier, and spends all his time when he’s not working, being a good dad to his only child, Emily, who is three.
Montana is hugely different from Boston, and Emma is surprised that she immediately falls in love with the area. Though taken aback at first to discover that Ethan wasn’t aware that she was coming, she’s secretly relieved to have a little time to get to know him and her new home. She is also quite fascinated by his family. Ethan is the oldest of ten, and eight of them are brothers, and except for Joshua, all are single. Emma has an urge to play matchmaker, and in book two, her best friend, Julia comes West to meet the brothers.