Duke du Jour by Petie McCarty

Duke du Jour by Petie McCarty
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Time Travel
Length: Full (337 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Snapdragon

..a reverse Kate and Leopold…a light-hearted time travel romance where a bewildered modern-day duke ends up in Regency England and meets the girl of his dreams…

Jared Langley, present-day Duke of Reston, tumbles into an abandoned fountain on his ducal estate and travels back in time to the year 1816. There, Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor–the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.

Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley, the seventh Duke of Reston, since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from Waterloo–only Jared shows up a changed man and reignites all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.

Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain–before Seven shows up–so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the irresistible Lady Ariana.

Duke Du Jour kicks off with a surprising scandal – one that we readers could scarcely expect…and this story is intriguing immediately. Kudos to the author for plunging in so creatively. I must confess; given the time period, the titled character, the very word ‘romance’ – I expected my initial thought to be ‘entirely predictable.’ Happily, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Jared, third duke, is not getting his own way – right from the start. People and events transpire to affect him in ways he can scarcely imagine, but somehow, we believe. His meeting with Lady Ariana is both wonderful and awful, because we cannot see how this romance could ever actually work out. No spoilers here – McCarty enthralls us with this intriguing story line.

I’d call this a ‘mostly’ historical romance and suspect historical romance fans will find it enjoyable – don’t be put off by the time travel aspect. Definitely worth the read.

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Food of the Gods by Em Dehaney

Food of the Gods by Em Dehaney
Publisher: Brave Boy Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short Story (133 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A perfect corpse floats forever in a watery grave.
A gang member takes a terrifying trip to the seaside.
A deserted cross-channel ferry that serves only the finest Slovakian wines.
Gods and monsters.
Mermaids and witches.
Blood and magic.
Love and death.
From the dark and decadent mind of Em Dehaney come eight tales of seafoam secrets and sweet treats.
Nothing is quite what it seems, but everything is delicious.
This is Food Of The Gods.

First impressions don’t always tell the whole story.

Framing “Here Be Monsters” as a conversation between a child and their grandmother about what Earth was like before the monsters arrived and began destroying everything was the perfect way to introduce such a grim future for humanity. Children can understand much more than adults sometimes give them credit for, and the main character of this story was no exception to that rule. They understood the drastic events that nearly caused humans to go extinct incredibly well even if they had no idea what a rainbow was or that people used to be able to grow food in places called gardens. I enjoyed figuring out what daily life must have been like for these characters as I read their conversation and slowly pieced together what must have happened in their not-so-distant past.

“Bellarmine” told the tale of an abusive marriage from the perspectives of Nathaniel and his wife and victim, Elizabeth. They lived at a time in history when there was no social support for women in this situation, so Elizabeth had to figure out how to handle her husband’s violent attacks on her own. As intrigued by I was by her predicament and the clever plot twists, the character development wasn’t strong enough for me to get to know either of them well at all. Nathaniel’s personality was particularly one-dimensional. I strongly disliked him due to all of the awful things he did to his wife, and I certainly wouldn’t expect that to change no matter what his backstory might have been. With that being said, it would have been helpful to have more details about why he behaved so horribly. This was something I noticed play out in a few other stories in this collection as well. While I adored Ms. Dehaney’s writing style overall, the character development issues did lead to me giving her book a lower rating than I would have otherwise chosen.

Mikey’s life changed forever on the day he found a baby shark in “The Mermaid’s Purse.” His childhood was full of neglect and abuse, so I was curious to see how he’d keep such an exotic pet alive despite the fact that he didn’t even have enough food or other necessities for himself. It was truly satisfying to see how hard he worked to keep him and new little friend going no matter what was going on around them. The ending was perfect. It tied together all of the loose ends of the plot nicely, and it also left me wondering what would happen to Mikey next.

Food of the Gods should be read by anyone who is in the mood for deeply creative science fiction.

Lady Be Good by Amber Brock

Lady Be Good by Amber Brock
Published by Crown Publishing
Genre: Recent Historical
Length: Full Length (279 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good is Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement: Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiance, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.

Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.

Well written and engaging, this book is not to be missed.

Ms. Brock’s book flows from the first page. I read it in one sitting. I had to know what would happen next to Kitty. I liked the variety of situations she dealt with and how she made her way through them. She’s certainly an interesting character. In some ways, the book almost seems impossible – one person could have all these experiences in one lifetime. The thing is, this takes place in the 50s in the music industry, albeit in the nightclub side of that industry.

I liked Kitty’s forthright approach to life and love. She has ideas and knows what she wants to do with them. She’s almost a tad too pushy, even when she means well, though. Like she knows what’s best for everyone else, even if it doesn’t seem like it might be best and she’s pushing her ideas off on her friends.

Still, I liked her pluck and determination. I liked how she grew through the story.

If you’re looking for a book that’s a little different from the norm, then this might be the one you’ve been looking for.

Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . .

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

This is my first Lorraine Heath novel. I started this book hoping to finish it in one sitting. My interest was captured quickly enough and was held in a moderate manner. 1AM came too soon and I still wasn’t done. I had to put it down or risk being a cranky monster the next day. Turns out I was a cranky monster regardless. Even though I put the book down I couldn’t top thinking about it. It took forever to fall asleep and then it was one of those sleeps where you felt like you never really did sleep. I had to wait until after work to pick the book back up. It was a torturous work day knowing that the book was at home and all I wanted to do was finish it. Needless to say it’s a riveting book that has laid down the base work for an enthralling new series as Beyond Scandal and Desire is book one in the Sins for All Seasons series.

The plot introduced the practice of “baby farming” to me which I didn’t know existed and was widely known in the late 1800’s. I love when I learn new factual knowledge even though it was a bit appalling. At the end of the book the “Author’s Note” explains that she took “a bit of literary license with this story.” Which means that she took that horrific historic practice and made it a tiny bit less despicable by tweaking a few of the facts. Altering the facts is what has led to the “Sins for All Seasons series” to be in existence. Although it is sad to think about the reality of that time period and how people found it necessary to participate in such a cruel practice. I’m a very sensitive person so this plot point was a bit disturbing for me. It is threaded through the entire book because it’s part of the hero’s make up. Without it Mick Trewlove wouldn’t be who he is. I almost felt it was redundant and repetitive but it’s the core of the story. I mean, there is no way around it. Like I already said, without it there’d be no series. I know some readers are sticklers about their historical romance books being one hundred percent historically accurate. The author clearly states that she used that bit of history to create her fictional story. Therefore no one can complain about the historical inaccuracy.

Mick Trewlove is the hero in this story. His character was established exceptionally well to the point that I completely understood his choices and actions. Actually, all the characters were very well developed. It sounds like his siblings will all be getting books of their own starting with his sister, Gillie in September 2018 “When a Duke Loves a Woman”. I’m really looking forward to reading her story. She is an intriguing character since she is a tavern keeper and not very feminine. Anyway, Mick is portrayed as a big, strong and successful businessman with a dark, angry aura but he really is a sweetheart with some deep wounds. Wounds that Mick believes will heal once he gets his revenge but we all know that never works out. He has a plan that goes astray when he meets Lady Aslyn Hastings.

Aslyn is the opposite of Mick but they both have a heart of generosity. They complement each other to the point where they can’t function without each other. There was no turning back to the way things were before they met. Aslyn and Mick were brilliantly implemented into an elaborate storyline with unexpected plot twists. There were numerous characters that were all relevant to the well-crafted sequence of events. This story clearly took contemplation from the author. It is a well thought out story with a plethora of olive branches for future stories. I don’t think it could have been executed any better than it was.

I fell in love with Mick and Aslyn. Their romance was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. They had chemistry that caused yearning to the point of boiling. Aslyn didn’t need to secretly communicate with her parasol. They just looked at each other and they knew how the other one felt. Beyond Scandal and Desire was the perfect romantic love story. Only true love can overcome secrets, vengeance and society’s obstacles. I appreciated all the unique and creative elements that were installed in this story. I will definitely be suggesting this series to my family and friends.

Love’s Dangerous Challenge by Ellynore Seybold

Love’s Dangerous Challenge by Ellynore Seybold
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full length (238 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

During the Reign of Terror in France in the late 1700s, the common people amused themselves by watching the heads of the nobility roll, severed by the guillotine. When Eduard Saulnier falls in love with Countess Annise de Brisson in 1793, he fears that, as a commoner, he will never be allowed to court her. But Annise is staying with her aunt because her parents have been sized by the revolutionaries and condemned to die by the guillotine. Eduard approaches the old lady for permission to court Annise, knowing his chances are slim. However, he is totally unprepared for the old countess’s answer—yes, he may court and marry Annise, after he gets her parents out of prison…any way he can.

Every once in a while, love at first sight happens, but would a man risk his life to prove this? Eduard does. The setting is Revolutionary France, and the dangers are high and everywhere. Luckily, Eduard is a commoner, but he falls for a young aristocratic woman. Since her parents were carted off to prison and scheduled for a probable execution, Eduard has to go to Annise’s great aunt to ask for Annise’s hand in marriage. When the aunt says he can have her blessing if Eduard can get Annise’s parents out of prison, he’s afraid, but luckily for us readers, he takes up this challenge.

What follows is an adventure driven by suspense. Eduard recruits some interesting friends with controversial jobs, such as the executioner. He is a nice young man and likeable from the start. Annise is also likeable as are her family members and Eduard’s friends and family. The author has done a good job at filling out the characters. They are kind-hearted, and their honorable actions are driven by their personal faith, giving them all integrity.

As a reader with a degree in French, I found the world building of this time and place to be exciting and accurate. The challenge given to Eduard was a perfect set-up for suspense. The test was also easy to believe because it required that Eduard have help, and he realized he needed it.

The tone to this story is sweet. The characters have gratitude for what they have, and the love is an innocent young love. There are many tender kisses.

Some questions came up for me as a reader though. Sometimes things happened too easily. For example, why did Annise’s relatives accept Eduard, a stranger, without a remark? Why did another aristocrat, Lukas, accept Eduard’s surprising secret and take it the way he did? Everybody seemed to just accept and be happy upon hearing revelations, and without doubts. Perhaps the tension could have been higher.

This is a pleasant read though, and I’m glad I read it. It was a breath of fresh air reading about people with integrity doing things for good reasons.

Into a Distant Light by Mary Patterson Thornburg

Into a Distant Light by Mary Patterson Thornburg
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short story (6700 words)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

When Lizzie and Robert married, she thought he’d had enough of adventure to last a lifetime. After all, his voyage above the Arctic Circle had been a near-fatal disaster, and he never talked about it at all. He’d never even written about it, except in a long letter to his sister. But someone, somehow, had found out. And now, given another chance, he couldn’t resist that call.
When he came back, of course, she would share in his fame, glory, and wealth. But what would happen to her if he didn’t come back?

Does anyone ever wonder what really happened to Frankenstein’s monster? The story goes that he went off into the distance to die. However, Mary Patterson Thornburg has a different story to tell, one from those who knew him or his “father” the doctor.

Packed into this short tale is quite a bit of story. Set in England during the Regency, we get an inside view of the doctor, and his creation, mostly from the point-of-view of an English explorer to the far north. This explorer, Robert Walton, rescued the doctor in the icy wilderness then heard a good tale of his own. He wrote to his sister with some interesting observations.

Robert comes home but then leaves again, returning to the North Pole, and this time, things won’t go so well for him. He finds himself in a dire situation, and the “monster” approaches him. From here, we get his side of the story.

The tone of this writing gives the feel of the era without being too much. It is a quick-paced account, and the years fly by within a few pages. However, not a lot happens until half-way through. I found myself wishing more of the main action was mixed in with the mundane details. Character development is good for such a short rendition. We get to know the characters with a few well-chosen words, and come to understand them.

The story may be short, but it was worth peeking into the life of a legend and hearing a new account of what “really” happened.

The Duke’s Daughters: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton

The Duke’s Daughters: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (355 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The Duke’s five daughters have beauty, breeding, and impeccable reputations. Or at least, they did. Now that two have chosen to follow their hearts, can the others be far behind?

Lady Olivia refuses to repeat her siblings’ scandalous mistakes. Instead, she will marry the lord rejected by her sister and help with his good works. When he resists, Olivia forms another plan: win his lordship’s admiration by helping his illegitimate best friend find a bride. How difficult can it be to transform the rakish Edward Wolcott into a gentleman? To ignore his virile good looks? To not kiss him in a moment of impulsive madness? Apparently, very difficult indeed.

Edward Wolcott promised his ailing father he would marry well, and it appears Lady Olivia wishes to assist him. The sparkling firebrand intends to smooth his way through London’s ballrooms, parlors, and eligible ladies, while all Edward’s thoughts suddenly revolve around bedrooms . . . and Lady Olivia herself. Only a scoundrel would seduce the duke’s most dutiful daughter. And only a truly reckless lady would risk everything to be in his arms . . .

Take two lost souls, mix them up and watch the sparks fly…

I’ve never read a book by Megan Frampton and I’m glad I rectified that mistake. This book flowed nicely and I read it in one afternoon. It’s an easy read and fun.

The heroine, Olivia, has a high opinion of herself—she thinks she knows best and can help out whenever needed. She tends to take this belief she knows best for everyone else to the extremes. It’s a tad off putting at times because she won’t get moved from her ideas. I liked her growth through the story, though and was glad she did have a chance to do so.

Edward has his issues, too. He’s the bastard son and doesn’t think he’s good enough for anyone. He believes, no matter what, that everyone is looking down on him. It got a tad old after a while because I wanted to say, you know, they aren’t all against you. He had chances with Olivia, but was too consumed with his feelings of inadequacy.

Still, the passion between Olivia and Edward sizzled. I couldn’t get enough.

I’m glad I read this book and even though it’s book 2 in the series, I didn’t feel lost. I recommend this for anyone who wants a fun afternoon read.

In The Sheriff’s Protection by Lauri Robinson

In The Sheriff’s Protection by Lauri Robinson
Publisher: Harlequin Mills and Boon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

He will protect her

But can the sheriff resist his forbidden desire?

Oak Grove sheriff Tom Baniff might be hunting Clara Wilson’s criminal husband, but that doesn’t mean he won’t help protect Clara and her young son from the outlaw’s deadly threats. When he invites Clara to his hometown, Tom is determined to keep her safe. But with her so close, can he resist the allure of the only woman he’s ever wanted?

When I read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book that said she wrote “In The Sheriff’s Protection” in two weeks I was alarmed. You see, I am a fan of Lauri Robinson and I have her on a pedestal. This is my sixth book written by her. More importantly, I am a huge fan of the Oak Grove series. I was afraid to start the book because I didn’t want to be disappointed like I have been in the past by other authors and their series. I had the book for a week before I had the courage to start it.

I was scared for nothing! Seriously, let me quote the first paragraph and see if it captures your interest like it did mine.

“Ma, a rider’s coming’ up the road!” Billy exclaimed, his legs going the same speed they always were. At a run. “A man on horseback! Maybe it’s Pa, MA! Maybe he’s come home!” Clara Wilson squeezed the edge of the table, willing the fire-hot pain in her leg to ease while trying to find the wherewithal to respond to her son. “Shut. The. Door. Billy,” she forced out.

Need I say more?

Lauri Robinson is still number one in my book and so is the Oak Grove series.

It was enjoyable to watch the hero, Tom Baniff, succumb to falling in love with Clara Wilson, the heroine. He tried to resist the attraction for numerous reasons but it was inevitable. Clara lived a hard life and it was rewarding to see her accept Tom’s love. She had her many reasons why she and Tom could never be but with time those reasons became invalid. I really liked Tom because he was a sweet and kind man that possessed the rough and tough qualities necessary to be a respected sheriff. All the qualities I enjoy in a hero. Clara was written as a relatable heroine who loved her son and would do anything for him. As a mother myself I was able to justify her decisions based on my love for my child. Together as a couple, they made for a durable sweet romance.

In the synopsis it mentions that Tom is hunting for Clara’s criminal husband, Hugh Wilson. That plot thread added a bit of suspense. The entire plot as a whole made for a rapid page turner. I was entertained and intrigued with the several plot twists and turns that occurred along the way.

I want to share a recent experience that I had with my sister. She suggested I read a book that was part of a series that supposedly could be read as a standalone. She loved it and thought I would to. I wasn’t as enthralled about it as she was. My reasoning was that I felt lost with all the mentions of other characters. My belief is that only a fan of the series would understand those connections as they’d read the previous books. Therefore that means I felt they were under developed, just tossed into the script. This experience got me thinking about the Oak Grove series that I adore so much.

The Oak Gove series are books that can be read as standalones. However, as I was reading “In the Sheriff’s Protection” I was paying particular attention to honorable mentions from previous books in this series. Would I feel the same way about this story as I did the book my sister recommended if I hadn’t read the previous books about Oak Grove? Each time I read a story from this series I am overcome with comforting and familiar feelings. Lauri Robinson does write a story with a cast of characters that I think about days after finishing one of her books.

This time a character from a previous book, Angus, had a much more developed script in this story. I have to honestly look back and ask myself, would I have enjoyed this book as much as I did without reading the other books? I have to say no, I wouldn’t. Several of the past characters were mentioned as if tossed in but I knew who they were so I didn’t feel lost. I understand it was the author’s intent to establish the sense of community in Oak Grove. These characters actually do need to be mentioned and because they were, I felt embraced by the community I’ve come to love.

This brings me to the conclusion that new readers really do need to read at least some of the previous books in order to be enthralled with In the Sheriff’s Protection as I am. This is especially so since this novel has the feeling of being even more dependent on the world building that’s come before. Since I have, I can claim with authority that I loved it! And, I definitely recommend this novel to fans of this series.

In conclusion, I was satisfied with “In the Sheriff’s Protection” and its happy ever after. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Oak Grove series being released in the Fall of 2018.

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (241 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

England, 1861. A world-weary rake and a prim vicar’s daughter are thrown together during a holiday house party. Will they discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?

After years of unbridled debauchery, Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton has hit proverbial rock bottom. Seeking to escape his melancholy, he takes refuge at one of Victorian society’s most notorious house parties. As the Christmas season approaches, he prepares to settle in for a month of heavy drinking…until an unexpected encounter changes his plans–and threatens his heart.

Valentine March is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. When her new job as a lady’s companion lands her smack in the middle of Yorkshire with England’s most infamous rake, she resolves to keep her head down and her eyes fixed firmly on her future–a future which most definitely does not include a sinfully handsome viscount.

A friendship is impossible. An affair out of the question. But when one reckless act binds them together, will two star-crossed souls discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?

Unexpected and enthralling are the best words to describe Mimi Matthews’ romance, The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter. Its hard to know where to begin… perhaps with a word about characters, as they are first and foremost. The mostly no good young viscount Tristan is unexpectedly sympathetic; the dear, unattached lady, Valentine, is equally unexpected, as her artistic proclivities are closer to her heart than making the required match…

No spoilers here! Suffice to say, we kick off with two likeable main characters, quickly realize that some of the lesser are also Very Much Not the required respectable Victorian types, and the unexpected is only compounded. Well before the house party kicks off, I was completely enthralled.

I can’t fault this one: it’s the best romance I have read in ages.

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full length (346 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

Regan is a mail order bride. She and the doctor have written several letters to each other. He’s looking for a mother for his child. She’s looking for adventure and figures Wyoming will provide it. But their first meeting didn’t go well. After the stage was set upon by robbers, she got out her rifle and took care of them. When she sees more riders coming she shoots at them, too. Unfortunately, the man she hit was her intended…

Ms. Jenkins always writes a good story and this one is no exception. Her words flow well and she creates conflict as well as love in her stories.

The doctor was expecting a lady from back east. She was hoping for a love match. No one lied in their letters but meeting each other changes expectations. He has no interest in love. She wears denims and can do much more than household duties. Even worse, she has her own money.

Her husband’s mother-in-law hates her and has browbeat the young daughter. Another woman in town wanted him for herself and she’s very critical of Regan. But Regan can hold her own.

One of my favorite lines was when the girl asks her new momma if she and daddy were going to jump around on the bed like her friend’s parents did. Sure, that’s what they were doing…

With lots of odd relatives and friends, the two grow closer together. It’s great fun to watch how they respond to the challenges.

This was a very good read.