Margaret “Maggie” Flemming was happy. She was on a train bound for Rockdale, Texas, to stay with her “father”, Roy Davis. Maggie’s mother was a socialite who had gotten in trouble. Roy took on Maggie as his own daughter and loved her as such. Maggie’s mother was not happy in her role as a rancher’s wife and took her young daughter and herself back to Boston to live with Maggie’s aunt. Aunt Margaret was a crochety, nasty old woman who was unkind to the young girl and harassed her at every turn. Maggie had enough and after her mother’s death headed west to live with her father. Sadly, shortly after she arrived at his ranch, he had an unfortunate accident and passed away. As he lay dying, he wrung a pledge out of his neighbor and former playmate of Maggie, Garrett Shaw, to marry her and protect her.
Theirs was not a happy marriage, because although Maggie had always loved Garrett, he thought that she had abandoned him when her mother took her from Texas. He did not think that she was capable of living on a ranch and doing what ranch women had to do. Her salvation came in the form of a young Indiana woman, Lenny, who taught her what she needed to know.
Garrett’s ranch was mortgaged to a despicable bully and he was trying to make enough money to pay it off. Maggie had her hands full trying to make Garrett love her and accept her as his wife. The story has a lot of twists and turns and is very engaging. I particularly liked the other ranch hands and Maggie’s way of speaking her mind. I didn’t mind the occasional swear words either. It made her bigger than life. “An Unwilling Husband” by Tera Shanley was a very appealing book for anyone who loves a good western novel.
I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.
Lucky for Thorpe Turlow that Lily Starr was a crack shot and was in the right place at the right time. Indian braves wounded Thorpe as he was travelling across Missouri in 1868. Not only was she a good shot, but was determined to make sure that Thorpe’s injuries didn’t kill him. She had been part of a wagon train that parted company with her and a group of outcasts heading from Texas to Wyoming. They needed to be at Fort Laramie by Christmas. After Lily saved Thorpe, he continued to travel with them as a sort of protection. Beset by Indians, outlaws, bad weather and other dangers, the group made their way to Thorpe’s ranch to winter until spring.
Having read two other books that Scarlett Dunn has written, I was pretty sure I would really enjoy “Christmas at Dove Creek”. I was not mistaken because Ms. Dunn’s characters are very well developed as is her story. Even though this book is sort of “Christmasy”, it definitely not just a Christmas read. I was totally engrossed in this book and I recommend it to others who enjoy reading about the wild west and those heading westward.
I received a free print copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.
In the novel, “The Doctor’s Wife” by Myra Hargrave McIlvain, Amelia Anton is a nanny for a prosperous German entrepreneur and his wife and son. They embark on the long trip to Texas where German immigrants have been promised some land and the hope of building a new life. On the sea journey, the little boy is taken ill and passes away. His mother is also ill and after arriving in America succumbs to her fever. The father sells Amelia’s services to a hotel as a chambermaid. The doctor who attended her employer, Dr. Joseph Stein, is taken with Amelia and asks for her hand in marriage. She is to accompany him to Indian Point where the German immigrants are waiting for transport to New Braunfels, Texas and the promise of land and opportunity.
She is not prepared for life with Dr. Stein as he is not the husband she thought he would be. She lives a life of loneliness as her husband is not attentive. She becomes friends with others in the community and makes the best of the life she has.
This book disturbed me because of the way that Amelia was treated. She was not physically abused, but some things are far worse to endure. The interesting story of this book is the history of the way settlement of New Braunfels happened. Ms. McIlvain is a gifted historian in all things Texas.
I was selected to receive a complimentary print copy of this book from Ms. McIlvain.
“Texas Cindrella” by Winnie Griggs Was a delightful little novel and one of the books in the Texas Grooms series. Cassie Lynn Vickers has been keeping house for her farmer father and sons since her mother passed away. After her brother got married and brought his bride to the family farm house, Cassie decided to take a job in town as a caretaker for Mrs. Flanagan, and start her own bakery business with hopes of expanding to her own shop.
Riley Walker is on the run with his niece and nephew, hiding out from their father, his step-brother. The children become ill and the trio is befriended by Mrs. Flanagan and Cassie. This long stop in Turnabout, Texas gives the children’s father time to catch up to them. Hoping that the Pinkerton agent he hired will find something to make sure that the kids’ no-good father is put away for a long time, Riley decides to face whatever happens to keep the children safe with him.
I thought the story was very sweet and the characters were real enough for the time period of the story. Ms. Griggs has written an engaging tale and I liked it. I was sent a Kindle copy of this book by NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.
“The Loyal Heart” by Shelley Shepard Gray is her first in the Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series. I enjoyed reading this novel which takes place after the Civil War in Galveston, Texas. A group of Confederate soldiers were imprisoned in a Union Army POW camp on Johnson Island in Lake Erie until the end of the war. These men made a pact to always be there for each other when needed. One of the men, Phillip Markham died of his injuries in the prison and Captain Devon Monroe contacts Robert Truax to travel to Galveston to see how Markham’s widow is faring. Rumors are that she is in trouble and needs the assistance of her husband’s friends.
I enjoyed reading this novel very much as I do all of Ms. Shepard’s books. I am excited to read novels set post-Civil War as the end of the war did end some hostilities right away. Sometimes stories about the aftermath of conflict hold readers’ interest more than stories about the battlegrounds. I am anxious to read further novels in the series.
I was sent a print copy of this book by LitFuse Publicity.com in return for my honest review.
“Jilted” by Varina Denman is the third book and conclusion of the Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner’s life has not been an easy one. She is in a dead-end job, lives in a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and cannot seem to overcome her depression. Even though she has a beautiful daughter who has married a fine man, and friends who care for her, she feels unloved. Enter an ex-con who wants nothing more than to live a good life and forget the past. The past has been unkind to both Lynda and Clyde, which makes them leery of their future, especially together. Lynda is afraid to trust and Clyde is afraid to pursue Lynda. All comes to a head when a past deed afflicts them and their friends with the truth and its consequence.
I enjoyed the book and the writing, but wish I had read the books in order. I felt that I missed out on some aspects of the story that would have been explained had I read the other two novels.
I received a print copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review.
I just finished “Every Bride Needs Groom”, by Janice Thompson, a novel in the Brides with Style Series. Katie Fisher is a girl in a small Texas town…a town with the usual characters and her family surrounding her. She has been dating Casey for a while now and is very sure that he is going to propose any minute now. So Katie decides to enter a contest for a made-just-for-her wedding gown offered by Cosmopolitan magazine. But Casey hits a foul and doesn’t ask for her hand, he dumps her for a new job in the city. In the meantime Katie wins the contest, only she isn’t going to be a bride just yet. You have to read this lighthearted story to find out what happens to Katie and to her family. I thought it was a delightful book.
I received a free print copy of the book from RevellReads.com in return for my honest opinion of the novel.