The sudden death of the town marshal leaves Blue River, Texas, without a lawman…and twenty-five-year-old Dara Rose Nolan without a husband. As winter approaches and her meager seamstress income dwindles, she has three options. Yet she won’t give up her two young daughters, refuses to join the fallen women of the Bitter Gulch Saloon and can’t fathom condemning herself to another loveless marriage. Unfortunately she must decide—soon—because there’s a new marshal in town, and she’s living under his roof.
With the heart of a cowboy, Clay McKettrick plans to start a ranch and finally settle down. He isn’t interested in uprooting Dara Rose and her children, but he is interested in giving her protection, friendship—and passion. And when they say “I do” to a marriage of convenience, the temporary lawman’s Christmas wish is to make Dara Rose his permanent wife….
Such a sweet story.
This book is part of the McKettrick series and features Clay McKettrick, the son of Jeb and Chloe McKettrick (Secondhand Bride). He moves from the family ranch in Arizona to the Town of Blue River, Texas, where he has taken the job as the local Marshall. He meets the rather poor local townfolk, including the widow and children of the prior Marshall. Part of his compensation for the job as Marshall, was the Marshall’s house, but he finds he cannot evict the lovely Dara Rose Nolan and her children.
This is a very sweet story of love that blooms between Clay and Dara Rose. The children are delightful. If you like to read a nice romance where the love grows between the main characters, you should read this book. There were hints of some big conflicts, including a rival suitor, as well as a visit from a cousin, but neither seem to really go anywhere. Not much excitement to this story.
Received advance copy from NetGalley.com, courtesy of Harlequin.
Rating: 3 stars
“Mama says we’ll all have to go to the poorhouse, now that you’re here.” She announced.
“Is that so?” Clay asked mildly, as he reached up, took the child by the waist and lifted her off the horse, setting her gently on her feet.
Edrina nodded in reply to his rhetorical question, still smiling, and the curl resting on her forehead bobbed with the motion of her head. “My papa was the marshal a while back,” she informed Clay matter-of-factly, “but then he died in the arms of a misguided woman in a room above the Bitter Gulch Saloon and left us high and dry.”
Clay blinked, wondering if he’d mistaken Edna Nolan for a child when she was actually a lot older. Say, forty.