The Hunter Bride Book Cover The Hunter Bride
Hope's Crossing Book 1
Cynthia Woolf
Historical Western Romance
Firehouse Publishing
November 27, 2015
Ebook and Print
227

Five years ago, a band of outlaws murdered Josephine Shafter's parents and younger brother. Desperate for vengeance, Jo has spent every day since serving the law as a bounty hunter. But the trouble with justice served is that now that her family's killer has been brought in, she has nothing to do and no one to hunt. She decides it may be time for a new life and a fresh start. She longs for the arms of a strong man around her, and for a child of her own. But the Chicago dandies don't know how to kiss a woman who is tougher than they are. Jo decides her best chance at happiness is to head out West, to the wild Montana territory, to start a new life as a mail order bride.

Sam Longworth has been the Sheriff of Hope's Crossing, Montana for two miserable years. He was much happier roaming the untamed plains as a bounty hunter, bringing outlaws to justice. But that was no life for a husband or father, and his wife wanted him home, safe and sound, every night. Forced into marriage, theirs had never been a love match, but he thought warming her bed every night would be enough. Instead she left him and took a stagecoach to rendezvous with her childhood sweetheart. She vowed never to return, and died on the journey.

Plagued by guilt over her death, Sam doesn't need a woman's love, he just needs a wife. He orders a mail order bride, a woman who won't make too many demands, who can build a home and give him children. Josephine fits his life perfectly, until danger follows her to her new home and he realizes she's keeping secrets that could get them both killed. Trust is a hard road for two lost souls used to keeping secrets, and their new and fragile love might not be strong enough to survive what's coming.

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Josephine “Jo” Shafter is not your usual Western woman, she is a bounty hunter. When Jo was born her father treated her for most of her life as a boy teaching her to hunt animal and human. When her brother was born he took over in joining her father on his bounty hunting trips but she still went on occasion.

On one trip hunting for a wanted man she arrived home to find her entire family dead. Her father watched as his wife and son were shot and then himself. Jo’s father had put away the brother of Billy Jackson and he got his revenge. Now it was Jo’s turn to avenge her family and it took five long years until Billy was behind bars and in a court room. Finally able to now become the girl she should have been, she wants a husband and children. Like so many other’s before her she became a mail-order bride. Her husband to be was Sam Longworth a sheriff in a small mining town in the Montana Territory.

The minute Jo stepped off the carriage she and Sam were married by a judge that had seen her at Billy’s trial and knew she was a bounty hunter. information she had kept from Sam. Sam also had secrets he too was once a bounty hunter but was afraid admitting it to his new bride would make her run like his first wife did.

Things are going well between the newly married couple they consummated their marriage the very first night and every night thereafter. Jo was happy with her new life until news came that Billy had escaped. She knew that she would be his next target. Determined to find him and bring him to justice she sneaks out resuming her bounty hunting ways without Sam’s knowledge. Will she find Billy? What will happen when Sam and Jo finally reveal their secrets to each other?

I loved this story the way I loved all of Ms. Woolf’s other books. I especially enjoyed reading about how Jo tried to learn cooking something she didn’t know and her husband thought she did. It didn’t take long before he discovered her secret in the kitchen when she served him raw meat. There were surprises and secrets and lots of romance.

**2015 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Award Nominee**