Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
At the age of sixteen Rachel’s father sold her to a fifty six year old man and for nine years she was married to him until his death. All she ever wanted was a child but after visiting one doctor after another, one beating after another she was convinced she was barren. All her late husband left her was debts thanks to his gambling and after selling everything and paying the creditors she signed up to be a mail-order bride. She had no skills other than taking care of a home and no money.
After twenty-six days on a coach she was met by Marshal Joshua Egan who advised her that her fiance ran off. Now alone and with little money she accepts the Marshal’s proposition to marry him and care for his four children, a nine year old daughter Maggie, four year old twin boys and a six month old little girl. Now her dream of being a mother is fulfilled and she hopes that Joshua is nothing like her dead husband.
All the children except for Maggie welcome her with open arms but Maggie lets her know in no uncertain terms that she hates her and doesn’t need her. Rachel is determined to at least try to be friends with Maggie because in the short time she is with them she loves them all. Joshua’s wife was killed during a stagecoach hold up and all he wants is revenge. He needs a mother for his children to enable him to go after the men who killed his wife.
Rachel has no idea that her brother Frank who rides the Pony Express snuck an envelope into her trunk before she left or that her brother Frank would bring danger to her and the children. Billy Granger the leader of the Granger gang is a brutal man who doesn’t hesitate to kill anyone who doesn’t do what he wants and Billy wants the envelope that Frank left. Rachel realizes that Billy is a danger to the children and to Joshua and her first meeting with him doesn’t end well. She should have confided in her husband who is the Marshall but she didn’t and it could cost her everything she ever wanted.
The story was beautifully told and the characters were wonderful. Rachel has a chance at a happy life but will her brother’s actions bring everything crashing down. This book had everything I could want from a historical romance, a taste of the 1800’s (not a time I would ever wish to return to) danger and adorable children I couldn’t help but love.