Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Another visit to the old West, it is 1863 and Eve Coleman is plying her trade at a poker table surrounded by men, most of whom never let a bar of soap or water touch their bodies. One good guy sat there, Daniel Calhoun who wound up saving her life when one of the men took exception to her winning all his money. Convinced she was cheating he pulled a gun only to be shot by Daniel. Eve didn’t have to cheat but she would have if it meant parting these men from the money they stole from a poor prostitute.
With help from Daniel she finds the girl, Brandi who not only had the money she was saving to buy out her contract stolen but they beat her so badly that they removed her chances of making money for a long time. Feeling for her Eve bought out her contract and asked her to accompany her to Silver City where she on the advice of Daniel accepted a judge’s offer for a mail-order bride. Since Daniel was convinced the men would not rest till they found her leaving and being married were for her protection.
Arriving in Silver City she is surprised to learn that the man she was to marry was not the judge but the marshal, Cameron Neal. The judge is dying and his dying wish is to have Cameron married with a family of his own. As the judge performed the marriage ceremony Eve realized that his illness was nothing but a hoax which Cameron would have realized if he was not so close to the situation.
Brandi was a young girl living on the streets and figured getting paid for sex beat being raped, now she has a chance at a new future with a woman she now considers her sister. Brandi also saved the day when she said she can cook since Eve never learned, so they would have no need to eat out or starve.
Eve was married before and her husband died and in spite of not being a virgin she insists that Cameron and her get to know each other before they consummate their marriage. It also didn’t hurt that her husband knew nothing about pleasing a woman so sex was just her means of having children. Cameron proved he was nothing like her dead husband and would wait till the time was right.
As the three set up a home and learn about each other there is still the threat of Buck Stone and his brothers finding them. I loved watching as Cameron and Eve began to care for each other, of course, each waiting for the other to say the words, I love you. Brandi was beginning to put her past behind her but there was always the possibility that if she found a man she could love that her past would be too much for him to handle. She was a girl who deserved a good life and although Cameron and Eve provided that it wasn’t the same as a husband and children of her own.
Loved this book, the characters and the suspense and reading about a time in history where life was so different than what we have now.