~~~~ Reviews from my jumbled perspective. ~~~~
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**Not all lists are updated
**I apologize for the poor grammar in the earlier book reviews.
I love movies. I love to knit. I love going to lunch with friends.
Have you traveled to do research for your books?
Yes. I've traveled a lot to research my books. I've been to Montana and Wyoming too many times to count. My favorite vacation is just driving through Montana, stopping here and there, just soaking up details and how it feels like to be there. I hope that makes my stories authentic to readers.
Do you laugh and cry while writing your books?
All the time. I've been known to cry so hard, I can't see the computer screen. Once, while sitting on my porch writing, I broke out in laughter over and over again, which was very worrying for the neighbors who knew I was sitting all by myself. They may think I'm slightly crazy--or maybe a lot crazy. LOL.
Favorite book or character you have written?
Two characters tie for first. Frank Granger, from Wyoming Wedding Bells. And Zane, from High Mountain Drifter. Frank is such a good man, who truly loves his family. I adore that. And Zane is just, well, awesome. He's a good man in an entirely different way. I love them both.
Any advice for those who are just starting out?
Don't worry about market or writing the way other people think you should write. Study your craft. But most importantly, follow your heart. It will lead you right every time.
Are you sad to end a series and leave the characters behind?
I'm always sad. It's why I write series. So I can stay with the characters and the family for as long as possible. But when that series comes to an end, I have the worst time letting myself finish the story because I will miss those characters very much. I get a little attached, what can I say? <g>.
What is your go-to snack?
Ruffles potato chips.
******************** The Blake Brothers Series
******************** The McKaslin Brothers Series (Sweet)
Logan McKaslin hasn't been back home to Bluebell, Montana for fifteen years. Since he joined the Navy at age nineteen and left Bluebell...and his grandmother. Now some nosy neighbor has contacted his brother Conner and said Gram's isn't doing well. Out of the Navy and in between jobs...Logan heads back home.
Adaline Wagner loved Bea McKaslin and was frustrated that none of her five grandsons came down to visit her and now when she needed help most...where were they? Not here, that's for sure. And then one shows up. Good thing Adaline has her anger because otherwise her heart could be in trouble with such a handsome man around.
Jillian Hart returns to another branch of McKaslins in these books. Bea McKaslin raised her five grandsons after their parents passed away. Conner, Logan, Sawyer and the mischievous twins; Gus and Flynn. Flynn's story will be in book two, A Reason to Believe. Looks like another great series. And as always, tissue alert.
Flynn McKaslin and his twin, Gus, have a successful business. He's happy living and working in Seattle, but doesn't mind coming back to Bluebell to help his gram. Luckily the bakery in town has good Internet so he can work while he visits. And the girl behind the counter is just an added plus. To only flirt with of course, no serious relationships for this guy.
Bailey Reed is carrying a load of hurt on her shoulders. And secrets. Her pride prevents her from truly sharing with anyone...even her cousins who have been so good to her. If only the wi-fi thief would mind his own business and stay out of hers. Her mother had taught her about men and she wasn't going to trust one. Ever.
This is the second book in this series. The first one is Where the Heart Is. Five brothers come back to Bluebell, Montana after the grandmother who raised them is injured. And even if she is doing better...they are going to keep their eyes on her. And perhaps their eyes might wander to some of the other residents of Bluebell as well. Loved the first two books in this series and looking forward to more of the brothers stories. **Tissue Alert.
Gus McKaslin has a lot of decisions to make in his life. His twin and business partner, Flynn, is getting married and that changes the direction of Gus's life. When visiting Bluebell he also has to face new challenges. Can he overcome the hurt from his past and face a new future?
Faith McConnell loves being a veterinarian. After her mother's death, she seemed to lose her remaining family, so her friends in Bluebell is all she has. And if ever the right guy comes along...he'll have to be as committed as she is in their relationship. That would leave out the very handsome and likable Gus, as he's determined to stay a bachelor.
I'm loving this series. Wonderful characters...including the lash-batting bovines and whiskery horse kisses. Bea McKaslin is thankful that two out of the five grandsons she raised has found love, and it's looking like a third one is headed that way. Can she hope the last two workaholic men can find it as well?
As with most of Jillian's stories; tissue alert.
Book 4: Once in Every Life
Mia Stanton knew the McKaslin brothers came to town from time to time to visit Bea, and, in fact, three of the five now lived in Bluebell after finding love. The one she hadn't seen since high school—the one she had a crush on—hadn't crossed her path. Until now. And wouldn't you know it, even with his scowl that said, “Stay away” her heart pulled that crush back out.
Conner McKaslin had his heart barricaded. Closed up for all eternity. Or so he thought. He had developed a scowl that kept most women away from him. As a talented and sought after cardiologist, he found women wanted his money, not him. So why did it feel like his heart was trying to escape those walls when he was around Mia?
Three brothers have fallen—in love. Conner and Sawyer are the last McKaslin brothers standing in the bachelor section. Small-town gossip practically has Conner married off to Mia though. Just because a man who doesn't spend time in a woman's company has been seen with one...and perhaps even lost his scowl around her...doesn't mean anything. She is his Realtor after all.
Callie Carpenter is heading off to a new start in life. She's going to Clark Creek as a mail-order bride and leaving her four sisters behind. She'd be marrying goodhearted Dr. Earl Reynolds who had two sweet little girls and his wonderful mother, that's what he wrote anyways and he wouldn't lie. Even if her serious sister Emma wasn't sure about the whole thing. That was the plan anyways until a train robbery. Until she is kidnapped by the train robbers. Until everything changed.
Marshal Mason Greer has been hunting the Folsom Gang for some time now. These guys are bad news. Bad like the guy who had changed his life all those years ago by taking his wife from him. Mason was sure he had no love left in him to give anyone or to even care. Then he met Callie and somehow his cold heart warmed up again.
Another excellent story from Jillian Hart. Full of adventure and romance, good guys and bad and some of those small-town nasty gossips. The characters and their emotions came to life. Such as, the sadness Callie feels leaving her sisters and yet excitement to start her new life. Looking forward to the next books in this series and excited to see which of the secondary characters will be part of those books. This reader could not put the book down until the last word was read.
Maggie Carpenter is ready for her new adventure. Her very own happily ever after. The letters from the man wanting a mail-order bride in Pine Haven, Montana Territory has already endeared himself to her. And her sister Callie who married a few months back has told her how wonderful the marriage bed is. She just can't wait. It's all going to be so perfect, right?
Miles McClintock has closed his heart to women. All women. Two broken hearts is more than enough for one lifetime. When he ends up with the pretty young woman who was left standing at the train depot he hardens his heart a bit more. That don't mean he won't be a gentleman and help her out. It does mean that he'll stay clear of her no matter how much his pa and grandfather would like him to get to know her. All women are alike, even this angelic looking one.
The first book in this series is First Class Male. The first of five sisters finds happiness as she becomes a mail-order bride. Even if her happiness came in a roundabout way. The third book is Abby's story in Priority Male. From the first two books this is looking to be an exciting series. These mail-order sisters aren't having an easy road to love. There are some pretty rough and tough characters along that road to their happiness.
Graham Brelin is a Range Rider and he's good at it. Being the lone wolf he is. Unlike the uncomfortable position he finds himself in when he has to bring his nieces to their granny. And fate would have it that he meets up with an old friend on the way.
Abby Carpenter remembered what it was like to have a family and a home. Before her four sisters and herself ended up as orphans. She was headed to that new life. A man who would love her. A home. Children. And maybe she'd even feel the spark from her new husband that she felt from her first love.
Five sisters were doing their best to survive on their own after leaving the orphanage. Two sisters had found their happy-ever-after, just as Abby is hoping to find. I just love this series and look forward to the stories for the final two sisters, Dee and the doomsayer, Emma.
Trent Sullivan is leaving the town he's lived in his whole life to start over. He is going to be a mail-order groom. There's nothing left for him in this town his father and uncle started. He lost everyone he loved by death or because of what happened. Time to move on and start over.
Dee Carpenter couldn't believe her eyes when her soon-to-be-husband stepped off the train. He just had to be too good to be true. Handsome, kind, all around good guy. Or was he hiding a more sinister side behind all of that?
Dee and Emma are the last two unmarried sisters—now it will only be Emma. Each sister has found their happily-ever-after—even though Emma was against each one of them leaving for some stranger. Looking forward to her story.
**Sexual content and mild language
You've Got Mail
Timber Valley Brides Series Timber Valley Brides Collection: All three in one Amazon
Charlotte Clark was finally going to have family again. And love. After losing her father and selling everything to pay his debts, she couldn't wait to have somewhere to call home once again. And from the letters she received, she already loved her future husband and his family. Arriving in her new town...her dreams washed away with the rain that fell.
Gilbert McBride had loved and lost once. He was a wise enough man never to walk that path again. Ever. When another hifalutin woman, just like the one who hurt him, was standing on the train platform, he wanted to ignore her. Soon enough, he knew he should have.
Whenever I read a mail-order bride story, I think how those real-life women truly took a chance when answering an ad. They never truly knew what would be waiting at the end of their trip. Great story.
Fitz Callahan was a rough man with a heart of steel. He needed to be to survive. The life of a bounty hunter was a solitary life for a man. It fit him well. Until the day a young boy looked up at him with his big eyes and asked if he could hire him. A young boy that reminded him of himself as a child. How could he say no?
Sally Tucker had sadness and loss in her life but she didn't let it change how she lived her life. She loved people and her town and faced each day and each person with a smile. She had love once in her life and never expected to find it again. Until he rode into town...
Another wonderful story. Otis, the young boy, really adds a lot to the story. A young boy with hope and trusting the big bad bounty hunter will help him. Be sure to read the first story in this series, High Mountain Bride.
Lola Whitfield planned on living the life of a spinster. She had promised her late uncle that she would care for her aunt and as she found out...men might want her, but not with an aunt attached. So she was as content as possible...considering she was working for the Allen's. Was...until the day he came home.
Harrison Allen couldn't believe his first love was working as a maid for his parents. Or that she got fired because of his foolishness. He had been sent away from home over a decade ago because of Lola...he was not going let his mother ruin his life further.
A Cinderella type story. Lola had once been in the society group until her parents died. She couldn't see how she would ever be accepted back into those ranks after she had been a maid and waitress. Because she may have caught Prince Charming's eye, but his mother was more like the wicked witch.
Sarah Combs was sadly excepting that she would most likely be a spinster. As she watched the different men in her town, none of them seemed to be Mr. Right. And then a tall, dark stranger on a black steed entered her life...to save a kitty. Her heart was gone...but so was his. Just not in the same way.
Lucas McMillian knew his daughter wanted a ma. He also knew that Sarah would be the perfect woman to fit that slot. Only problem with getting his daughter a ma was that he'd end up with a wife. Been there, done that, had the scars to prove it. Could a tender-hearted woman like Sarah accept a marriage of convenience?
Back to McPhee land...before the McPhee girls show up. The Rocking M Ranch staff are still up in the air what will happen to their ranch...and their livelihood. Sarah's dad is Burton, one of the older ranch hands. Loved this story and as always...keep the tissues nearby.
Maebry O'Riley is a distant relative to the McPhee's. She needed to get her sister and herself out of Ireland and away from their step-dad. Even if it meant becoming an indentured servant to Maureen McPhee. The woman was a cruel taskmaster, but it was better than what she had and her sister was safe as well. She had been holding onto a secret crush for over two months now, ever since Gil Blackburn came to the Rocking M. It would always have to be her secret, she was not free to live her own life. Not for a long, long time.
Gil Blackburn had taken notice of Maebry from the start as well. Everyone knows about her contract with Maureen, but it doesn't matter to him. The heart chooses who it will choose. If she would have him, that is.
This is the beginning of the McPhee Clan books. They take place in the small town of Bluebell, Montana Territory in the 1870's. The Rocking M Ranch is run by a hard woman named Maureen McPhee. She is a nasty piece of work and one of those characters that has no redeeming qualities. She's on her deathbed and still as mean as a snake. Aumaleigh has stuck with her mother, even given up love because of her. Her sons have deserted her long ago. Welcome to the world of Bluebell. There will be many books to follow in this sweet series.
Daisy McPhee has packed up her four sisters, Iris, Rose, Magnolia and Verbena, and headed out from the city of Chicago to the plains of Montana Territory. They have been struggling to survive and learned hard lessons but now they have an inheritance from their grandmother. For the first time Daisy has hope that their life might take a turn for the better. She don’t want to even think that it could be worse than what they have left behind.
Beckett Kincaid had hoped to be part owner of the Rocking M, one of the biggest ranches in the county. Maureen McPhee had given him part ownership years ago but now that she has passed on, it seems his hopes have as well. He wants to dislike her granddaughters who have been given what he worked so hard for, but from the moment he meets Daisy McPhee he finds it impossible to dislike her and in fact, he struggles not to like her quite so much.
Jillian gives insight into what several characters are thinking at times, not just the main two. I enjoy when an author allows the reader to see further into what others are thinking, pulling the reader further into the story while making those characters come alive. You will find that the McPhee girls are quite a mix of personalities. I love the humor the author uses within the story but there is also adventure and fear. These girls have mostly experienced the bad side of men and it will take a lot for them to trust that there is a good side. The next in the series is The Sweetest Thing, where Daisy and Beckett’s story will be continued along with where Magnolia’s story begins. The next five books are listed on my blog but there will more to come.
Magnolia McPhee is the forth sister out of five. The girls have had some bad experiences with men and are rather gun shy of them. For Magnolia the handsome Tyler is a challenge as she does her best not to like him. He makes her laugh and she has trouble keeping up her no-men-allowed walls. He’s also rich, she grew up dirt poor. She has learned that in life it does matter if backgrounds are so different.
Tyler Montgomery refuses to give up on Magnolia. He don’t believe in love, but something about this girl draws her to him, and he needs to find out what it is so he can move on. Good thing the sisters have hired him to work on remodeling their manor. It gives him plenty of opportunities to get to know that particular sister.
Jillian will have the reader laughing, crying, squirming and helping fight villains in her McPhee series. If the girls aren’t trying to comfort an old mistreated horse, they may be battling to keep birds, racoons or snakes from taking over their mansion. The five sisters are doing their best to keep a distance from love, but in book one, Montana Hearts, Daisy McPhee has failed at that mission. Can the last four sisters fight their past and find love or will bitter memories leave them as a bunch of spinsters?
Zane Reed comes to Bluebell to repay a debt to Sheriff Milo Gray. Zane is known as a bounty hunter who goes after some of the worst outlaws. Maybe this Ernest Craddock fellow isn’t the most wanted outlaw but anyone who hurts women is no good in his book. Zane figures he’ll be in and out of town in no time as always, a man like him is seldom welcomed in polite society. He never expected to find someone to break through to his frozen heart.
Verbena McPhee is fed up with men. Because of her bad choices, she feels her responsible for putting her sisters in danger. She has a no man vow and plans to keep it in place. When she sees the kindness in the gray eyes of the bounty hunter her vow could be in jeopardy. Only this man isn’t the settling down type, he’s the moving on kind of man. Only he might be leaving town with her heart.
The other McPhee sisters have their little stories happening as well. The continued wedding plans for two of them. And the courting of another. Their Aunt Aumaleigh has her own story and another piece is added to it in this book as well. The author leaves the reader ready for the next book to see what will be next in the sister’s lives and those who occupy the small town of Bluebell, Montana Territory.
Annie McPhee has lived a hard twenty-one years so far. She is hoping that life will be better now that she heard from an aunt who is willing to give her a job. She has even sent money for her to come to Bluebell in Montana Territory. And happily there was enough money for her to take her sister Bea with, not that she would have ever left her behind.
Adam Butler is bringing Annie's things to Bluebell for her, but not for the money like she thinks. He has loved her for a long time and is too shy to tell her. This is his last chance to try to win her heart. If he doesn't, he'll live with his own broken one the rest of his life.
The McPhee clan is growing. A happy surprise for the girls and Aumaleigh to find Annie and Bea. And the family will be growing even more as it's getting closer to some of the weddings. Heartwarming characters and stories that bring a smile to your face and at times, tears to your eyes.
Rose McPhee was so happy in their new life. The bakery business was increasing, her youngest sister married and two others engaged. She was being beaued by the handsome deputy, who she kept trying to tell her heart to care more for. Love would come, right? Or would she just settle for being content?
Seth Daniels owned the local livery and was the town of Bluebell's blacksmith. He wasn't big on love or marriage, he hadn't seen it work out for his ma. And yet ever since the McPhee gals came to town, his eyes always found Rose. On their own accord, of course. Too bad, she was wealthy now and already taken.
Another light hearted story by Jillian Hart. Full of fun and romance and a touch of danger. And plenty of lovable horses full of personality. Like Odie, the ranch horse that is too masculine to be used in the task of cake deliveries.
Penelope Shalvis would be considered “on the shelf” back home in Boston society, but not here in Bluebell, Montana Territory. No matter, after what happened to her back in Boston, romance was the last thing she wanted. She could give all her love to her students at the school where she taught.
Nathaniel Denby is the lawyer in Bluebell. He hasn’t had much luck in love. The females always go for the better looking guys and leave him behind. When he’s suddenly the caretaker for his niece, he finds he needs a woman’s help. And how is it he hadn’t noticed how beautiful and kind the schoolteacher is before now? Does he dare chance risking his heart again?
Another wonderful story addition to the McPhee Clan. Little Evie has lived a tough life already, treated as a slave rather than a little girl. A girl who was taught works not grace. Not believing anything good can happen to her. Many of the other characters have small pov’s in this story as well and I loved that. Gabriel, Iris and Aumaleigh. As always, keep tissues nearby if you tear up when reading a good story.
Iris McPhee is the last sister who is unmarried and without a beau. And that won’t be changing. She has a dark secret in her past that reminds her of what her future holds... life as a spinster. At least she has the bakery and she’ll do all she can to make it succeed.
Sheriff Milo Gray has been fine being alone with his two girls since his wife passed six years ago. Until Iris. The only woman who has turned his head since his wife. And she seems to hate him. Well he’s not the type of lawman to quit before he gets his man...or woman. And his two girls are an adorable addition to the story as well.
Other side stories include Aumaleigh, the mischievously no-good Klemp brothers, and a town full of interesting folks. Book eight will finally give Aumaleigh her story. Who knows what other Bluebell stories will come after that. This is such a great series and I loved finally hearing Iris’s story. Even if I went through quite a few tissues reading it.
Aumaleigh McPhee finally gets her story, but will it be a happily-ever-after? After all the years of yearning for her lost love, is any of that love left? Aumaleigh is happy for all the love her nieces have found, she truly believes it has passed her by and that is the end of it.
Gabriel Daniels has moved to Bluebell. His children are grown and his life back in Ohio is closed and his is ready for a new chapter to begin. He found love again after Aumaleigh broke his heart, but is there still a flame that burns for her?
Along with Aumaleigh and Gabriel we get to revisit the girls and their new lives, weddings, and the continued devious acts of Giddy and Junior. This story is full of adventure and surprises. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Oscar Holloway's life had changed pretty drastically. From a good paying job and healthy to jobless, homeless, and disabled. Thankfully Rose McPhee had reached out a neighborly hand and changed his life. Giving him a home, job, and his leg was almost healed. Soon he could return up north...back to logging. It would be hard to leave Bluebell Montana though. And the people. Especially one small family in particular.
Widow Rhoda Collins was barely getting by but at least she was. A job she loved at the Bluebell Bakery, a small home for her and her girls, and good friends. And lately Oscar has been a very good friend. Helping her out in so many ways. But he was leaving.
This book knitted several stories together, such as, Aumaleigh's and Magnolia's weddings and the evil Fanny and her attempts at closing down their bakery. I really enjoyed this book. Jillian pulled many characters, especially all the little girls, together once again. And of course Phil the horse and Lawrence with his donkey pulled cart.
Nate Cannon is the veterinarian in the small town of Wild Horse, Wyoming. He prefers animals over people. After all he may carry his father’s genes, the kind that have you walking out on your family rather than staying with them. When his neighbors eldest daughter comes by to check on their horse after an accident he has second thoughts. A beautiful girl like Ella has Nate thinking about family for the first time.
Ella Parnell feels really comfortable around Nate. For the first time in seven years she actually feels a bit more alive. She can’t betray her first love though, even if it breaks her heart to deny her feelings for the handsome, quiet man who has brought laughter back into her life.
This story takes the reader back to the small town of Wild Horse. Home of the Granger family. The Parnell family has a neighboring ranch. Besides the spoiled Buttercup at the Granger’s the reader meets Shrek the bull who acts more like a dog and Nellie the cotton eating goat. Along with the Parnell girls and friends from previous books.
Everyone in Addison Granger's family was falling in love, either married or getting married. Not her. She'd been hurt a couple times and wasn't open to trying love again. Anyways, she had love doom in her life, she was doomed from the start. And she'd keep telling herself that every time she was with her childhood friend and neighbor Blake.
Blake Parnell is back in Wild Horse, Wyoming after his stint with the Marines is over. The reason he left in the first place is still there and as beautiful as ever, Addy. Friends, he can be friends with her and be happy on his family ranch. Can't he?
This is the last of the Granger books. It's always sad to say good-bye after getting to know the family and their pets. The silly and adorable heifer Buttercup and Shrek the bull who thinks he's a puppy dog. Jillian Hart takes you on the road to romance with the last Granger daughter and also ties all the loose ends together to finish the series. You may want to keep that box of tissues nearby as well if you get teary eyes while reading.
Kit Chapman felt that life finally smiled on her. After her father won prime ranch land, her dream of raising horses was in sight. Being a gambler, Pa chose to leave again, leaving Kit to care for her younger siblings, Mindy and Fred. She would find a way to support them all until she got the ranch going—without the help of a man—any man. She never saw the man in black that would invade her life.
Dakota Black was a lonely drifter. At nineteen his world fell apart. Found guilty of a heinous crime he was sent to the front lines. He survived and was supposed to be a “free man” but it always seemed like the past found him and he had to move on. Hope was something he never let enter his life until he met Kit. The battle for his heart to open up or stay locked tight was never stronger. Could he believe in a dream come true or would the past rear it’s ugly head once more?
In the open prairies it seemed like the two-legged critters might just be more dangerous than the slithering or four-legged ones. This story had the beauty of the open plains, watching the mustangs running with heads up, tails high, and mane flying. The good guys and very bad guys and the power of having someone believe in your dreams. Jillian’s characters had me smiling at times and wiping the tears at others.
The following books are being re-issued as e-books. They are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.They were originally published as Zebra Precious Gem books.**They do contain sexual content.
Connor Raeburn and Maeve O'Brien had rode ponies together through the Irish hills as young children when Connor would visit his uncle at Wild Wind Hall. The O'Brien's lived on the neighboring estate. Now that his uncle passed away, Connor is returning as the new lord, but Maeve is there as a servant. Her father had shamed the family with his debt and was put in prison. When her mother passed away, the thirteen year old Maeve was on her own to find work. She hoped that Connor would not recognize her in her lowly position.
Connor, a now bitter man did recognize the blue eyes of his old friend, even with her jet black hair tucked under her maids cap. What he did not expect was the desire he had for her. And yet with his grandfather's noose around his neck he was looking at a dreary life. He was too marry a heiress so his sister and mother could be protected from the type of life Maeve now had. So while they lived in his townhouse in London he was banished to this Irish Isle. Could a lord and penniless maid find happiness together or would a blackmailing Duke deny his grandson all happiness? **Sexual situations
Marshal Jack Emerson is ready to bring in the criminal he caught. When a mountain lion interrupts his journey, everything changes. He wakes up to find all his memories are gone and he is John Murray, a man who made promises to the woman he was to marry today. He felt he needed to keep those promises. Lissa Banks Murray and his new son, Chad, quickly become his life, as he remembers nothing else. And he has promises to keep.
Lissa finds the man along the road near her ranch and assumes it must be her late husbands cousin who was coming to marry her. Only he don't remember anything except that he likes to be called Jack. She has buried everyone she ever loved and won't love again. And yet this new husband of hers is touching her heart. Jack is keeping every promise to her and Chad even though he don't remember making them. Lissa fears that once Jack's memory returns, he may choose his old life.
Definitely a book with suspense, drama and plenty of romance. Someone is rustling entire herds of cattle and bankrupting the ranchers. What do the ladies really do when they have their weekly meetings? You will never meet the likes of Pete the bull or Winston the cat. Jillian always is creative with her unique animals.
**Mild language and sexual situations within marriage
Luke McKenna has been accused of murder and spent one year in prison before escaping. He found his daughter in an orphanage and they headed out of Texas to Canada. Bounty hunters were always close on his tail, too close. When a blizzard almost took their lives, Molly Lambert found them and brought them into her home.
Molly is a school teacher in Evergreen, Montana. She was estranged from her family and had started over about six months ago with her own land and home. Her hound, Lady, had found Beth and Luke in the blizzard. Luke had been shot and mostly dead. His will to protect his daughter pulled him through. When she found out Luke was a fugitive she was afraid until watching the way he cared for Beth. No man who was so tender and loving towards a little girl could be that bad, right?
I really enjoyed the story. There is the suspense of constantly looking over their shoulders, staying up for several nights not knowing if little Beth would live or die and knowing Luke would leave Beth with Molly and head for Canada. Never to see his daughter again. There are sensual situations and some mild language
This was definitely action packed and has some heartbreak in it as well. Hannah Sawyer's life had definitely not been a bed of roses. She married Charles thinking he was a good man but after the vows the real man came out, a man who drank, gambled and did not see anything wrong with abusing his wife. When he died, she cried with relief at his funeral. His brother Glen was starting to be an annoyance however. He wanted Hannah to marry him to save her ranch. Things had been hard and she never knew how to get by each month but never would she give her life or heart over to the rule of another man, ever! Unfortunately she did not plan on Colton Kincaid and his secret weapon, two year old Zac.
Colton, ex-lawman and bounty hunter, was about to start a new life. Charles Sawyer had offered him a partnership in his ranch. In time Colton would live the dream of having his own piece of land and a place to finally call home. When he found out Charles had died, his dreams almost died, almost. Then he found out the widow was struggling to hold unto her land, and a beautiful widow as well. He did not want love or romance. He had lost his beloved Ella and did not want to go through that pain again. But Zac needed a mother and a home and Colton had a plan. He offered marriage to Hannah, she would get to keep her ranch and to be a mother. After several attacks on her ranch she agreed to marry Colton, but it was more a marriage of convenience, or so she thought.
There are quite a few unique characters, such as Rose Carson and the other ladies in Hannah's sewing circle, Glen Sawyer will keep your hackles up while Tom Varney will have you wanting to rescue him. Little Zac grabs the hearts of everyone who crosses his path. You get over one bridge in this book to cross another, never a dull moment.
**Mild language and sexual situations within marriage
Sara Mercer was heading for her new life. Her old life consisted of being more of a servant than a daughter to her father after her mother's death. Her bit of happiness later in life was short lived with the death of her husband and the choice to give her baby a new home because she did not have the means to take care of her. She had signed papers promising to never interfere in her daughters life but as she would be traveling past Moose Creek on her way to work for her aunt, she thought what would it hurt to just see her daughter from a distance and have the peace of knowing she did the right thing. She did not expect a blizzard and being rescued by her daughters father, her widowed..handsome father. As attracted to Gabe as she was, she could never stay here, her secret would always keep them apart.
Gabe Chapman had not been attracted to any woman since the death of his wife a few years ago, but this vulnerable small beauty pulled to him like no other. With the hotel and boarding house full, he brought her to his sister's home. Connie was more than welcoming.
As the train was delayed Gabe and his daughter Mary were quickly becoming attached to to Sara. In fact, Mary had asked Santa for a new mother for Christmas and she was sure that Santa had sent Sara right to them. Only Sara was determined to leave, but could Gabe be more determined to keep her there, to stay?
**This is a re-issue of the original story published by Zebra Historical Romance in the Christmas Kisses Anthology. Sensual content
Bran The Fair known to Gwyneth of Blackthorne as the murderer's bastard son. Born to a leman he carried that disgrace along with a leg deformity. Bran was returning to Blackthorne, the keep his father had after he betrayed and murdered Gwyneth's parents. His father was dying and in his final words were that Blackthorne would be Bran's. After a life of being a good Knight under Sir Simon, Bran now had a title and land. His brother Geoffrey told him that the king demanded he marry Gwyneth as well to settle the unrest of the villeins.
Gwyneth had been married to Geoffrey but threatened to kill him rather than let him touch her. The keep belonged to her family and she would not seal a marriage with those who murdered her parents. And Geoffrey was a cruel man as well and fond of his drink. The king had allowed him an annulment from her but he was still not allowed a new wife. And now Gwyneth was to marry another of the murderer's sons. Right before the wedding Geoffrey offers her the keep and money if she kills Bran on their wedding night.
Bran was determined to prove to Gwyneth he was not like his father or brother. He showed her love and kindness. He was a gentle man and held to honor as a true knight would.
Gwyneth worked hard at restoring her family home and trying to resist Bran's kindness. Her relatives had been stealing from the keep while under the command of the old baron and his son. When her Uncle stole their horses he was caught and put in the dungeon. Bran had been helping the villeins by giving them cows for milk and much needed food. Unlike his family before him who were greedy and took from the villagers he tried to help them.
A really good story. Even after Gwyneth accepts Bran as her husband in full she still does not share her deep secret. And her family refuses to stop trying to kill Bran.
Hank Callahan murdered a neighbor, was accused of being a thief and disowned by his family he had disgraced. He was forced to leave the ranch he loved and went to live alone in the mountains. Full of guilt and self-disgust. He was returning after his brother asked him to make amends with their father, only now his father has died and some of his old neighbors had found him.
Nettie Pickering is on the way to a funeral when she spots a man in the road and some of her neighbors. She realizes the beaten man is Hank and is disgusted how Jake Beckman is still abusing him while he is so hurt. She demands they put Hank in her wagon so she can bring him to the Doctor. Jake had been helping her since Richards death and wanted to marry her. He justified beating Hank because he had been the one to take Richards life. Away from her and from her son Samuel. But after seeing his hateful display of anger and temper towards Hank, she knew she would never feel safe having Jake around Sam or herself.
When no one else will help Hank, Nettie brings him back to her home and Jake is furious. Hank tries to leave but with a broken leg and all his other injuries he don't get far. He knows it is hard for her that he is there, she can barely look at him---the man who murdered a husband in father. When the neighbors start losing animals to theft again, the blame is aimed once again towards Hank.
Through different circumstances that happen Hank ends up staying with Nettie to help her out. They also start falling in love. Hank fears being like his father though and when the black rage surfaces and he almost kills again, he don't believe he can ever be the husband Nettie needs or the father to Sam.
Hank grabs you from the beginning. Being beaten and abused while defenseless and knowing he is haunted by the past. The book gives a glimpse of how unforgiving some folks can be or how quickly those in tough times can be provoked to be vigilantes, without needing proof of a crime.
Talk about a twist of fate. The whiny chit who had too much perfume was heading to Indian Trails, Montana to marry the sheriff there. Polly Brown sat across the seat of the Stagecoach being annoyed by her whimpering and crying. Raised by her outlaw father, or she should say used as a servant to take care of him and his outlaw friends, she never wore a dress or looked anything close to this gal. When the stage suddenly stopped, Polly drew her gun and was ready for anything while the whiner and the elderly woman panicked. Ends up Roland, the rich bankers son, chose to take responsibility for the pregnant woman and marry her after all. Not having time to unload her luggage, Miss Pauline Curtis turned to Polly and calling her the “gun-toting girl” told her she could have all her luggage. Finding a note in the purse, Polly used the little bit of reading skill to see the girl was suppose cook and clean for the sheriff. What Polly could not read was that Pauline was to marry him. By the time the stage gets to Indian Trails a beautiful woman emerges from the stage, not the Levi clad gunslinger. And good thing for Polly as Bad Bart Dixon was already in town waiting for her.
Polly is met by Emily, Ben MacLain's daughter. With Bart waiting there she must continue to be Pauline. The man who has promised to kill her is being kind and soft spoken, not recognizing the lady as the outlaw. And that starts her adventure that ends up with her being Mrs Polly MacLain.
Ben don't want a wife. Emily wants a mother and Ben needs someone to take care of her, especially if his own past ever catches up to him. He was not expecting someone like Polly. Polly who he finds sitting in the saloon gambling and drinking, Polly who don't get along with the Family Sunshine Range and almost burns the house down, Polly who makes his blood run hot, Polly who actually made it to town where any one else he tried to hire always married along the way, Polly who was the daughter of a dangerous outlaw and a gunslinger, bounty hunter with her own wanted poster and who could out shoot most men.
Garnet Jones and her sister, Golda, head West to locate their ill father and return home with him. Garnet has quite the shock as they arrive in the old mining town to sights—and smells—of a life much different than what she was used to. And ashamed to know it was a place her father was comfortable living in.
Deputy Marshal Wyatt Tanner was undercover in Smelly Creek. A mining town that fit its name well. He just wanted to find the murderer he came there to catch and get back to his life. If only it were that easy.
A wonderful story. East Coast ladies meeting the Wild West. Talk about culture shock as poor Garnet sees a different side of life. A town—if Smelly Creek could even be called that—full of saloons and the like of what Garnet had never laid her eyes on before. And as kind as Wyatt Tanner was to her—he was still a prospector. Like her father. The man who had left his wife and family to live in places like this.
Tessa Bradford was looked down upon as the sharped tongue town spinster. After her parents has died she went to live with her Grandfather's family. She was treated worse than a slave. Tessa had dreams of love and family but kept them hidden as she feared they would never come true. One night when she snuck out to ice skate she ran into Major Jonah Hunter in the woods. He had been a mean child, pulling her braids in school and getting into mischief. Now he was a handsome man, he rescued her that night from two wolves that would have attacked her. Later that night he came to get her to help with his father. As the town healer she needed to go help.
Jonah has returned home after being gone for ten years. He had joined the army to become a man his father would be proud of. He lost himself the first time he had to kill. Now his father has asked him to marry so as the eldest son he could inherit the land and provide heirs. His father was on his death bed so he promised. Colonel Samuel Hunter had bragged much about his son, the Major, the hero. All the young chits in town and their mother has plans for him. He knew what he saw in their eyes, the greed that his step-mother had. Marry into the wealthy hunter family. He told his brothers, Thomas & Andy, he would decide on his wife the woman who offered to help with their Father. Many of the woman brought food but none offered to help, none but Tessa.
Jonah proposed to Tessa and she almost let her heart believe in her long lost dreams but she refused him. Her grandfather sold her to a neighbor for marriage. A man with twelve children and known as a wife abuser. Money and a cow had exchanged hands. Knowing she could have a man like Jonah, one she hated at first but as she watched the love in which he took care of his father, her heart changed towards him. Jonah had made up his mind though and in the end, they married.
Tessa truly believed Jonah loved her, he had hinted at it enough and he treated her with a kindness she never knew. Tessa did not know he had no heart to give her, until she overheard a conversation between Thomas and Jonah, where he had married her to take care of his father. It was not until Tessa left that Jonah realized he did have a heart after all, but was it too late?