Life is Hard. But it was harder in the Old West. Harrison Carter's worked hard to make his fortune in the silver mines of Colorado, to be able to finally send for his long-awaited fiance Jenny back in Illinois. So it's little wonder he's pissed when who should arrive by train on his wedding day is not Jenny but her sister Retta, complete with toddler in tow.
While the idea of swapping one bride for another makes for good storytelling, in those days it was not just a story; it was sometimes a necessity. Harrison's initial rejection of Retta and anger at Jenny is understandable, but marries Retta anyway to honor Jenny's dying wish. Retta is just as apprehensive but has little prospects herself being the mother of an illegitimate child. Both Harrison and Retta are taking big risks, but with big risks come big rewards. The development of their relationship is heartwarming and Harrison's acceptance of Retta's daughter Adeline as his own shows the strong type of character he is. Retta also shows a bit of steel in her spine while at the same time doing what's expected of her under difficult circumstances. Throw in the token villain, in this case Slim Morgan and his cadre of slime balls who aim to take both Harrison's livelihood as well as his pretty new wife, and you have a fairly cliche if somewhat boring period drama that seems dragged out over more pages than is necessary. However, what makes it intriguing is that the story was inspired by a true-life family history. If that's so, then any preconceived ideas of the era's straight-laced, buttoned-up behavior in the bedroom in are out the window thanks to the author's skillful depiction of some wild west action between homespun sheets!
Western romance fans can saddle up comfortably with this predictable but satisfying read!