· “Sometimes a person had to cling to hope no matter how slender the thread.” ·
When the West was wild and man’s law favored the few…
These extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.
When three young children show up on outlaw Tait Trinity’s doorstep, he knows he can’t help them—a wanted man has no business raising kids. And yet he can’t bring himself to turn them away. At a loss, he sends for the mail order bride he’d been writing to, hoping the demure dressmaker will be the answer to his prayers.
Melanie Dunbar is nothing like the bride Tait was expecting. She’s rough and tumble…and hiding an ulterior motive. Dangerous men have taken her sister hostage, and if Melanie wants to see her alive, she’ll have to betray her new husband. There’s only one problem—the more time she spends with Tait, the more she comes to care for him. Yet as the noose begins to tighten, Melanie will have to make a terrible choice: save her sister…or the man she loves.
Goodreads Rating: 3*
*I got an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
The first thing you probably need to know about this book is that, even though it’s a standalone novel, it’s also the third book in the “Outlaw Mail Order Brides” series and sometimes the “abundance” of characters can get a bit confusing when you haven’t read the first two books in the series.
However, I’m gonna try and focus my review on the main story of this book—Melanie and Tait’s love story. As an avid romance reader, I was a bit dissapointed at the lack of that intense-tension-leading-to-passion-and-heated-fights that’s so characteristic of this genre and that the plot in the blurb clearly suggested (outlaws, secrets, broken promises and treason? Yes, please!). The characters, instead, quickly agree on having a marriage of convenience with no love and only after consumating the marriage they seem to develop deeper feelings for one another. Personally, I’d have preffered falling in love with them slowly.
One thing I really loved about this book is the setting. I have a soft spot for western stories and anything that can transport me to a land full of dirt roads, saloons, outlaws, some pistoleros, or the so-called wild west, keeps me going. And that’s the main reason I had to continue reading this book—I simply wasn’t ready to return to the present.
However, I felt the conflicts were too loosely built and very easily solved. Also, the character’s mistakes were too quickly forgiven and that, in itself, represented a problem of plausibility for me, since I found it very hard to relate to them or to get on their side. If you think of Melanie as a gambler who had a pretty rough childhood and whose twin sister’s life depends on her betraying a virtual stranger, the fact that she’s having second thoughts right after meeting Tait doesn’t speak very highly of her loyalty to her sister (the only person she could always count on no matter what).
Luckily, all’s well that ends well and that’s the case for our bandit characters. At the end of the day, good and love conquer all and these two finally get the second chance they so-much deserve.