A $1,200 debt isn't enormous by Yukon standards, but Dylan Harper has no desire to give more credit at his trading company to a man like Coy Logan, a shiftless drunk unwilling to work.
When Dylan calls in the debt, Coy offers as payment his wife, Melissa, and their baby daughter. The bruise on Melissa's face persuades Dylan to accept the trade and a rough Yukon arrangement transfers Melissa's marriage from a man she hates to one she doesn't know.
Melissa soon learns that Dylan expects a marriage in name only while he earns enough to return to Oregon and follow his dream of raising horses. After life with a shiftless and abusive father and husband, Melissa finds Dylan a complete surprise. Kind and gentle, he makes her wish their marriage were real.
Dylan's experience with women has been formed by the conniving woman who seduced him only to marry his brother. Melissa is as different as it's possible to be, but Dylan swears he won't allow her quiet beauty to tempt him to change his plans.
Different take on the western romance....set in the Yukon during the Gold Rush days.
From back of cover:
A WIFE FOR SALE ...
Stung by humiliation and fear, Melissa Logan realized she had been sold to pay her husband's debt. Marrying Coy Logan to escape her wretched homelife had been a terrible mistake. Worse off than ever, she was penniless with a new baby in a frontier mining camp. And now she "belonged" to Dylan Harper, a Yukon storekeeper...a man said to have a heart of ice and a temper of fire. Few women had ever felt as desperate as Melissa did right now...
A PASSION WITH NO PRICE
Dylan Harper didn't want a bride; he simply couldn't bear to leave this waif of a woman with a no-account like Coy Logan. To him, this "marriage" was a business arrangement; Melissa could cook and clean, not share his bed. He never guessed that one look from her gentle gray eyes could have such an impact on his heart. Now, in a land blazing with dreams of gold, Melissa and Dylan felt a spart of desire secretly burst into flame. But with so much hurt tween them, would either of them take the first daring step to trust, to touch, to love...
This is a story about Melissa Logan and Dylan Harper, both ensnared by a situation neither wants. Dylan accepts Melissa and her new baby daughter in payment for a $1200 debt owed by her husband, Coy Logan. Melissa is horrified by the thought of being sold, then realizes that it is better than being left to her own devices. Dylan is not interested in settling down, he plans to return to Oregon as soon as he has accumulated enough cash in the trading store in Dawson, Alaska.
Both individuals have been horribly hurt and want to earn enough to be their own persons. Melissa married Coy to avoid her drunken father. Now she winds up with a drunken, abusive husband in Dawson during the Gold Rush.
The author did a fine job of building tension between the characters. Melissa feels no reason to trust any man and Dylan does not trust a woman who is eager to make her own way in the world.