When a series of mishaps leaves the economy of Maple Falls in ruins, the men decide to head west to look for gold. This leaves the women and children home to fend for themselves. It also leaves Lucas Garrett as the last able-bodied man in town. At first Lucas is in heaven. There are ladies bringing him pies, ladies doing his laundry, and ladies warming his bed. But these women are wearing him out. So he comes up with a plan to ask his best friend, Priscilla Wentworth, to pose as his fiancee so the women will leave him alone. She agrees with one condition...Lucas must find her a husband. This is easier said than done since all of the men have left town.
This could have been a fun summer read but is started off terribly slow. One kiss to convince the women in town that Lucas is off the market, and suddenly Pris and Lucas are looking at each other in a whole new light. The next 150 pages were the two of them trying to keep their distance from each other. Finally, they came up with an idea to restore the failed economy in the town and the story started to pick up. The second half of the book was much better and kept my interest. I liked both Priscilla and Lucas. Both of them do little things to keep the poor from starving or freezing to death. They seemed to take on the responsibility for the whole town.
This is my first book by Susan Kay Law. I liked the second half of this book and will check out other books by this author. My rating: 3.5 Stars.
Cute. Kind of old-school historical romance.
All Lucas Garrett longed for was a good nights sleep. But as the last able bodied hot blooded man left in a town full of lonely women, he hadn't had a moments peace since the Gold Rush had lured all the eligible bachelors westward. Now hes just plain exhausted. So he turns to the only person he can trust, pretty proper Priscilla Wentworth. If she would agree to pose as his future bride, then the fluttering flock of ladies would leave him alone. Priscilla agrees to pretend to be Lucas financee in exchange for one thing only, he of couse must help her find a husband of her onw. Of course Lucas is completely unsuitable But then he takes her into his arms.
Poor Lucas Garrett! So many women; so little time. All the other adult men have gone West seeking gold and Lucas is the only man left in a town full of ladies. You have to feel sorry for the man; Lucas is welcome at any table in town, his laundry is done (for free) and women vie to be his paramour. So what can possibly be the problem? Lucas is tired -- he needs a vacation from so many demands on his, um, energy. When I started reading, I was sure this was just some man's fantasy dream -- put to paper.
So, Lucas seeks out his best friend in the world - Priscilla Wentworth - the most prim and proper lady in town. If Lucas and Pris can convince the town's ladies that he is unavailable, because he is courting Pris, then Lucas can get some much-needed rest. Frankly, I burst out laughing that any man could consider Lucas' life to be a problem. Lucas' mother is delighted when she hears, while Priscilla's mom is horror-stricken.
Now, Pris wants something out of this arrangement; she wants a husband. Unfortunately, marriageable men are in short supply. When Lucas drags his heels on his part of the bargain, she tells him that she just wants 'candidates.' She is capable of making the choice herself. Antics with a couple of these candidates are laugh-out-loud funny.
Have you ever read a one-joke book? This is a bit similar. There is lots of humor throughout the book but Lucas' and Pris' desperation gets old after awhile. There is constant angst about their feelings for the other person and the interior talking gets repetitive. Things finally move to a new level when Pris gets a legitimate wedding proposal from an established, older man.
There's another issue I had with this story; the author goes to considerable trouble explaining how morally upstanding Pris is. However, it is Pris who asks to try out Lucas' 'services.' That jarred a bit. But that was nothing compared to my eye-popping response to what Pris is wearing (and where she was) during the Epilogue! I think her behavior is a bit more modern than the time in which it occurred.