Reviewer: Scout (ma.USA) -
What made this book different from most romances is that they liked each other during the last third of the book and then we got to see how their relationship could last for the next twenty years. Usually the romance relationships are so volitile that I often wonder would I want to be in that situation; no matter how beautiful the guy is.
The author didn't go for the rich guy and the girl who had only a tough moment. The woman had a tough life. She worked hard to make good choices and she learned from her choices she made in life. It was good to read that she got a job as a cook and did well at it. Other books I have read, the woman got the job but failed miserable as a cook for the cowboys and the men let the woman get away with being a bad cook. Wow. How boring.
I liked that fact she liked being touch. Being tactile is so important to some people and the author did a good job understanding that.
Easy read and different from the usual out on the market
Libby came to Heavenly, Montana to be mail order bride to a rancher who didn't order her. But he needed a cook or his hands would quit. And he has problems and painful memories of his own. The battle of wills begins begins between them and a beautiful love story with lots of frontier adventure develops.
After reading this book I have a real hankering to visit Montana. The author's descriptions were evocative; I could see the buffalo grass bending in the wind.
This plot has been used many times, but Ms. Harrington seemed to give it new life. She starts with a mail-order marriage that wasn't good. An elderly man sent Libby tickets and fare to come to Montana from Chicago (he lied about his age, health and prosperity). Once there, the old man became seriously ill and Libby treated him until his death. By then it was the dead of winter and one of the worst seasons in recent memory. In spite of all Libby's efforts, her husband's cattle froze in the never-ending blizzards.
When Libby goes to town to buy a ticket back to Chicago, she finds that she is seriously short of train fare. The only work she can find is working at the large ranch called Lodestone Ranch. Three cowboys from the ranch hire Libby and she goes with them to her new position.
When the owner of the ranch comes home, he raves and fires Libby immediately. Tyler, the owner, has an interesting back story; it is slowly revealed. This certainly built up tension. Libby has a tragic history in Chicago and it is given to the reader in small sips. These slow revelations kept me reading. I thought the author was wise to parse out the info because, all told, Tyler and Libby's individual pasts were tragic.
The author spent considerable time helping the two lead characters build an emotional relationship before involving the physical. I rated this book as a strong 4 stars become of the cliche's utilized. However, this is a very good story with extremely likable characters.