Maggie Osbornes eye doesnt move off of the uncomfortable subject she highlights in this book unmarried women having children. Main character Annie Malloy can spout that shes a modern woman to the skies, but the society she lives in has not changed. According to the story, any woman in the family way without a husband is a fallen woman.
Osborne does a great job of showing the ambivalence Annie feels about her situation. However, I experienced Annie coming across just as ditsy as anguished. She didnt really think much about getting pregnant according to the book. What?
The story is an excellent expose of the horrors of being in the family of a fallen woman. Annies parents were treated harshly by the community too. I think it was very time-accurate for the parents to force Annie to continue her movements around town even though she was often insulted and shunned.
Jesse Harden is a remarkable man; hes just as horrified by Annies pregnancy as the townspeople but he looks at her pain and sets his own aside. He asks her to marry him, in spite of it making him look like Annies paramour-in-sin.
After dithering around until even the towns dogs and horses are aware of Annies problem, she finally marries Jesse. Sheesh, talk about damning someone with faint joy!
Ione was a complimentary character to Annie and just what she needed. However, I think Osborne spent too much time with Ione and Annie to the detriment of the chemistry between Annie and Jessie.
One thing that started to grate on my nerves after awhile was the constant reminder that Annie was a new modern woman. Yep, I can see that!
Otherwise, this was a good, solid book not one of Osbornes best, but enjoyable!
Pregnant and unwed, Annie Malloy is willing to face social ruin than marry her lover, Bodie Miller, an outlaw who robs banks and trains. As the scandal breaks, Annie finds the town's harsh treatment of her and her family overwhelming. When Sheriff Jesse Harden proposes a marriage of convenience, Annie sees it as a way to save her family from the embarrassment she caused and jumps at the chance. Annie doesn't expect to start having feelings for her new husband. But secrets may drive the two apart before their marriage evens gets started.
This is a solid historical romance by Maggie Osborne. I enjoyed the story even though I thought it spent a little too long on Annie's ordeal when I would rather read about her relationship with Jesse. It's not Maggie Osborne's best, but it's still a good book. My rating: 4 Stars.