Sarah is one of 3 women tossed from a wagon train heading west. Sarah has lost her baby and her husband to illness and Sarah isn't feeling too great either!
Not long after leaving the wagon train, they are approached by a man who decides to steal their oxen, wagon and one of the 3 women. They take turns beating the man with a board/log -- then realize they have killed him.
As soon as they get to a town, they surrender to the sheriff. They feel they acted in self-defense; the lawman sees things differently. Because they are costing the town lots of money (food, guard expenses, etc.), the sheriff thinks of an ingenious plan.
The women have no money and no means of support; however the area has a serious imbalance between marriageable ladies and men. He decides to let the ladies draw a man's name and let him pay her fine. Thus, the man gets a wife and the woman gets a home - and the town gets out of debt.
We meet Sarah and Sam after he has paid her fine and married her. She doesn't know she has married a bounty hunter who has lots of enemies. By chapter 2, he's been stabbed and is near death.
Sarah, who has been treated as a fragile waif "not long for this world," suddenly has to care for (and hide) a heavy man she hardly knows - her husband. I laughed hard while reading her complaints to her comatose husband about her fragile hold on life!
Yes, the story has holes and the ending could have been better, but it is a great story! I enjoyed the whole series.
JODI THOMAS' "Wife Lottery" Series:
1) The Texan's Wager
2) When a Texan Gambles
3) A Texan's Luck
4) The Texan's Reward