Wed Under Western Skies
I adore a good Harlequin Historical. Make it a good Western Historical and I am in heaven. So when I saw that my three favorite Western Harlequin Historical authors were going to be in an anthology together, I was beyond excited. Two of the authors came through, although the first didn’t live up to my expectations.
- by Carolyn Davidson
Grade : C- Sensuality : Warm
Abandoned by Carolyn Davidson
Sensuality: Warm Cameron Montgomery is a scout for a wagon train heading out west. He and his partner come across the remains of an Indian raid not expecting to find anyone alive. Lucky for Elizabeth Travis they are wrong. Cameron just about marks her and shouts "Mine!" from the second he sees her. Problem is Elizabeth doesn't remember much of her past, who she is, what she was and most importantly if she is married. But, Cameron is determined to keep her. In Cameron's mind, she is his future. This is his last trip; he is getting ready to settle down on some land he had purchased, and a good looking, young, available woman, who can cook is a hard find.
I didn't understand the actions of several characters, starting with Elizabeth's father's inexplicable decision to chase after a frightened fellow traveler, thus leaving his daughter alone during the Indian attack, and then why Elizabeth wasn't scalped, especially as she was blond. As for Elizabeth, she was way too trusting of Cameron, and far too quickly. Cameron's motivations are fairly plain throughout the story, but it would have helped if we knew a bit more about why the other characters behaved as they did. This was frustrating and made Abandoned my least favorite story in the anthology.
Almost a Bride
- by Cheryl St. John
Grade : B+ Sensuality : Kisses
Almost a Bride by Cheryl St. John
This sequel features Charmaine Renlow who also appeared in Sweet Annie and His Secondhand Wife. Charmaine was the charming one, the young, full of life girl from Sweet Annie that Annie always thought would get the guy. So of course she ends up the only woman in town not married. While trying to figure out how to get her beau to fix that problem so she can get on with the business of having a family, Jack Easton crashes into her world.
Charmaine has always tried to behave perfectly in every situation, but Jack sees the person behind the façade, and that she is hiding from her true self. When he calls her on it, Charmaine begins to see how superficially she has been living. I loved how Charmaine restructures her life, not for her beau, not for another man, and not even for Jack, but for herself. And in finding her own happiness, she finds love
His Brother's Bride
- by Jenna Kernan
Grade : B- Sensuality : Warm
His Brother's Bride by Jenna Kernan
This is one of those "the husband dies and leaves his wife to his brother" tales. Jacob Justice was a good man, a minister, a giver, a provider - for all we know he might have been able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - while brother Nate is the black sheep of the family. Clara was a fallen woman when Jacob married her, taken advantage of first by her mother and then the man to whom mommy dearest sold her.
Jacob is a hard act to follow. Nate has the "I am not good enough to wipe her feet on" disease, which is so annoying. With Jacob as a brother, you can see how it would be hard to measure up, so he doesn't even try, until it just might be too late. Other than Jacob being too good to be true, which is ok because he is dead, the characters are well done and enjoyable.