Hero for Hire
MacKenzy Cord has been in love with Savannah Carrington as long as he can remember. Everything he does is in preparation for their life together. He’s saved everything he’s earned as bounty hunter to buy her a nice big house and he’s arranged to take over the local sheriff’s job so he’s respectable. Only one thing left to do: let Savannah in on the plan.
You read that right, Mac has been planning their future without even talking to Savannah, let alone telling her he’s in love with her. His actions struck me as a little creepy and stalker-like. With that background, I found it impossible to warm up to Mac as a the hero. Nor does he get any better.
After catching what he plans to be his last bounty, he’s called to meet Savannah’s father. It seems Mac isn’t the only person plotting Savannah’s future without her consent. Her father tried to force her into marriage to the son of a business associate, so she ran off. He’ll pay Mac five thousand dollars to bring her back to Angel Creek. Mac agrees on one condition: that he can have Savannah’s hand in marriage. That’s if she’s agreeable to it, of course. With men like this in her life all I could think was, run Savannah, run.
Mac soon finds her sitting in jail in a neighboring town. It seems she’d fallen in with a bad crowd and told a little too much about herself. The villain, Ned Barlow, decided to hold her for ransom, but held up a bank on the way and she escaped in the process. Only the local sheriff thinks she’s in on the bank robbery. Mac tells the sheriff that Savannah is his wife to get her out of jail and into his custody.
She wants to go after Barlow and get her money back. She wants to use it to open a hat shop in some town that doesn’t know she’s an heiress, so she can find a man who’ll love her for herself. Mac decides he wouldn’t mind having a working wife (how gracious of him) and agrees to go after the money. Savannah won’t let him go alone and tags along to Virginia on the chase. Mac keeps telling everyone she’s his wife and soon enforced companionship leads to intimacy. Now Mac just has to get her to agree to marry him for real.
I didn’t particularly like Savannah. She’s not exactly a genius and gets in trouble each time she follows Mac without permission. Still, she’s better than Mac and I felt sorry for her when he forces her into marriage. Even though she and Mac declare their love for one another, it really felt like a marriage of convenience because she only said yes after she was caught in a compromising position with him by her preacher. It was marry Mac or kiss her reputation good-bye.
I was also unhappy with the secondary characters. Roy, the young kid who follows Mac around causing trouble, seems superfluous and his connection is revealed too late in the story, as though it were an afterthought. Then there’s the stereotypical depiction of the American Indian character who spoke with the same sort of broken English you’d find in a 1950’s western.
This book was simply disappointing in all aspects. From the hero who manipulated the situation to gain the heroine’s hand in marriage to the clichéd secondary characters, it was all unpalatable and left a bad taste in my mouth. If you’d like to try a book by this author that we recommend, try A Perfect Fit instead.