|Nathan Cantrell needed a wife, not for himself, but as a mother for his young daughter who seemed trapped in her own mind. His Philadelphia lawyer brother, Neil, interviewed women until he found the perfect mail-order-bride to marry Nathan in a proxy ceremony before she headed west. Laura Melbourne grasped at the chance to escape to the Colorado mountains. She'd accidently witnessed a murder, a high profile political murder, and the killer knew who she was. The trick in hiding for her survival was not letting anyone, not even her new husband, know what she was running from.
The "woman on the run" story has been done many times but this is one of the best I've read. Laura is determined to commit to the five-year marriage contract Nathan comes up with to protect herself but isn't willing to let the killer follow her and harm her new family. I like how self-sufficient and strong Laura's character is regardless of her rough childhood and fear of being stalked by a killer. She has a painful background that helps her reach Nathan's tormented child. She stand up to Nathan and works as being the best farm wife and mother she can be under the circumstances. She's the kind of character you hope you could be in the same situation. Nathan has a painful past of his own, a disloyal wife who hide and abandoned their child, a daughter he didn't even know about for over two years. Laura is a stranger to him and it takes him time to decide if he can trust her with his child and his heart.
I enjoy westerns and this story is both romance and suspense. Every part of the story is well crafted. The secondary characters of Micah, Nathan's long time friend, and the people of the small town near the Cantrell farm add a lot to the story, showing where true friendship means everything. I get the hint from the story that we may see more of Micah and I hope that's true. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to seeing more work from Suzanne Ferrell.
Reviewer: Kathy F.