My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Synopsis from goodreads.com
The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.
Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.
But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?
I had a preconceived idea about Anne's character based on the cute book cover... and was in for a surprise as I read about her past experiences of abuse and the way she coped. She's definitely a complex character and did a lot of growing as she became attached to Sammy, the child she cared for, and Nick, the man she unwillingly depended on. Nick is polar opposite of Anne's persona- immaculately dressed, flawless manners, and involved with society because of the effect it had on his business.
I loved how protective Nick is of Anne as he helps her manage being in town and caring for someone else's child. He sees through her rough exterior and walls she puts up to prevent being hurt. She keeps him on his toes and challenges his faith as she is searching for her own. The ending was great and I look forward to reading more by this author!
(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)