My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Newly minted Cowboy Creek sheriff Noah Burgess doesn't want a wife—despite his friends insisting that he needs one. So when they send for a big-city single mother to be his mail-order bride, he's fit to be tied. Even if vivacious Grace Longstreet might just be the only person who can see past Noah's scars…and help him heal.
Grace needs a husband to keep her and her twin daughters out of her brother-in-law's grasp. And she'll do anything—including taking on her cousin's identity—to find one. But as the attraction between Grace and the lawman sparks higher, she begins hoping for a real marriage. So she needs to tell the truth…or a mail-order match that's meant to be could crumble.
While this may seem like your typical mail-order bride story, it's the extra layers in the plot and characters that give it added depth and interest. Grace isn't just a socialite on the run from her brother-in-law, she's a devoted mother with a history of working hard to raise herself from poverty. Noah isn't just a grumpy sheriff, he's a former soldier with physical and emotional battle scars that affect his choices and future happiness. The town isn't just a friendly community of ranchers and cowboys, it is fighting outlaws and corruption as it grows with the railroad and potential to become the county seat.
I loved the gruff kindness of Noah as he can't help falling for Grace and becoming endeared to her children. He sure puts up a good fight against his feelings and I can't blame Grace for her uncertainty about him. They have a romantic chemistry full of sparks and I loved the scenes when they let their guard down and be vulnerable with each other. There is a great cast of secondary characters from the first two books in the series and I'm looking forward to going back and reading their love stories.
(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)