|Marshal Storm. Firm but fair.|
Marie Hall’s beautifully written Western is a delight to read. I loved it. Protagonists Marshal Chase Storm and Summer Rain are both intelligent, passionate, honourable and incredibly stubborn individuals. So naturally they butt heads for quite a lot of this book. Given that barely a chapter in – in an attempt to circumvent an unjust jail sentence – the two of them get married, they have more motivation than most to work things out. Which you know they will do because (a) it’s that sort of book and (b) they are both utterly lovely.
Summer has had a tough life. Her loving family was ripped away from her when she was still a child. When her path crosses with Chase’s many years later, she is working as a very successful bounty hunter with an independent streak so wide that it doesn’t really count as a streak any more and is just fundamentally who she is. She doesn’t need anyone in her life and she trusts no-one.
This is a problem if you’re married to a straightforward, fair-playing kind of a guy like Chase Storm. Happily, Chase gets his point across with numerous heavy-handed spankings. The relationship is beautifully balanced. Chase isn’t trying to break Summer’s spirit. He loves her pants-wearing sharp-shooting feisty independent nature. He also wants to keep her safe. It’s wonderful to watch Summer opening up to the possibility of love despite the numerous hurdles that they encounter on the way.
There’s plenty to enjoy in the meticulously painted portrait of life in the Old West. The narrative is crammed with saloon bars, jailhouses, railroads and pioneering spirit. Not to mention the small-town bitchiness and rivalry which comprise Chase and Summer’s biggest problems in their new life together.
|Willow Creek. A town in need of a bakery.|
To use a riding metaphor (which seems appropriate for a book which is joyously stuffed full of riding metaphors), this is a book you need to hitch your wagon to, go where she takes you and enjoy the ride.
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