When Maggie Lancaster's uncle sent her to Texas to care for Cousin Annabelle's children, Maggie didn't expect Annabelle's husband to be disdainful or her cousin's murderer to show up at their ranch.
Jeb Sutton assumed his wife's cousin to be as useless and complaining as Annabelle had been, but he was surprised when Maggie adjusted to her new surroundings with ease. His children adored her and she loved them, too. Soon his attitude toward Maggie began to change.
When Maggie's former suitor shows up, it's time for Jeb to make his feelings clear and ask Maggie to stay forever.
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She finally spotted him standing by a buckboard. Taller than she remembered, he still looked like burnished gold. But now, instead of being in a uniform or an elegant suit, he was dressed like the cowhands she had seen on the train: denim pants, long-sleeved blue cotton shirt, a bandana around his neck, a big hat, and guns, one on each side.
She walked toward him, forcing herself to smile.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Sutton.”
He frowned in disbelief. “I tell Robert Lancaster about his daughter and demand he send someone to take over running her house and children, and he sends me a child. Who the hell are you?”
Review by Melissa Snark:
Betrayal on the Brazos is a historical Western romance set in frontier Texas during the Reconstruction. The story has a steadily paced plot with a great deal of attention paid to characterization and historical details. The first couple chapters almost struck me as a character study of Maggie Lancaster, the heroine. The author continues to develop the setting, the hero and his family, and secondary characters with the same meticulous thoroughness. Of course, there's a lot more going on plot wise, including a murder mystery.
My favorite part of the story was Maggie's evolving relationship with Jeb and his children. The transition from them being strangers to a family felt very natural, and I loved the fresh twist on "mail order bride". The heat level is sweet, but I very much enjoyed this traditionally romantic tale of the Old West.
Maggie and Jeb are thoroughly likeable individuals with well rounded personalities. Maggie is proper and lacks self-confidence. Jeb is a confident, sexy hero who is a little rough around the edges at the start of the story. His initial (false) misconceptions about Maggie serve as an initial source of conflict. External conflict associated with the murder and other unsavory characters continued to carry the plot forward.
Betrayal on the Brazos is a wonderful choice for readers who like authentic westerns with sweet romance peppered with suspense. Two thumbs up!
Nancy Smith Gibson is three times retired. First she was a telephone operator (remember those?) from 'number please' to assistant chief operator. Next she was a census enumerator and supervisor. After that she listed and sold real estate. All these jobs furnish experiences and characters for her quirky stories.
At last an empty nester (except for two cats and three dogs) on a few acres in the countryside of Arkansas, she finally has time for plenty of reading and writing. When not occupied in one of those occupations, she likes solving the mysteries genealogy presents, which lead to more story lines.