Sunday, February 28, 2016

Virtues and Vices of the Old West #2

A Sweet Misfortune

Rachel Matthews isn't one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money--even if she's forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel's brother sends a friend--the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre--to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother's return, Rachel isn't sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre's home--especially once she discovers that he's the one who holds the deed to her family's ranch.

Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan's delightful series set in the Old West.

Cover Art 
Published February 2nd 2016
 by Revell  
5 Stars

[Jesus] said to them, "Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."
~Luke 12:15

My Thoughts:

Maggie Brendan sweeps us back to 1862 for an endearing story that takes place in Cottonwood, Montana Territory. 
Oh my, what a wonderful story. I was immediately drawn into the story from page one when John received a letter from his childhood friend, Preston Matthews, requesting his help with his sister.  John remembers Preston's sister, Rachel, as a child and wants to help both her and Preston. He mounts his horse and rides into Cottonwood, but his arrival at The Wild Horse would be a memorable one for sure.  Rachel hasn't seen John since she was a child and when he steps on stage where she is dancing and throws her over his shoulder she retaliated by hitting and kicking him.  Not to be deterred he continued with his plan which included mounting his horse and riding for his ranch.  John has lots of explaining to do, but when he explains about Preston's  request and his willingness to help Rachel is somewhat understanding. Estelle, John's grandmother, steps in and offers to take Rachel under her guidance by offering her a job.  
Rachel is a very intelligent woman who has had to take care of herself by whatever means she could.  No it was not the life she had envisioned for herself, but sometimes you have to do what it takes to survive.  Rachel settles in at the ranch and begins making plans to save move from her new job in hopes of helping Preston be able to buy back their family ranch.  John steps into the role of protector and decides what Rachel needs is a husband. Just one problem he doesn't ask Rachel what she wants.   Suddenly Rachel has 3 different suitors and has a decision to make.  Needless to say she and John don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but she wants to get along with him
This is a sweet plot that flows effortlessly.  John and Rachel are complex characters that have real issues.  Rachel has faces many losses, but shows her strength of character in her independence.  She grieves her losses, but doesn't let them define her. John is a good man with a heart of gold and harbors a lot of guilt over the death of his sister.  He doesn't worry about how Rachel's past will impact his standing in the community when he steps in to help her. The only problem I truly had with John was how he never asked just did what he thought was best This is the second installment in the Virtue and Vices of the Old West, but for me it was a stand alone story.   This story was not only entertaining, but also endearing for me and one I would recommend to anyone who loves a good romance.  
*I received this book from the publisher through their blogging program for a honest review free from bias or outside influence.     

  Available for Purchase:

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Meet the Author:
Maggie Brendan 

Maggie Brendan is the CBA bestselling author of the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series, as well as The Trouble with Patience. Her books have received the Book Buyers Best Award from the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America and the Laurel Wreath Award. A member of the American Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, and Author's Guild, Maggie lives in Georgia.

Connect with Maggie:

SouthernBelle Writer Blog 


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