One ranch. Three sons. Only one will inherit...and on one condition.
Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching high and low for brides.
If Emmeline Harding knows one thing, it's that she can't hold her liquor. And though she's not sure how she came to wake up next to a stack of gold coins in a brothel, she fears the worst. Fleeing town as a mail-order bride, she wonders: how will she ever confess her past to her handsome new husband?
Freedom-loving Rafe McKettrick is a man of strong beliefs and stronger passions and he'll do anything to win the Triple M -- even marry a stranger. To his surprise, Emmeline's charms beguile him even as the secrets he senses she's hiding ignite jealousy and suspicion. But when a visitor from the past enters the high country, the newlyweds have no choice but to give up on a marriage in name only and seek a union that satisfies them body and soul.
The females in Linda Lael Miller's pleasantly provoking frontier romance, High Country Bride, often insist that the McKettrick men are thick-headed, and Rafe McKettrick, the eldest of the three brothers, proves them right. Forced to take a wife in order to inherit the family ranch, Rafe decides to send for a mail-order bride. He expects to be able to wed and bed her in short order, but strong-willed Emmeline Harding doesn't succumb to his rough-edged charm so readily. Though the two eventually grow to care for one another, secrets from Emmeline's past and Rafe's sheer stupidity threaten to tear them apart. Like the old hand that she is, Miller (The Last Chance Cafe, etc.) ably portrays the hardscrabble life of the American west and weaves a winding, winsome romance full of likable, if occasionally pigheaded, characters.