They lived in a time of great upheaval, where ordinary men and women could become the stuff of Legend, with:
• A heroine determined to make her mark on the world
• A hero struggling to get by
• The sweeping Wild West in the grip of great change
• And a love no one could deny
Deacon Brannock has struggled his whole life to amount to something. But when he finally saves up enough to buy the saloon that'll put him on the map, he's immediately challenged by the Temperance Movement. He only wants to make an honest living, but there's no stopping the Movement's most determined firebrand: Grace Legend.
And after one look at the fierce beauty, he's not even sure he wants to.
Grace has always had her pet crusades, but she sees the Temperance Movement as the one thing that will bring her the deep sense of purpose she's been missing. Yet when the owner of the new saloon turns out to be a kind and considerate man with warm eyes and a smile that leaves her breathless, she can't help but wonder whether they could have a future together...if only they could find a way to stop being enemies long enough to become so much more.
"Resonate[s] with honesty and love."—Fresh Fiction for The Cowboy Who Came Calling
Broday (Once Upon a Mail Order Bride) squanders a fun premise on a scattered plot in this disappointing series launch. In 1899, Texas, Grace Legend, a fierce advocate for the temperance movement, locks horns with Deacon Brannock while trying to close down his saloon. Deacon, an ex-cowboy, dreams of selling enough liquor to buy land and refuses to be shut down, but his conflict with Grace softens into romance when the two discover a shared interest in helping the vulnerable of Fort Worth. Meanwhile, supposedly committed Grace needs only a lecture from her father to drop her temperance demonstrations, choosing instead to write "scathing articles'' for the local paper. When the plot refocuses on orphans going missing from the city streets, overwrought descriptions of suffering urchins ("Izzy glanced down at his feet where a big toe protruded from his shoe. Ain't got no ma. No pa either' ") engender more eye rolls than pity. Grace and Deacon's quest to help these children lacks urgency, sidetracked by Deacon's attempts to break a mustang, Grace's rescue of a prostitute, multiple paternity twists, several revelations of murder, and comic scenes involving a trained monkey. Like its do-gooder heroine, this ultimately comes across as well-intentioned but confused.