Bestselling author Linda Lael Miller’s beloved novel of the American West shimmers with the unbridled passion of two adventurous hearts brought together first by dire convenience and second by blooming attraction.
When a woman has to choose between death and marriage to a total stranger, she must be in a dire predicament...
And for Jolie McKibben, about to pay by hanging for a terrible crime she didn’t commit, salvation by marriage couldn’t come a moment too soon. Housekeeping for Daniel Beckham, a widower who invoked the town’s wedding ordinance to rescue Jolie from the gallows, is better than the alternative...but understanding the silent stranger who is now her husband might just about kill her.
Daniel doesn’t believe in Jolie’s innocence. And despite his willingness to marry the pretty, defiant “outlaw” on the spot, the prosperous farmer had little to say to her after “I do.” But for Jolie, their arrangement of convenience soon deepens into a rich and vibrant attraction that sets her trembling with desire in Daniel’s presence. Somehow, she would win his love, body and soul. Unless the desperados on her trail shatter the fragile, trusting bond of husband and wife...
In Washington Territory in the 1870s Jolie McKibben is about to be hanged for bank robbery and murder (although she's innocent) when Dan Beckham, a widower and prosperous farmer, takes a fancy to her and offers to marry her under the terms of a local "weddin' ordinance." Faced with the choice of strangling to death or getting married to a stranger, Jolie opts for the latter. But the spirited bride finds it easier to take over cleaning her taciturn husband's house than to puzzle out his character. For his part, Dan alternately gives in to his attraction to Jolie and to his feelings of remorse over what he sees as disloyalty to his first wife. Their lives are further complicated but enriched by Hank and Gemma Wagner, orphan siblings who stow away in Dan's wagon. But before the four of them can make a happy family, Dan and Jolie must deal with the two villains responsible for the murder Jolie had been convicted of. Almost nothing in this romance hasn't been done before, but Miller ( Caroline and the Raider ) does an adequate job of putting the same old dogs through their hoops and should satisfy the genre's diehard fans.