BAILEY WILDE IS THE OLDEST SISTER—and the one who takes care of everyone else in her family. But after her sisters marry and move away, her little homestead becomes bleak and lonely, especially during the long winter months. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan concocted by her neighbor, Gage Coulter.
Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune by being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of excellent grazing land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to this land—and he's got to go through Bailey to do it. So he makes a proposal...
Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders finally loosen up enough to earn each other's respect—and maybe ind love in the process?
I loved the chemistry between Bailey and Gage. They are both such passionate characters that the sparks just fly between them. I found their slow journey from enemies to friends to husband and wife to be completely captivating and well-paced. I also loved the “marriage of convenience” twist and couldn’t wait for the love simmering under the surface to bloom into something beautiful and strong.
The couple deals with many obstacles in the path to happiness, including deadly storms, an over-bearing mother in law, and death traps set by an unseen and unknown enemy. This book is full of action and adventure, making it hard to put down to go back to real life sometimes.
There are some hilarious moments sprinkled throughout the book. One of my favorite lines is from page 162: "Hang on tight, Mrs. Coulter. We've got to make a run for it." Bailey slapped the old nag on the rear - the old nag meaning the horse, not Ma Coulter, although Bailey was sore tempted."
However, there were also some deep, intensely emotional moments. Some of the exchanges between Gage and Bailey run really deep, opening up feelings that neither of them had ever shared with anyone else. Bailey and her sisters share a beautiful, loving connection, too. Without giving away the ending, there is a moment between Bailey and her father that brought tears to my eyes.
All in all, this is an excellent conclusion to the “Wild at Heart” series and I cannot wait to see what Mary has for us next. 5 stars!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.