Brooks Morgan, a drifter, stumbles into Shoofly, Texas, in 1896 to get out of storm. He befriends a man, Will Langston, who sets him on a life-changing course. Brooks wins Will’s ranch in a poker game. Brooks sees it as an opportunity to finally settle down and prove, at least to himself, he’s not the lazy, good-for-nothing who ran away from home ten years earlier.
What Books didn’t count on was Will’s niece, Keri. Back from what she saw as a two year exile to finishing school, she is anxious to change her dresses for pants and resume the life she loves, riding horses and tending cattle.
They meet when Keri saves Brooks from being hung by men who want to take over the ranch. Fireworks explode when she learns Brooks now owns the ranch, a ranch she dreamed of owning.
This is a most enjoyable read, especially for those who like historical romance. For me, it is a well written Western which captures the full flavor of the times as it tells the story of Brooks and Keri fighting to keep the ranch while also struggling in their own relationship.
Danger and excitement will keep you turning pages as the two battle an evil land baron and a crooked banker who demands that Keri marry him.
Ms. McDonough does an excellent job of allowing the relationship between Brooks and Keri to develop in a way that is believable. The two move from adversaries to reluctant allies against a common foe to struggles with growing affection for each other. She adroitly uses humor to both build tension between the two and then to soften each of them.
The book never slows down as the author ratchets up the stakes and adds unexpected, yet believable, plot twists that keep the reader engaged to the very satisfying ending.