Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin HQN, Aug 2009, $7.99
In 1915 Arizona Lydia Fairmont finds her options near zero as she either marries the local banker or lose her property to the local banker; she fears losing the spread because of where will her sexagenarian kind spinster aunts go. Her childhood friend Gideon Yarbro learns Lydia is caught between a rock and a hard place as the cold aloof banker Mr. Fitch offers her no other option; so the undercover agent decides to save her in spite of her acceptance of the inevitable.
Gideon abducts Lydia taking her to his home in Stone Creek. He forces her to marry him vowing to protect and cherish her while she assumes they will have a platonic marriage of convenience although she is unsure what he gets from their matrimony. However, when someone tries to kill Gideon, Lydia realizes she loves her friend. Meanwhile Gideon struggles between a nasty squabble between the miners and the mine owners that is turning dangerous even as he fears for the safety of his beloved Lydia from the assassin trying to kill him.
The latest Stone Creek early twentieth century romance (see Gideon’s older brothers’ tales; Wyatt as THE RUSTLER and Rowdy as A WANTED MAN) is a charming tale starring two likable protagonists. However, though he coerces her to say I do, he is caught off guard by the tigress he marries. He planned to keep her safe but did not expect his new bride trying to keep her BRIDEGROOM safe even if he objects. Fans will enjoy this fun Arizona tale as the honeymoon includes party crashers who want Gideon dead for different reasons.