Barbour, Jul 2009, $10.97
In 1875 in the Montana Territory, Cassie Griffin's abusive husband dies. She has no time to rejoice or grieve her loss as the same day she has her odious spouse interred, she must pick his replacement as that is the law with a shortage of marriageable females. Cassie selects Red Dawson, who, as a Good Samaritan, offers to marry her to keep her safe from a stalker. Neither wants to wed, but do.
They exchange their vows and immediately go to his ranch to live. Cassie quickly realizes how unsophisticated she is when it comes to relationships with people, especially men and even with God. Red quickly understands that his frightened little mouse of a wife is an abuse victim. As they fall in love, he wonders if she will ever trust him.
The first Montana Marriages Americana romance is a strong tale that focuses on the impact of spousal abuse even after the abuser is dead. Cassie is a super soul struggling between her growing attraction and love to her second husband and her fear of being touched. Red is a kindhearted person who marries Cassie to keep her safe not expecting to fall in love with “the mouse that roared”. Although perhaps a bit simplistic, Mary Connealy provides a wonderful Reconstruction Era inspirational as love heals all wounds.