Linda Lael Miller
Pocket, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
In the Montana Territory, the father of two, Devlin Gallagher married a woman with two kids of her own. Ten years younger than her stepbrother Gideon Marshall, teenage Willow believes she loves him, but understands nothing can come of this because of their age difference.
Willow and Gideon are married by a fake minister. After they exchange their vows jokingly, they learn the minister is real and their wedding genuine. Willow goes home humiliated after the nuptials are annulled. Years later she is to marry, but he arrives and stops the ceremony. Meanwhile her biological brother Steven, once kidnapped by their mom, Chastity, has become a train robber. A bounty hunter wants him dead or alive and does not mind collateral damage like using and even killing Willow. Gideon also seeks out Steven as the robberies are of trains owned by his family. He stays near her as she is the ticket to her sibling, but by being in close proximity he can no longer conceal he reciprocates her feelings.
Linda Lael Miller’s myriad of fans will appreciate the author rewriting a much shorter historical she wrote in 1984. Having not read the previous entry, I cannot make comparisons. The 210 book is fast-paced with several strong characters especially the title heroine, her stepbrother and her brother as they forge an intriguing triangle. The ending is a fabulous spin that only Ms. Miller could have devised and also makes it feel genuine. This is a wonderful Americana romance as the trains come to Montana but it is love that ties the bonds of families.