Monday, August 5, 2013
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he's not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he's worked for. He's determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.
The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn't want her to marry up with any of them. He's drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.
But someone doesn't want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps--and the man obviously didn't die from natural causes--things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb's business--and romance--survive the trouble that's about to come their way?
This was a wonderful story with engaging characters and an interesting plot. As I read I could almost picture everything happening as if it were a movie playing on TV.
Although a strong and determined woman, Melanie acts more realistically like a woman from her time period than the women in many modern novels. The men are also more considerate to women -- which was expected in those days. It was fun to see those manners contrasted (in a western town where women were scarce) and the eager proposals Melanie received.
I love the way the author wove in the mystery and suspense aspects with the romance and humor. It all seemed very well balanced.
Caleb was a great hero and I loved Levi and his toy soldiers.
This one was easy to read and it was hard to close the book on these characters. I thank the author and the publisher for my copy - though it had no influence on my review.