12 Apr '11

The Outlaw Bride – Kelly Boyce (5 Stars)

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The Outlaw Bride by Kelly Boyce
Published by Carina Press on 2011-04-18
Genres: Cowboys, Historical
Pages: 266
Format: eBook
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Katherine Slade has two goals: to escape her outlaw husband and to find the family of the man who died saving her life. Taking the place of a mail-order bride isn’t part of her plan—until she’s forced to continue the charade and become Sheriff Connor Langston’s housekeeper to stay out of jail. Pretending to be another woman is hard, but Katherine’s real challenge is resisting her growing attraction to the handsome lawman…

Falling in love is the last thing Connor needs, even if the rest of Fatal Bluff wants him to. His hands are full with a band of outlaws threatening the safety of his town, and a child to raise. But Kate has a way of getting under his skin and into little Jenny’s heart. Soon Connor can’t get the fiery beauty out of his head—along with his suspicion that Kate isn’t who she claims to be.

When Connor learns the truth about Kate, is there any way for this outlaw bride to become the sheriff’s wife?

Kate is on the run from her Outlaw husband. She tried to escape once before and he killed the only man kind enough to try to help her. She promised that dying man that she would get his last letter to his family…whoever they are! Kate has no money; apart from the clothes on her back, she managed to escape with next to nothing. She knows she has to get far away but needs to deliver her message first, but without money, her options are limited. A woman approaches her at the station platform, thinking she is someone else. Seeing her chance, Kate takes advantage of the woman’s misconception and gets on the train. She realises a little too late that the woman whose identity she has stolen, is a bought and paid for mail-order bride!

Landing at her destination, Kate realises that, although she is at her desired destination, she is also betrothed to a hideous man. Point blank refusing to get hitched, she can’t quite believe when the sheriff turns up…especially when she looks at him and sees fireworks. Turns out that the hot sheriff is also her guardian Angles brother and, with all the excitement, she ends up out for the count in the Sheriff’s lovely arms. Her predicament gets even worse when the Sheriff tells her she needs to repay the train fare or face the courts. Unable to flee until she finds her rescuers family, she has no choice but to work to pay her debt. Jobs are hard to come by in a place as small as this one, so she has two choices; work as a bargirl like her momma, or get the hot Sheriff to hire her. Connor (AKA hot sheriff) felt a frisson of lust when he ended up with an unconscious Katy in his arms at the station. In all good consciousness he can’t allow her to sully her reputation by working at the bar (by the way, if you are reading this Ms Boyce…please can we have the bar owners book…pretty please :D) so he takes her on as his housekeeper. Can he cope with such a pretty distraction at home? Or will he end up mixing business with pleasure?

I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did. I was expecting a typical historical romance, but I was pleasantly surprised. Katy is such a strong character that she is fantastic to read. She made a bad choice in marrying her scum bag husband, and it got a good man killed. She is determined to honour his dying wishes, even if that means working as a housekeeper for the man intent on tracking her down to question her. When she realises that her husband has also orphaned a little girl, a little girl who hasn’t spoken since her daddy died, she is devastated. She knew she married an evil man but this is beyond even her comprehension. What I loved about Katy is she has a backbone of pure steel. She could have ran off, and hidden to stay safe, but she keeps her promise to a dead man. Even when one of her husband’s bands of merry men discovers her, she stays to keep the little girl safe. At no point does she mope about the consequences of her choices, she simply picks herself up and moves on. When she starts to care about Connor and his family, she becomes even more determined to help them recover. I loved her relationship with Jenny, Connors niece. The little girl is so damaged that I loved the little happiness they brought each other.

Connor is just plain hot. An ex-playboy turned sheriff, the man hit every one of my tortured hero buttons. He doesn’t trust Katy, he knows she is lying to him, yet still he protects her from the evils of the bar. He is attracted to her from the second she faints into his arms, yet his life is on hold until he catches his brother’s killer and gives his niece some piece of mind. Everyone in the town wants’ to marry him off to the woman and he can’t even look at her he is that attracted to her, yet he keeps his distance. I admired his focus, and it made it all that sweeter when he finally succumbs to his feelings. There were situations that made it difficult for him to resist her; he walks in on her in the bath, walks in on her sleeping, stumbles across her playing in the lake with his niece etc…. He just takes cold showers and sleeps in the barn! The sex scenes, when they finally do happen, are sweet yet hot, so completely appropriate for the period. Because the build up to them was so slow they were completely satisfying…I want me a sheriff 😀

If you like your Cowboys to be authentic Western ones, this is a good read for you. A sweet romance that completely took me by surprise. A lot of tension, a lot of lust and a few genuinely heart warming moments. Well worth a read!

five-stars

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