To support her orphaned niece, impoverished Brianna O’Keefe accepts work with a Colorado rancher. To guard herself from the unwanted attention, she resorts to a harmless little lie: that she’s married to a Denver gold miner named David Paxton. When her boss forces her to write her “husband,” hoping he’ll take Brianna off his hands, she can only pray that there is no real David Paxton who can expose her.
When Colorado marshal David Paxton gets a letter from a stranger claiming to be his wife and pleading with him to come for her and his daughter, he dutifully sets out to find this woman and the child he may have sired. What stuns Brianna is the David is convinced the young girl is, in fact, his. As David and Brianna’s wary attraction blossoms into deeper desire, David warms to the idea of a ready-made family. But can his dream survive Brianna’s lingering distrust — and his own secrets? (Goodreads)
It’s no secret that I’m quite an Anderson fan. LUCKY PENNY is her latest historical novel that weaves the tale of the Coulter family. In general, I think her contemporary books are better, but I can never resist picking up a new release of hers.
The story is of single mother Brianna, who is raising her orphaned sister’s daughter as her own in difficult times. In order to give herself a cover story and measure of respectability, she fabricates a fake husband – David Paxton – whom she writes fake letters to in order to appease her employer.
Of course, we all know in a romance things are never that easy, and the letters find themselves in the hands of the real David Paxton. A man who is astonished to discover he has a wife and child. Being a marshal and a decent man, he sets out to find the woman and child and if the child is his, determines to do the decent thing.
This isn’t a light and fully romance, Anderson’s books rarely are. But she has a very readable, rich writing style. However, what makes me love her stories so much is her depth and insight into human emotions.
Brianna’s plight as a single mother in times where women were expected to be married, respectable wives is well written and clearly depicted. It was easy to grasp her poverty and sense of desperation. A mother who has to raid garbage bins for food for her child really is desperate and it was painful as a reader to witness.
Enter David on his white horse, he didn’t have a suit of armour, but he does have a Stetson and a gun. What more could you ask for? A part of the story I did struggle with is how David believes so strongly that Daphne is his daughter that he doesn’t listen to Brianna’s story of her parentage for a long time, and it made me what to hit over the head with the aforementioned Stetson. That aside he is the perfect, gentlemanly hero. I loved his sweet, caring nature, his generosity and his sense of responsibility and family.
The romance between David and Brianna is a real slow grower, it’s not really until the last third of the book that we begin to see any *ahem* ‘action’, so if you’re a lover of spice and sizzle this probably isn’t for you. Me, I rather love a good slow builder, so I sat back in my comfy chair and just enjoyed the ride.
The story takes a few unexpected turns, but overall it’s a steady Cinderella story, of love conquers and redeems all. Oh, plus, there is a very cute dog! Every book needs a cute dog in my opinion!
I stand by my earlier statement, I still prefer Anderson’s contemporaries, but she is an author who sits firmly on my auto-buy list. She has written better, but this is a rich historical romance with depth, emotion, love and compassion. Every single mum and little girl deserves a hero like David.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Keegan’s Lady
- The True Love Wedding Dress
- Summer Breeze
- Early Dawn
- Lucky Penny
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