Annalee Gallagher loses her parents, home and business in the Great Fire of Chicago. When she travels to Cicero Creek in the Wyoming Territory to start a new life, more heartache awaits her, so do the attentions of several men—for good and for evil. Why was her stagecoach attacked and was the shot that zinged over her head one night, a wild bullet or a bad aim?
Boone Hartwell, the marshal of Cicero Creek, suspects someone is out to kill the new spitfire in town. She amuses him and touches a lonely part of his soul, but can he keep her safe? More importantly, can a white man raised as Cheyenne win her heart? Can he rise above all her other suitors? For one thing is for certain in his determined mind: He’s the man for Annalee.
Review: This historical romance novella takes place in the late 1800’s in the Wyoming Territory. My emotions were engaged immediately since the book opens with Annalee, Boone, the Marshall of Cicero Creek, and Franklin and Cora Maguire in the middle of a stagecoach robbery. Annalee and Boone were spitting fire at each other from the start and it just kept getting better once they got to town. Their attraction was apparent to others but Annalee kept fighting it tooth and nail. It was a gotcha moment when Annalee realized what her feelings for Boone were. She was a spitfire throughout even though she had graduated from Miss Feather’s Finishing School for Refined Ladies of Culture and Proper Decorum and let everyone know it.
There was laughter, tears, happiness, lots of sorrow and pain, gunfire and shootouts, family and friends, memories and reminisces, Indians, romance and love. The descriptions of the town, the businesses, the land and the ranch were vivid and I felt I was there. Since there are no other single women except the soiled doves that work at the Red Garter Saloon in Cicero Creek, Annalee is quite popular among the men. Watching their actions to get her attention were fun to watch. The main characters have all lost their families in different ways and at different times in their lives which was heart wrenching and brought them together but it was heartwarming to see how they became family to each other to fill the voids of their missing loved ones. Hearing the stories brought tears to my eyes. Seeing her reaction to Boone’s disclosure of where he was raised and by whom and that Two Bears is his adopted brother was true to form for Annalee. Knowing there was a murder to solve threw some additional adventure into the story. There was never a dull moment in this story, wonderful closure and a happily ever after. The epilogue, in a form of a letter, is a different technique and tells us of at least one more story to come in the series.
I have previously read another historical novella, Tumbleweed Letters, by this new to me author and look forward to reading more of her books.
Favorite Quote: The western sky was stained vivid orange and streaked with purple with the oncoming sunset…