Captain Walker Larson received the shock of his life when a beautiful stranger boldly walked into his office - - claiming to be his wife. His father may have bought Lacy Larson for him in a wife lottery, but Walker had no desire for a bride - - even one as tempting as the one standing before him. So he promptly sent Lacy back to Cedar Point.
Nearly three years later, Lacy is shocked when Walker shows up on her doorstep - - ordered by the military to protect his wife from a killer. Lacy wants nothing to do with the gruff soldier who once drove her away.
But despite their different lifestyles and expectations, she finds herself wondering if their marriage was a far better gamble than either of them had imagined . . . and what it it would feel like to be in his arms . . .
Lacy is only 18 years old when she heads to Cottonwood, Texas to finally meet the husband that she'd been married to for 3 years. You see Walker's father had bought Lacy in a wife lottery and married her by proxy to his son. Lacy had dreamed of meeting Walker for so long and had woven a fantasy of their reunion in her head over the years. When she finally meets Walker he is nothing like she imagined. He's cold, hard and seemingly unemotional. But Lacy for some reason has her mind set that no matter what she will be Captain Larson's wife in more than name only and she's not leaving his sight until that happens.
Walker knew about the wife that his father had married to him by proxy but he had absolutely no intention of ever meeting the woman much less actually becoming a real husband to her. When Lacy shows up he's taken with her looks but he wants to get rid of her quickly for a multitude of reasons - the major one being the evacuation of Cottonwood in preparation for a range war. When Lacy insists on consummating their marriage Walker thinks that she's bluffing and won't go through with it. Well the consummation takes place and while it's traumatic for Lacy it's an event that Walker is completely moved by and can't forget.
Three years later and Lacy is running the print shop that Walker's father used to run. Zeb Whitaker is being released from prison and word has it that he's coming after Lacy and her two friends - the ones that put him in jail 3 years prior. Walker is notified of the trouble and he returns to Lacy to protect her. Lacy is not thrilled with having Walker around and can't wait for the time to come when he can leave again. Walker, at first, feels the same, but as time passes he realizes that there's more to Lacy than just a stubborn demeanor.
This is book 3 in the Wife Lottery series and though I didn't read the first two books I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Yes, I did wonder about Lacy's friends whose romances were in those books but it was more curiosity than the need because I didn't have a clue what was happening.
So Walker - we don't really find out why he's so tough and unemotional until nearer the end of the book but despite his fight to stay that way Lacy really thawed the guy out. They fought horribly at first but eventually needed each other enough to calm down and really see the other person. Kissing had a lot to do with the defrosting, I think. lol
For Lacy's part she was one independent woman and had her life planned at the ripe old age of 20. She was practically starving to death but she was too stubborn to ask for assistance. She really was amazing for one so young but I guess life back then was tough in ways I can't imagine so she'd pretty much have to be to survive.
The romance was different in this one than what I'm used to reading but it was no less potent. As I said I think they started thawing towards each other because of kissing and sex but really what this did was allow them to actually take the time to see the other person. They'd softened towards each other enough to have sex and in that warm afterglow they could look at the person and see not only their temper and/or stubbornness but their good qualities as well.
Jodi Thomas always brings her great writing skills and that's no different in this book. She also gave us the wonderful sense of friendship and family (even though the family wasn't blood) that we've come to expect from her. She really does it well and I love reading about the secondary relationships and friends that the characters have.
Overall a really good book. I have the next book in the series and hopefully will be able to get that one soon. I'm looking forward to it.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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