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The long-awaited prequel to the Seven Brides series. Leigh Greenwood returns to his award-winning classic series to pen a brand-new Western romance featuring some of his most beloved characters.
First Comes Marriage…
Alone in the world and struggling to make ends meet, Texas war widow Sarah Winborne will do anything to keep her two small children safe and her hard-won ranch from going under. She hasn’t fought for so long to lose everything… and if that means marrying a stranger to protect her family’s future, then so be it.
She never expected anything but a business arrangement, but something about Benton Wheeler’s broad shoulders and kind eyes awakens emotions she’d long since buried. He makes her feel beautiful. He makes her feel desired. He makes her feel like a woman again. And even though their marriage was never intended to be more than a matter of convenience, as Benton stands between her small family and the wild and dangerous West, Sarah may just realize that the cowboy she married is the love she never dreamed she would find…
My first full-length novel by Leigh Greenwood–prior to this I’d only read one story in an anthology (A Historical Christmas Present). No One But You is a spin-off of sorts of the author’s Seven Brides series–timewise, it takes place between books 1 and 2 of the series, but since the Randolphs play a small (crucial, but still small) part in this book, it worked just fine as a standalone.
Overall, this was a sweet, pleasant story. I liked both Sarah and Salty (though I’m not a fan of either his name–Benton–or his nickname), and enjoyed Sarah’s twin seven-year-olds, Jared and Ellen. I definitely feel like I know a heck of a lot more about Texas ranch living in the post-Civil War years than I did going in–I read a lot of historical romance, but not a lot of western so far. The story did have a tendency to drag a bit at times–I’m not sure I really needed to know that much about working a ranch–but the dynamic between the characters was fun, and the romance was sweet and believable.
There’s a few twists–some more predictable than others–and a touch of suspense to the story. I would have liked to have had it focus more on the romance itself, but it still was an enjoyable way to pass the time. The style of writing had a bit of an old-fashioned feel to it–even though the cover screams 2016, the contents felt older than that. Not necessarily in a bad way; it just didn’t quite feel like it was a brand new book, even though it is. Perhaps it’s just that the characters seemed to think and speak more like people from the 1800s, instead of 21st-century transplants?
An element in its favor, definitely.
So…my first full-length novel by Mr. Greenwood, but probably not my last. I am sufficiently interested in the Randolph brothers to keep an eye out for their stories going forward, and if Ellen and/or Jared are going to get their own? I am so there.
Rating: 4 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.