Thrown off a wagon train with two other women and trying to avoid jail for a murder they committed, Bailee Moore agrees to enter a “Wife Lottery”—a ploy concocted by the Cedar Point sheriff to secure wives for the men in the small Texas town. For the sensible Bailee, however, marrying Carter McKoy is like exchanging one life sentence for another—especially since her new husband hasn’t even seen fit to utter a single word in her presence. But still, she can’t help thinking that something about this strong, silent farmer could be the key to leaving her troubled past behind…and making a worthy wager with her heart.
I seldom read westerns although I have I read and enjoyed some of Maggie Osborne's and I absolutely love Lorraine Heath's Texas Trilogy. Now and then I feel like trying one and since D. recommend this one to me I decided to try it. I'm very happy that I did.
The story starts with a situation that I have no idea if it could happen in real life or not. In a lost western town, where women are scarce, 3 women are arrested for murder and instead of convict them the judge decides to run a wife lottery. The judge will pick the men's names out of hat for each woman and if the woman agrees the man chosen will be able to marry her after paying a fine.
This is the story of the first of those women. Bailee's name is picked by Carter McKoy, a man with a tragic past who seldom speaks and lives on a farm away from town. I think the strong part of the story is how Carter and Bailee get to know each other. Carter is strange but as the story develops we get to know him better and understand why he is how he is. I really liked the fact that Thomas created a past for him that I could believe in and think that his weird ways actually made sense. Bailee was a very practical woman, she also has a complicated past but she doesn't spend much time dwelling on it. What she wants is get to know the man she married and see if she can respect him and if they can deal happily with each other. Carter is very much a puzzle for her at first. He entered the wife lottery because he was feeling lonely but at the same time he has a difficult time just speaking, not to mention trusting Bailee and telling her about his life and his desires.
There is a mystery subplot concerning a train robbery and the man that Bailee and her friends believe they killed that was interesting but that I felt distracted me a bit from their relationship. This is the first in a trilogy and now I'm looking forward to read the other two and find about the kind of husbands Sarah and Lacy got.