She looked at land and thought flowers. He looked at land and thought cattle. She was liveried servants and ivy-covered stone. He was hard-living cowboys and rough-hewn timbers. Champagne and Forty Rod. The two didn’t mix.”

Oh, but they do…

Jessica Thornton is a very proper English lady and she is very pregnant and on the run from her dastardly brother-in-law who wants to force her into signing over the family estate so he can bleed it dry. Jessica comes to New Mexico hoping to find her long-lost brother, but instead she meets Brady Wilkins (watch out for that umbrella, folks).  Jessica and others are injured when their wagon is attacked, and she’s brought to RosaRojas, the Wilkins ranch, where the doctor orders her to stay and rest until her confinement is over. In between battling that dastardly brother-in-law as well the evil baddie bent on revenge against the Wilkins brothers, Brady and Jessica are on the fast track to true love (this is a romance after all).

Yes, there’s more but you don’t need to know it all and I have better things to do today than to recap the whole thing. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down, and started right in with book #2 as soon as I was finished. Not only is Brady the hunkiest hero in recent memory (gawd, that smile of his), he’s got a real soft side hidden beneath that gruff exterior,

You’re here.” He spread his palm over his heart. “Inside me. Part of me forever. If I raise my hand against you, I hurt myself. If I disrespect you, I bring shame on myself. Whether you stay with me or not, that will never change.”

Sigh. And did I mention funny?

Clasping his hands in his lap to hide the effect of his own randy thoughts, he cast about for something to say, something that might intrigue or amuse her, and maybe entice her to take a seat and stay awhile.

 “You know how to ride a horse?” he whispered. Somehow she managed to nod. His lips tugged on her earlobe. “Astride?” “No.” “Time to learn.”

“I do rise when you enter the room. That’s why I don’t stand up.”

Lol. And what is the very best thing about this book? Brady and Jessica sit and talk to each other. They don’t have Big Misunderstandings, they work things out by talking to each other. I adored the times they sat on the porch just quietly holding hands – talk about actions speaking louder than words. This is the first in a trilogy about the three Wilkins brothers, the others are Open Country and Chasing the Sun. 4/5 stars.

FTC – Kindle copy obtained via library loan.