Blue, the woman who owns and runs the town saloon in Clear Hollow, has just lost her mother and is now on her own. She’s been essentially on her own for most of her life, but the death of her mother has really hit her hard. Add to that how busy things have gotten in town lately with all the new prospectors trying to find gold and strike it rich, and she almost has more than she can handle to deal with at the moment. Business has certainly picked up at the Saloon lately, and besides being the owner, she is the only employee, making it very difficult to keep up with all the new customers.
Thomas is a new arrival in town, seeking to strike it rich, just like so many others. He soon seems to become infatuated with the slightly older than himself woman who dresses in men’s clothing and runs the saloon. Being a friendly and talkative sort, he soon makes himself useful at the saloon as well as befriending a pair of prospectors panning for gold in the river.
I enjoyed this story. It, like the most recent books by Ms. Linnington, has broken slightly from the standard format of many mail order bride books. Yes, it follows the usual storyline involving two strangers meeting and developing a relationship while learning to trust each other. In this case, it does not begin with a marriage between strangers, but allows them to develop and grow towards each other. I find that I like this change as it allows for more character and story development throughout the book. And like her previous books, I can count on this one to continue to offer me a happy and “feelgood” ending to the story.
I believe that anyone who has enjoyed any of Ms. Linnington’s previous books will also enjoy this one. Also anyone who enjoys mail order (or not quite mail order) bride stories or who is simply looking for a book with a happy ending that will make them smile should give this one a try. I believe it to be one of Ms. Linnington’s best books so far.