Why this one: I inhale her books when they come out. I have ever since her first book Rain Shadow
Steam Level: Well, since there is a major heat wave going on, the fact that this book isn’t what I would call steamy is just fine.
Blurb: Courtesan Ella Reed escapes dangerous city life to rural Wyoming and says "I do" to a marriage of convenience! But she may not live the life of a respectable woman for long if she can't keep her past -- and her heart -- under lock and key.
For a self-made man with political aspirations, love is trivial in a paper marriage. Nathan Lantry needs a wife to secure his election and manage his rowdy little boys. Yet he can't stop wanting more from his irresistible new bride. Then her secrets start to unravel....
My Thoughts: There is a thread at AAR about heroines who are prostitutes and since I did a couple of posts on this topic, I was thinking of it when I finished reading this book, Her Wyoming Man by Cheryl St. John. I’ve loved Ms. St. John since her very first book and gobble up her newest releases as soon as they come out and this one was no exception. Since Lorraine Heath left the Old West and departed to England, Cheryl St. John is my mind, THEE Western write who writes the most poignant stores
As the tread at AAR suggests, the heroine is a prostitute in the old west. She has run away from the brothel and agrees to be a mail order bride without informing her bridegroom Nathan Lantry of her past.
I get that this kind of heroine isn’t for everyone and I can respect that. But for any on the fence on this kind of heroine, or those contemplating trying one, they don’t come much better than Ella. Ms. St. John, as she has with so many of her heroines, writes Ella in such a way that she will break your heart. She makes her past so tragic, and she is still so vulnerable. But never does the reader sit in judgment on her. It’s a case of it was what it was and now she has an opportunity to make a new life for herself. She feels bad about not telling Nathan about her past and doesn’t really consider the consequences she’s so desperate to escape her past.
And Nathan makes for quite an endearing hero. He didn’t stand out for me as much as Ella, but I really did enjoy how considerate he was of Ella and how concerned he was that he not make the same mistakes with Ella.
There’s nothing big or showy about this story. It’s a gentle book about how a young woman struggles to overcome her past with the help of a gentle and loving man.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5