She thought she could escape to the West and start a new life…
People are hunting Charlotte Baldwin, missing heiress, but no one is looking for Charlie West, bride of a humble frontier shopkeeper. Marrying him was the cover she needed to keep all of her secrets from getting out. But what starts as a marriage of convenience turns hot in a hurry.
He believed the sins of his past were behind him…
The final piece of Michael West’s plan to become a proper businessman is a respectable wife. Charlie is beautiful, intelligent, and surprisingly sensual. They’re a perfect match in every way. … Maybe too perfect. As passions flare, the truth comes out: Charlie may have run straight into the arms of her enemy.
No sin stays a secret forever…
I first read a Merry Farmer book a few years ago (you can find a review of “In Your Arms” here) and judging by timestamps etc, I picked this up for free – possibly from her website – not long after. I read this book back in 2015, but for some reason never got around to writing a review. Whoopsie!
Charlotte Baldwin disappears into the West to escape her confining life as an heiress unable to do what she wants within the rules set by her stepfather. Within 24 hours of arriving in town, she has met and married Michael West, a shopkeeper whose friendship with certain individuals has lead to gossip being spread around as to his life-choices.
Marrying Charlie helps keep the gossips at bay, especially when it becomes evident that Michael and Charlie are in love and have an active sex-life. Meanwhile, Charlie proves that she has a head for business and is a good addition to the store, whether she is married to the boss or not.
However, it turns out that Michael has secrets of his own, and it all comes to a head near the end of the book, with a decent “didn’t see that coming” plot twist. This is the standard “they fall out over a misunderstanding, one leaves, true love wins out” but there’s enough difference to make this book a decent read. The secondary characters, especially in terms of Michael’s friends, are decently drawn, and there’s the possibility of one or more of them having their own story told, as seems to be the tradition now.
In summary: This is a good and decent contribution to the modern canon of slightly steamy romance novels, where the sex can be explicit and some less-than-traditional choices are in there (Farmer seems to make a point of having same-sex couples in her books)
About this author
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.
I did an interview with Merry Farmer back in 2014 and it can be found here
I also did a Release Announcement for her book Trail Of Kisses