by Linda Lael Miller
Rated 4 stars.
A Stone Creek Novel. Gideon is the youngest Yarbro, the son of a career outlaw Payton Yarbro. Having been mostly raised by Payton and his new woman Ruby a Madam and Saloon owner (since Gideon's mother died when he was a baby). Gideon went to live with his brother Rowdy (a reformed outlaw turned sheriff) when he was about 16. During that stay he helped save little 8 year old Lydia Fairmont, who's father died in a snow storm. A long lost aunt comes to claim her but Lydia is afraid. Gideon writes his name on an envelope for her and a writes a note for her that says. " Come to get me" (or something very similar). He tells her that if she if ever afraid, or needs help all she has to do it put that letter in the mail and he will come to get her, "no questions asked".
Well some 10 years later, he gets the letter. Lydia's Aunt Nell has passed away and the family is in financial ruin. In order to ensure the existence of her two matron aunts and Helga the housekeeper she agrees to marry a bulbous obnoxious banker who can financially ensure her family. She dreads this, and in a moment of weakness, mails the letter to Gideon who was her childhood crush, and savior.
In comes Gideon and "kidnaps" her on her wedding day, along with spiriting away Helga and the Aunts. Lydia's fiance doesn't take this sitting down, and comes after the couple who have gone to Stone Creek where Rowdy and his family and Wyatt (the other brother who is also a reformed outlaw) and his family live. In order to avoid charges of kidnapping it is decided that Gideon and Lydia should marry quickly. They do. Also, Gideon is in Stone Creek on "Assignment". He is an undercover agent, working for the Copper Mine Owners. There is talk of a strike, and bringing in chinese workers to replace the current workers. Gideon is sent to report back to the owners.
Of course this brings some danger of it's own, as well as the fact that Lydia's gilted fiance who wants to see Gideon dead, so that he can reclaim his bride....
All the while Lydia and Gideon are finding passion and love in each other. (Gideon reluctantly! Of course!)
It was great at fulfilling my addiction for a western and those Yarbro men are great. Lark, Rowdy's wife is fun and I love when she teaches Lydia how to seduce the Gideon.) Good solid read and I expect to meet the absent Yarbro twins soon.....Yay!!