Reviewed by Brenda C. for Readers' Favorite
Twenty-five year old Matthew Graham's life has just been turned upside down. After the murder of his parents and the kidnapping of his baby brother Benji, he is left to take care of his six brothers and sisters as well as the Circle Eight, the family ranch in the Republic of Texas. Before his parents were murdered his father had intended to claim four thousand more acres that the Republic of Texas was offering. When Matthew decides to go ahead with his father's plans he learns that he needs a wife and so Matthew tells the land agent that he already has a wife named Hannah. The lie backfires when the agent gives Matthew thirty days to bring Hannah in to sign the papers. It seems as if fate has intervened when Matthew runs into Hannah Foley, a twenty-three year old girl who often dreams of a husband but because of her looks and size believes she will never find one. So when Matthew proposes she gladly accepts. Will their marriage of convenience eventually turn into something more, and how will Hannah fit in with the Graham clan?
Once I started reading this book I just couldn't put it down. The author had a way of pulling me back in time, making me feel as if the story was unfolding right before my eyes. She easily brought the characters to life. Who wouldn't marry a man like Matthew, a handsome young man who was taking care of his family. The sexual attraction between him and Hannah was electric, and as they slowly got to know each other love started to bloom, although Matthew was determined to maintain control over his feelings because he was afraid it would make him appear weak. Little did he realize he was already falling head over boot spurs for Hannah! I thought Hannah was just what the Graham family needed especially after the death of their parents and the worry over their missing sibling, although the oldest sister Olivia really gave Hannah a rough time.I loved that Hannah wasn't described as beautiful, or dainty; instead she was sturdy and strong, and in the beginning Matt didn't really think she was pretty but over time he saw Hannah's beauty. The author also throws in a nice little mystery of who killed Matthew's parents and what happened to Benji.
The ending was a twist that I didn't see coming, and since the author leaves a few questions unanswered I can only hope that she is going to give us a sequel. If you enjoy reading historical romance with true to life characters and a nice mystery, then you are certainly going to enjoy this one. I would warn that there are some sexual situations written into the story, but overall they are very well done. I for one enjoyed this book so much that I intend to check out Ms. Lang's other works! On a scale of one to six I would give this book a six because it was just that good!