Lucy Preston arrives in Emancipation, Wyoming, one fine day in 1896 expecting to meet up with her fiancé to begin their new life together. Instead, she discovers that he’s taken up with someone new, and she is left penniless and dejected. Sebastian Cole, local saloon owner with a taste for cognac and chocolate, takes pity on her and offers her a hostess job to raise money for her return trip to Kansas City. Lucy also begins an advice column (“Ask Penelope”) for the local newspaper, pursuing a writing dream of hers. But when Lucy’s family wants her to return home, Lucy discovers that she enjoys her independence and doesn’t want to leave. What’s a gal to do? Arrange a marriage of convenience with her boss, of course!
But Lucy and Sebastian learn that “convenient” sometimes isn’t the same as “easy.” In Lucy, Ihle has created a loveable and sympathetic heroine: she is feisty and a bit of a klutz as well. There is a healthy dose of humour in this book, though it never dissolves into the ridiculous. A fun, light read, perfect for unwinding on a rainy afternoon.