A Bargain Struck

Written by Liz Harris
Review by Katy O’Dowd

In Wyoming in the late 1800s, Connor Maguire, a widower with an eight-year-old daughter, Bridget, advertises for a wife. Ellen O’Sullivan, a widow, answers his advertisement, and the two meet and marry on the same day. They share a marriage of convenience, with her taking over the woman’s work at the homestead, caring for his daughter, and hopefully providing him with an heir. But Ellen hasn’t been entirely forthcoming, and by keeping things back, she brings difficulties to her new husband and resentful stepdaughter. Add a beautiful schoolteacher with a mean streak and a ne’er-do-well brother to the mix, and Ellen’s new life is hard, to say the least.

A Bargain Struck is a tale very well told. While not awash with historical detail, the reader is fully aware of place and time, and the plot of the story itself is engrossing. A thoroughly enjoyable read, full of romance and with enough treachery and intrigue to keep you rooting for Ellen until the last page.