Marry Me by Sundown
A Western romance taking place during the Gold Rush in 1880s Montana, Marry Me by Sundown by Johanna Lindsey has an interesting premise. Violet Mitchell is a “bossy” young beauty who sets out for Butte to find her missing father and the gold he is hunting to save the family from bankruptcy. There, she is abducted by Morgan Callahan, a solitary miner desperate to keep a violent, underhanded, large-scale mine operator from stealing his claim. Rude, rough, and unpleasantly scruffy, Morgan terrifies Violet, who nevertheless maintains her composure, charms him, and persuades him to partner with her. Morgan was never a real threat to her, but those other men are murderers, and Violet inadvertently brings danger to his hidden mine. While a Western is a nice break from Regency England, and Lindsey does a fine job bringing the rugged setting to life, the plot veered into the far-fetched too often to engage me. Moreover, the relationship between the two protagonists is unconvincing. Although Morgan’s extreme alpha-male character mellowed enough to grow on me, Violet’s repeated poor judgment and unwise choices overrode any initial good impression made by her pluckiness.