Sage Cane’s House of Grace and Favor
1859 Fairplay Creek, Colorado is no place for a lady, yet Sage Cane, penniless and in debt, arrives to claim her inheritance from her Aunt Hannah “Honey” Wild. Assuming her aunt’s establishment is a respectable hotel, Sage is shocked to find that it is in fact, a bordello called Wild Mountain Honey. Her immediate plan to close it down is met with resistance from Bridger Norwood, the stubborn town marshal. Bridger believes the only way to keep the streets safe is to keep the men off them. Sage agrees, but begins to change the town’s attitude by opening a charm school to teach wives and female minors how to keep their men home. She also slowly changes the bordello into a respectable meeting place for all the townspeople.
Hubbard successfully depicts the hardships and dangers women faced in rugged frontier towns that catered to men. Her storytelling, however, leaves a bit to be desired. The characters are a bit too fictional, the climax a bit too predictable, and any action a bit too staged. I was unable to connect with any of the characters, and I felt as though the plot was rushed and everything tied up too nicely at the end. Overall, it was an okay western romance, but by no means a must read.