Being a fugitive in the Old West shouldn’t be this much fun. The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run – all the way to Santa Fe.
When he still can’t seem to ditch his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail-order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters who want to kill him and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is – and can’t resist him.
Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up disguised as a woman and betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complicated enough, Trace finds the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed.
But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.
Length: 7hrs 34 mins
Narrated by: Matthew Shaw
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
Okay, I will start this review by being completely honest. I didn’t read the ebook initially for this, despite how much I love Eli’s writing, because the cover seemed odd to me. I am definitely a cover person, it draws me, and this one, this one did not do it for me. However, when I got the chance to listen to the audiobook, I went for it, because I liked the premise of the book, and I’ve always loved historical novels.
This one has Robby seeing a murder, and traveling all the way to the Wild West to escape the men following him. Once he assumes the identity of a mail order bride who left the coach when she found “the man of her dreams”, he ends up in Flat Bottom, New Mexico. There he meets his “intended” husband’s family, and the real man of his dreams, Trace.
I ended up skimming a bit in the initial chapters, as I got the gist of what was happening and where the story was headed. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the book, and thought I might stop several chapters in. Then somehow the story ramped up and I was glued to it, wanting to see what was happening in the story. I wanted to know how two men in the mid 1800’s were able to “find each other”, as well as how Trace’s family ended up with the bruises they did (hilarious story!), and how a family like that could be redeemed. The author did it for me, without question.
I found myself laughing along with Robby’s manipulations of Trace’s father who “paid $200” for Rowena, as well as his complaints about the trappings of women’s clothing. Robby was such a refreshing character, and brought life into the Crabtree household where until then there wasn’t anything but a gray day after day. Meanwhile the killers were closing in, about to take Robby back to their boss to deal with appropriately. What a great ending to that portion of the storyline. I could see that in my head, as if it was a movie.
The narrator was new to me, and did a good job of keeping the character’s voices distinct, and adding accents where appropriate. He even kept Robby and “Rowena”‘s voices separate.
I loved how Tracy and Robby got their HEA, it was exactly how I would have envisioned Robby’s HEA. I’m not sure I had a vision of how Trace would keep himself busy, but it worked out so well, and made me laugh. 🙂
Story: 3.5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 3 pieces of eye candy
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.
Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particulary admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.
In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.
In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.
Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org