Friday 18 November 2022

Boots Under Her Bed

Finished October 20
Boots Under Her Bed by Jodi Thomas, Jo Goodman, Kaki Warner, and Alison Kent

This book includes four novellas published here for the first time. They are all historical romances set in the western U.S. with a cowboy as a romantic character.
The first story, Crazy Callie, has a young woman desperate for a husband to escape the control of her greedy stepfather, who wants to take the land she inherited as her own. Callie has a plan that she enacts with the help of a couple of friends. She scours the streets of town in the wee hours looking for a man drunk enough to be talked into marriage as a transaction, and she finds Luke Morgan, a man also desperate for a future. He surprises her by his reaction to her proposition and as the relationship between them grows more trusting, he surprises himself as well.
Nat Church and the Runaway Bride has Nat arriving at a jailhouse to bail out Felicity Ravenwood, who has been arrested with a group of Temperance women. The sheriff is only too happy to see her go, and Nat takes her to the private railcar Felicity's father owns to continue his task regarding her. Felicity has left a man at the altar and gone on the run and her father, a railway magnate has asked a favour of Nate to find her, and find a mutually agreeable way forward for her. Felicity has had many men interested in marrying her, but more for the money that comes with her than for her own personhood. She sent her father a letter saying this and espousing a desire to live by her own wits. Her father has cut her off and sent Nat to supervise the situation. As they get to know one another, a respectful but close relationship develops.
In The Scent of Roses, Rachel James and Richard Whitmeyer meet on a train. At first, each chooses silence rather than conversation, for their own reasons. Eventually they use a game of cards to find out more about each other, with each guardedly answering questions posed by the other. The city they left has recently had a bank robbery, with share certificates and gems stolen from a deposit box. Both are interested in this, but haven't shared that information with each other. The story has a different and interesting role for a woman.
The last story, The Hired Gun's Heiress, Maeve Daugherty has found herself a job in a brothel, but not the obvious job. She does the books. Having left her home back in New York, along with her uncle, Maeve found herself in financial straits and found a job matching her skills. Zebulon Crow provides security for her father, both in business and in his private life, and now that he has found her, he insists on taking her back to New York. But others are looking for Maeve too for different reasons, and they may interfere in Zeb's plans. 
These were enjoyable reads, and I liked the independent spirit of the female characters. 

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