After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.
Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?
Whenever Karen Witemeyer has a new book out, I grab it. And I was super excited about this one because Zach was my favorite character in the first book of this series. My thoughts:
What I liked
Good writing. In spite of the simple premise of the book, it was unputdownable. I read it in hours. Immediately, we’re introduced to Abigail’s problem and her possible solution. You would think that what with everything explained right away that there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. But you would be wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Zach and Abby learn each other and learn to deal with each other’s problems and concerns.
Theme of family. The whole series is about patchwork families (duh), but I loved that when Zach married Abigail, he made her sister his. And her sister has quite an issue to deal with.
The romance. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I love romances based on friendship. Witemeyer presents us a lovely one. Zach and Abby really take the time to get to know each other. Even though they both have a history, it is fortunately not used as a weapon to wield against one another. Instead, they learn and grow and they work together.
Spiritually, the novel deals with putting your trust in God rather than in yourself or in things…and what that in effect looks like.
What I didn’t like
The only thing that I didn’t like was that Zach kind of didn’t feel like Zach from the first book. He’s still firm and strong, but he lacked that gunslinger-feel from the first book. I get it, he was turning over a new leaf, but I loved the roughness of Zach in the first book and I wish some of it had carried to the second one. The if-you-look-at-me-wrong-I-might-just-shoot-you aura he had. He’s a lot sweeter in this book.
Romantic scale: 7.5
Overall, so cute. I really enjoyed this book and if you want to read a lighthearted western romance, than this is the one for you.
**I received a copy from BethanyHouse through Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**