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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-03-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Boeshaar's (Unexpected Love) latest is set in Arizona Territory shortly after the Civil War. Bethany Stafford accepts an offer to teach in a small Arizona settlement in order to escape her abusive father. Tiny Silverstone has two ministers, brothers Luke and Jake McCabe; Paden Montaño, an attractive sheriff of questionable character; a brothel; a woman doctor, Annetta Cavanaugh, with a traumatic secret; and a town's worth of busybodies and men seeking wives. When Bethany is caught in a compromising position with the handsome sheriff, Luke McCabe offers to marry her to save her reputation, and Bethany agrees. As the two figure out their relationship, other subplots play out, involving Annetta's past and a brothel "working girl" trying to escape. Boeshaar has a good sense of plotting and pacing, but is less skillful at characterization. Some of the minor players veer into caricature (silent Indian Warring Spirit, gossipy prig Mrs. Winters). The evangelical Christian plot machinery is very prominent in the resolution of complications, which might narrow the potential audience. The novel is underimagined— two minister heroes?—but Boeshaar's fans will be pleased. (May)