Catherine Anderson has become my go-to author for entertaining historical western romances. While there is nothing particularly redeeming about the writing, Anderson certainly can weave a good yarn.
This story revolves around Kate and Zach. Zach is a widower who moves onto the property adjoining Kate's. Kate lives with her four year old daughter, Miranda, her husband having died six months earlier. Zach immediately shows interest in Kate, but she is wary of strangers and rejects his overtures of friendship. However, when Miranda falls down a well, Zach rescues her but gets bit by rattlesnakes in the process and Kate has to nurse him back to health.
As they spend time together Zach falls in love with her, but it's clear that both Kate and Miranda have emotional scars. However, Kate is being hounded by her late husband's cruel brother and to save her and her daughter, Kate and Zach marry. The rest of the story is about them learning to love and come together. With an added plot line concerning Kate's dead husband.
Sexual and physical abuse is a huge theme that runs throughout Anderson's book and this one is no different. There is one scene in particular that is not for the faint of heart.
In terms of originality there is nothing new here. Anderson reuses the same themes again and again. But there is not denying that she writes an entertaining and compelling story.