Pinkerton detective Maggie Cartwright is tasked with going undercover as a mail order bride. Her “fiancé” is widower Garrett Thomas, aka the suspected Whistle-Stop Bandit. No sooner does Maggie arrive in Arizona Territory when she's confronted with an early wedding date—the clock is ticking on her detective work or she may end up a criminal's wife! As the day of the wedding draws near, Maggie begins to panic. The problem is that the more she gets to know Garrett and his two adorable children, the harder it is to keep up the deception. Can a man as kind and gentle as Garrett really be the Whistle-Stop Bandit?
DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of this book via NetGally.
Like the description says, this book follows Maggie Cartwright who becomes an undercover mail order bride, gains a betrothal to the suspect, evidently falling in love with Garrett Thomas and wishing she did not have to keep up the fake persona. This book takes place in 1882, in what was then known as the Southern West territory of America. Maggie, a Pinkerton operative, cannot stand injustice. Though she is undercover, and supposed to maintain a low profile to not botch up the mission, Maggie still tries to keep crime at bay.
Garrett Thomas is widower, with two young children, living the best he knows how without a wife. Upon meeting Maggie, under the impression that her name is Maggie Taylor, Garrett begins to wonder if this woman can truly become a suitable wife after coming to know her. Being he found her chasing after a third-rate thief, he wonders if she has any good judgment, whereas the woman he had exchanged letters with showed to be intelligent, warm and witty. Not that she did not have good looks, because Garrett could easily lose his tongue when gazing upon her.
Garrett is also quite easy on the eye; tall and handsome. His aunt is a very strange older woman; one day laying upon her bed in a sickly manner, thinking she is in her final moments, and another up and about, re-planning her funeral. However, Aunt Hetty cares about what people might say when they see Garrett living with a young woman he is not yet married to, reputations and all that. Garrett and Maggie both made it quite clear that they had wishes to become more acquainted with each other before entering into marriage together.
Technically, Maggie does not have a family of her own, so it gives her a good cover-excuse to show that Garrett's little family needs her more than her own, as she is twenty-six and choosing to marry rather late in her life. With this in mind, Aunt Hetty insists that Maggie stay with her, despite her health condition.
My Honest Opinions/Thoughts
Old fashioned tales like this are a constant favorite of mine, especially when the theme is Christian. I must say that it struck me when Garrett tells his aunt that he did not care if he had God's blessing in the marriage. Aside of that, I did enjoy this book, I wish I had started it sooner. I would like to see this book in my collection, in print, someday. I am adding it to my growing wish-list of must-have books. I am giving this book a 4.5 of 5 stars. I did enjoy it and would love to read it again.
About the Author
Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."
Margaret wasn't sure that was true, but she wasn't about to take chances. She now has more than 28 novels and is a New York Times bestselling author. Not bad for someone who failed 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.