When Tilly Hargreaves and her three nieces are stranded at his small stagecoach station in an abandoned town and threatened by outlaws, Nolan West must protect them. And the only way he can do that is by pretending he's married to Tilly.
But can the former solider, whose only wish is for solitude, stop himself from growing attached to his temporary family?
Tilly knows the charade is necessary to keep her and the girls safe, but now her heart is in danger. The longer she pretends the stoic station agent is her husband, the more genuine their union feels.
Nolan believes he's better off alone, but Tilly's certain that if he'd only open his heart to his make-believe family, he'd want to claim them as his for real.
With deep, intriguing characters and story full of action and suspense, A Temporary Family was a fast and fun read. The setting was challenging with the ghost town as with the limited resources the suspense and danger intensified. The characters were not only fighting against the outlaws but also the elements around them, the unpredictable weather, and their own inner demons, their own defectiveness.
Both main characters, Tilly Hargreaves and Nolan West, considered themselves as flawed, imperfect. Tilly had grown in the shadow of her older sister. She felt nothing she did or didn't do was satisfying to her family. She had a short attention span, but she had a joyful heart, kind spirit, and generous mind. Nolan looked for solitude to heal the inner wounds the civil war had left in him. His OCD made him feel like an abnormal person, his ways seen as odd to those around him. The nightmares, the pain, the claustrophobia from being a prisoner of the war for over two years had molded him to be the person he was today, and keeping others at the arm's length suited him perfectly until he met Tilly.
I loved the suspense, how it was built into the story and escalated as the story went on. The plot was well crafted, the struggle to stay alive, to keep the girls safe, the action, the budding romantic feelings building between Nolan and Tilly, the uncertainty of the elements around them, it was all well put together, it was original, and the story had a natural flow in it. There were many historical references in the story, both real and made up, giving the tale, even more, depth.
As the Love Inspired series are the Christian faith based books with Harlequin, I missed that element in this story. I think with the increased drama and trouble the characters were in, the inner growth they faced, the struggles they endured, there were many ample opportunities to show their faith and trust in God and His guidance, but that was omitted from the story, and even though the tale as it was was satisfying and entertaining, I think a great opportunity was missed here.
Battles of mind and body, sweet romance, healing from deep inner wounds, accepting imperfections and learning to celebrate them, the story touched the emotions and delivered a poignant tale
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side