About the book:
Molly Hatfield comes to Arizona Territory seeking stability and security. But living in Cactus Patch provides her with more than she ever dreamed.
There is nothing Molly wouldn’t do for her teenaged brother, Donny. Blaming herself for the accident that left him wheelchair bound, Molly has dedicated her life to his care. But in 1896, gainful employment for a woman is hard to come by. So when Molly learns that an eccentric rancher in Cactus Patch, Arizona, is looking for an heiress—someone to take over management of the ranch in exchange for future ownership—she jumps at the chance to provide a real home for her brother.
However, Molly didn’t bank on meeting Dr. Caleb Fairbanks, the town’s charming unmarried doctor. Caleb has a way with Molly that makes her nervous. But it’s how he is with her brother that really alarms her. Caleb sees past the wheelchair and genuinely likes Donny, but Molly fears he’s putting unrealistic ideas into her brother’s head. Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for, even her brother’s future happiness. But it could be the very reason God brought her to Last Chance Ranch.
In my humble opinion:
Molly Hatfield is the sole caretaker for her teenage brother, Donny, who lost the use of his legs in an accident while he was an infant. After rescuing her brother from a hotel fire, Molly determines to provide a more stable home for him, so she answers an ad from a rancher in Arizona. If she can prove her worth and learn the business, she will inherit the ranch. The only stipulation is that she must sign a contract saying she will never marry. That’s not a problem for her because she has yet to meet a man willing to marry her and accept her brother. Until she meets Dr. Caleb Fairbanks.
When Caleb was first introduced, I found him somewhat flirty and wasn’t sure I considered him hero-worthy. Did that ever change! <How many times do I judge somebody in real life based on a faulty initial impression?> He was unselfish and gentle, considerate and compassionate towards his patients, including Donny. Caleb challenged Donny to become independent, so Donny could live life to the fullest, and encouraged Molly to stop coddling her brother because of the guilt she carried over his accident. I enjoyed the entire cast of characters, including Bertha, the horseless carriage; Orbit, the blind horse; and Magic, Caleb’s dog that went with him everywhere. Every character faced challenges and blossomed.
Wow! This is a book that hits all the right buttons! Just enough historical details, an intriguing plot combined with a sweet romance to keep me turning pages, and an ending that made me smile. As a relatively new historical lover myself, this is the first book I’ve read by Margaret Brownley, but I intend to devour more by this author. Although this is part of the Brides of Last Chance Ranch series, you really don’t need to read them in order. It stands alone just fine.
Disclaimer: Sending a huge thanks to BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free copy in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.