Rane Aria

 Just reading ,crocheting, and enjoying naps

The Bridegroom - Linda Lael Miller Gideon Yarbro is an undercover agent on leave as he’s hired to investigate talks of a strike at a local copper mine, but before he can get started he gets a sudden letter from a girl he knew many years ago, with promise that if anything should happen, just to send for him and he’ll be there. Lydia Fairmont is about to lose everything and with two aunts to worry about Lydia is forcing herself to marry the local rich man in order to save her and her aunt’s home, but when Gideon shows up, she tries to send him away thinking it was truly a mistake to send that letter and seeing no other option to her troubles, that is until Gideon abducts her from her wedding and ends up marrying her himself! Gideon is stuck trying to stay undercover to find out about the strike, while trying to protect his new bride from her vengeful ex fiancée but most importantly trying to protect his heart from the caring nature and love of Lydia. The Bridegroom reminded me why I enjoyed westerns, bringing back the charm I found in the old westerns books I read all those years ago. This was my introduction to Linda Lael Miller who’s well know for her great westerns and after reading this book I can see why. From the first chapter your quickly drawn into the book as Gideon hauls Lydia in her wedding dress over his shoulder and makes off with her, her aunts and housekeeper in tow. The pace never leaves off although a somewhat stumble toward the end, with a few unnecessary events that I think it was more of an opening for other books to follow. Gideon was a good lead, with his no-nonsense way and taking the lead to help Lydia, but after he does, he’s stuck with a pretty wife and fighting an attraction that could put her in danger because of his job. Gideon is still trying to find himself, working dangerous jobs, none so dangerous then trying to prevent a strike. Gideon was really easy to like, he had a good heart ah he learned truth behind the strike and wasn’t ashamed to shed a tear or few when true injustice was served or when he thought he caused pain to Lydia. Lydia was somewhat harder to like on the offset, giving you the impression she was way over her head with the shady deal in marrying in order to save her home. Although she had backbone, she didn’t use it much at first and only till later. Her saving grace and where she truly shined was her kindness and love toward Gideon and her family. Willing to marry a man she didn’t even like to protect her aunts and even caring and saving a pup near death. She adored and loved Gideon for years but as he kept throwing out mixed signals I wasn’t surprised at the doubt she went through. The major fault I had in the book was the mixed signals both Gideon and Lydia were sending to each other, Gideon would push Lydia away and then pull her back in. Making part of the book riddle with questions and doubts between them “Should I stay or should I go?” “Does He Love Me?” etc etc. I found that annoying with the tug of war going on between them. Gideon had a reason behind his behavior and due to his dangerous job but didn’t show any true restraint when it came to the sex play between him and Lydia. If he was going to leave her behind he should have kept his hands to his self (then again where would the fun be in that??) The early love scenes between Lydia and Gideon were some very hot foreplay, and later very sweet as they make love for the first time. The couple did have some heavy wall banging moments, making Lydia’s aunts wonder if there was a thunderstorm outside because of all the noise! ;D The villains of the book were pretty ..well..basic, they added to the story but really didn’t do much. Their endings were very neat and tidy with nothing shocking or dramatic. There were many secondary characters that moved the story along, with Gideon’s family and older brothers playing a big part. The scene-stealers were Lydia’s aunts and housekeeper with their talks and sly remarks toward the couple. Overall: a charming and fun western read with a great couple that will leave that warm and fuzzy feeling in you as they reach their happy ever after.