Title: A Wanton Woman: Mail Order Bride of Slate Springs
Author: Vanessa Vale
Genre: Erotic Western Historical Romance
Release Date: 1 November 2016
Celia Lawrence can't show her face in her conservative, small town. First, she discovered her husband in bed with another man's wife, and then she witnessed both their murders. While she didn't pull the trigger, small town gossip is not forgiving and everywhere she goes she is chastised for not being woman enough to keep her straying husband at home. Eager to flee her old life, Celia heads to Colorado as a mail-order bride.
As mayor of Slate Springs, Colorado, Luke Benson is expected to set the example. Their small town is hidden away in a remote mountainous region where few women have the courage or desire to tread. As mayor, it falls to him to test out their newly passed law and share a wife with his brother. The truth is, Luke has no interest in a woman of his own, and agrees to a mail-order bride out of duty, not anticipation.
His brother, Walker, is jaded and hard after the death of his first wife and unborn child. For Walker, loving again is out of the question. But a man has needs, and he'll eagerly take his pleasure from their new bride while expecting Luke to provide the tenderness and caring a woman expects.
A marriage based on everything but love should be doomed. But Celia, Luke and Walker discover one thing they have in common: desire. Will that be strong enough to survive the danger that follows Celia from Texas? Will desire be strong enough to teach the three that sometimes you have to risk everything for love?
I’m not a big fan of historical romance or m/f/m ménage and as I had also not read this author before, I was a little hesitant to dive into this book. Having set myself a challenge to read other genres than I usually do, I am so glad I did as it was surprisingly good and kept me engrossed from the first page to the last.
Celia is running from her past and literally fleeing for her life. When she seeks a chance to be a mail order bride she grabs it with both hands and takes off to the wilds of Colorado. Little does she know what surprises await her there when she steps off the train.
Luke is the Mayor of Slate Springs, a small mining town outside of Denver. The population is male orientated and to resolve the issue of the men from leaving town, a new law is passed that two men can marry one woman. Being the one to pass the law, Luke takes on the baton and show example to the rest of the town that this can work, so he orders a mail order bride to share with his brother Walker. Whilst Luke is seeking love, companionship and passion, Walker is not, after losing his wife he has vowed to not let a woman wound his heart again. No, he will leave the love and romancing to his brother, all he wants out of the marriage is a woman to warm his bed in the cold nights when the town is cut off from the rest of the World in the deep winters.
This was a great storyline and I love the old Wild West world that the reader is taken to. The lead up to Celia running away was compelling and I was right there with her when she was describing her despair and a yearning for a love she has so far been denied. But then she meets Luke and the passion is lit from the start. With Walker it takes some time to thaw his heart but when he does the emotions released were epic.
I loved the chemistry between the three of them and each character was instantly likeable so I felt invested in their relationship early on. I didn’t even question the weirdness of a law that only existed in that one town (it was illegal everywhere else)
The hidden element of danger was also an added depth to the story and gave a suspense and tension filled part in the plot.
If there was one thing I would have changed was to have Walker take more of a centre stage as in parts it felt like he was pushed to the outlines. I think this is why I am not a fan of ménage usually as I always feel someone is left out a bit. Anyhow it wasn’t massively noticeable for the most part but just a little irk at times.
Overall though this was a fantastic romance to fall into and one that I was very taken with. I shall look out for more from this author again. I definitely would recommend this to others to read. Four and a half stars.
Meet the author
Who doesn't love the romance of the old West? USA Today Bestselling author Vanessa Vale takes the sensual appeal of rugged cowboys a step further with her bestselling books set in the Montana Territory. They are much more than just sexy historical westerns. They're deliciously naughty reads that sometimes push the boundaries of fantasy. It's pure escapism with quite a few very hot, very alpha cowboys.
When she's not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. She considers herself to be remarkably normal, exceedingly introverted and fairly vanilla, which does not explain her steamy stories and her fascination with cowboys, preferably more than one at a time.
She lives in the Wild Wild West where there's an endless source of 'research' material.