Margaret Hamilton didn’t start life with this name or with the wealth she now enjoys. Her given name was Cathleen Donovan and she came to New York as the daughter of a poor Irish immigrant. She was saved by a Catholic priest who found her on the streets near a fire which destroyed a well-known whore house. Cathleen was to be auctioned off that night. The priest called in a favor and Cathleen became the ward of a wealthy Manhattan widow. Her name was changed and the Irish was taught out of her. Now, she appears to be a well-connected socialite.
Doyle Kerrigan is as Irish as they come but he’s wheeled and dealed himself into wealth. He only lacks a society wife which when he marries Margaret Hamilton he will also achieve. Soon doors will be open to him that would normally not ever be opened. Doyle needs this respectability as so many of his business deals are questionable and sometimes only go threw due to his friend Tait Rylander, a southern lawyer who fought for the Union.
On the day of the wedding, Margaret learns information about Doyle that sends her running. She knows that she not only has to move fast but she has to move smartly. Doyle is sure to send men after her as she took her wedding present of railroad stock.
Tait is the one who learns where she is heading. Now, he is torn. He knows he should bring Margaret back to Doyle but he also thinks she deserves better. Tait has been watching and falling in love with Margaret for the past year. But, he owes Doyle!
This soon doesn’t matter as Tait learns someone else is also follow Margaret and doesn’t plan on her ever returning to NY or any place else. Tait doesn’t know why or who sent this man but he vows to keep Margaret safe. As things progress, that may be harder than he thought.
This is the third book in Kaki Warner’s Runaway Brides series. This is a unique series as each book is intertwined with the others. Many of the same situations occur in each book but from another character’s point of view. However, there are enough differences that each book is definitely a separate story.
There are several excellent characters in this story. Margaret is the central character. She is feisty and determined. She also has fears that don’t go away. Through everything, she is willing to adapt and take advantage of what ever she can. Doyle is rough and will do anything to advance himself. He doesn’t really care about Margaret, only what she represents. Tait is an honorable man who ends up owing a debt to someone who isn’t. Overall, each character is unique and brings something different to the story.
The beginning of this story begins in New York City. It highlights the good and the bad; the wealthy and the poor. These two different dimensions of the same city seldom meet. There realities aren’t even close to the same. This clash in cultures is portrayed in a realistic manner. The corruption that is described in this story could have really happened. As men clawed there way to the top, many didn’t care about those under them, only those over them.
The later part of this story takes place in territorial Colorado. Once again, the situations and the realities are portrayed in such a way that they are believable and could have happened. It was a time when railroad were looking for cheap routes to connect the country. Small railroad companies were abundant. Mining brought people to the area but when mines played out, they were gone. Towns came and went. But, a town could have a rebirth if the railroad made it a stop so trying to get the railroad to come to Heartbreak Creek wasn’t a pleasant dream but a necessity as the mines closed.
This historical romance is a good addition to the Runaway Bride series. It explained how Lucinda came to be, as she was a very mysterious character in the previous books. (No typo. Margaret reinvented herself into Lucinda.) Though I found that the book dragged a bit in the beginning, it quickly picked up steam and by the end was moving along at the perfect pace. In fact, while it took me a couple of days to get through the beginning, it only took hours to finish the end and then I wasn’t ready to put it down!
Overall, this is a good, solid story and a good historical romance. The old west will come alive as the adventures progress. And, once again, I will look forward to more of Kaki Warner’s work. Her stories are always unique and interesting.
Kaki Warner’s newest novel in the series about unlikely brides who make their way west—and find love where they least expect it…
Margaret Hamilton escaped the Irish slums of Five Points as the ward of a wealthy Manhattan widow, but only marriage can make her future secure. Railroad mogul Doyle Kerrigan needs a well-connected wife. It seems a perfect match...until a shocking revelation sends her fleeing from the wedding reception.
Desperate to make a fresh start, Margaret takes on a new identity and heads West, finally stopping in Heartbreak Creek, Colorado, a dying mining town of little interest to anyone. Here, she finds new purpose, beloved friends to replace the family she’s lost, and a home at last.
But two men from Margaret’s past are on her trail. One is seeking vengeance, the other truth. When they both arrive in Heartbreak Creek, she must choose between the town she has come to love, and the man who might finally capture her heart….