His Secondhand Wife (The Copper Creek Brides, #2)

His Secondhand Wife (The Copper Creek Brides, #2) - Cheryl St.John What I enjoyed most about this book is the relationship between Noah and Kate. They first meet when Noah seeks her out to inform her that her husband, his half-brother, has been killed. Kate is pregnant and working with her shrewish mother cleaning laundry in Boulder. Noah impulsively offers to let her live with him on his ranch to help get her out of her poverty and away from her critical mother. She readily accepts. Noah is horribly scarred and has been hiding from the world since he was 13 years old due to a horrible barbed wire accident (I’m still fuzzy on how barbed wire could inflict such damage but I’m a city girl so maybe this is a known thing on ranches??) . Kate is optimistic and cheerful and Noah is drawn to her personality because he’s been so lonely and isolated. . I like how they don’t instantly have lusty thoughts about each other and their mutual admiration grows slowly. It makes for some good tension and sweet scenes when they finally do get married and consummate the wedding. The author does a good job of avoiding clichés. Kate is a widow who greatly enjoyed sex with her husband. Noah is a virgin but doesn’t have hang-ups about that.

What I didn’t enjoy about the book, however, is the writing. Definitely more telling than showing. In fact, when Kate first moves to the ranch, each of her days is described in pointless detail. It felt like I was reading a very boring diary for several chapters. The prose is very simple and a little dry. The secondary characters are plentiful and don’t add much to the story and I did start skimming scenes which didn’t contain both Kate and Noah. Even Kate and Noah teetered on being uncharismatic. They just don’t do very much other than ruminate on the same thing again and again. Noah feels unworthy of love due to his scars. Kate wants to be a real family but Noah won’t let her in. Eventually, after the baby is born, Noah realizes has to change in order to keep Kate and things pick up again.

If you like romantic tension with sweet, simplistic people and limited conflict, you might enjoy this book.