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The Bounty Hunter & The Bride
by Vickie McDonough

Reviewed by Sheryl Root

"Vickie McDonough has a wonderful way with characters and certainly knows how to keep readers turning the pages."

The Bounty Hunter and the Bride engaged me from the very first page, with characters I immediately connected with. As a Heartsong Presents novel, its shorter length is perfect for reading on a rainy Saturday afternoon or a cozy evening at home.

Dusty McIntyre knows he has a good life. As Marshal of Sanders Creek, Oklahoma, and newly married to a beautiful wife he adores—life can’t get much better. Then he and his deputy capture Ed Sloane, an outlaw they’ve been chasing for weeks. When Ed’s gang creates a fiery distraction to orchestrate his jailbreak, Dusty’s world comes crashing down around him. Now, the only thing that matters is capturing Ed Sloane and putting him permanently behind bars. Katie Hoffman, after only four months of marriage, finds herself widowed and pregnant. Her farm about to be foreclosed on, she advertises to sell it. When a handsome buyer shows up and begins to woo her, begging her to marry him, Katie eventually agrees. Although she hasn’t really sought God’s wisdom on this decision, she assumes it must be his way of providing for her and her unborn child. Then bounty hunter Dusty McIntyre crashes her wedding, claiming her groom is an outlaw. At first Katie can’t believe it. But when her “loving” groom puts her in harms way, and her house is burned down, all Katie can do is look for someone to blame—and the bounty hunter who started all the trouble seems like a good place to begin.

Dusty’s honor, combined with the guilt he still carries over his wife’s death, makes him determined to help Katie get settled in a new home. While Katie is reluctant to accept his help, she realizes that she has few other options. So she allows Dusty to take her home to her aunt and uncle’s house. There, with the support of family and friends, Dusty and Katie begin to learn that, when we allow him, God can use even the pain and trials in our lives to bring about his good.

Those who have read Vickie’s prior Heartsong Historical, Sooner or Later, will be happy to catch up with some familiar characters—Katie’s aunt and uncle, Rebekah and Mason Danfield. And I’m hoping Katie’s wandering brother, Jimmy, a secondary character in Bounty Hunter, will soon get a book of his own. Enough intriguing tidbits of his life were shared that I am eager to know more of his story.

Vickie McDonough has a wonderful way with characters and certainly knows how to keep readers turning the pages. I finished this book in one sitting because I didn’t want to put it down! Dusty and Katie are flawed characters—the kind I love. It’s wonderful to be reminded that, even in our weakness and with the mistakes that we make, God is able to redeem our lives. I couldn’t help but thinking of 1 John 3:20 when I read Dusty’s story. Even “if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (NKJV)

Heartsong Presents books are available in some Christian bookstores. You can also find information on how to order books directly through their website at http://www.heartsongpresents.com. Even if you have to go through a little extra effort to obtain a copy, The Bounty Hunter and the Bride is such an enjoyable read that I promise you won’t regret it.

Sheryl RootSheryl Root is Partner Database Manager at OneHope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach every child with God’s Word. She’s also a writer and a reader of everything she can get her hands on … books, blogs, magazines. In other words, she’s both a data geek and a book nerd. She loves to be able to support Christian authors and spread the word on great books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a wonderful community of published and yet to be published writers. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sheryl_Root.