Review: The Marshal’s Ready-Made Family by Sherri Shackelford

marshals ready made familyReviewed by Shelly

I like a good story regardless of the sexual content; this is a good story with no sexual content.

JoBeth McCoy is a tomboy. She wears pants under her dresses. She wears cowboy boots. She wears braids. She works as the local telegraph operator. She’s happy – isn’t she? In a time when all of her friends are married and having children, JoBeth’s given up on both. She’s seen enough to know that it’s not something that she’s suited for and she knows that she could never find someone to love her and her non-womanly ways. Garrett Cain is the local sheriff. He’s just been given custody of his newly orphaned niece, Cora. He’s dealing with his grief, her grief and his own guilt over his past. But first things first, he has to keep Cora from the grubby and greedy hands of his cousin; to do this, Garrett knows that he can’t stay single.

I liked JoBeth. She had a lot of spunk and her own voice, she certainly wasn’t afraid of voicing her opinion on any given matter. Her growing relationship with Cora was sweet to see develop. Especially knowing that after years of being convinced that she would be the best aunt to her brother’s children, she finally had a chance with Cora. Her attraction to Garrett was a slow boil and that immediate feeling of attraction. One of the main points of this story was the lack of romance or even attraction pre-marriage. Part of that, I’m sure, was common for the time – arranged marriages being what they were. Garrett was actually in town for quite some time before JoBeth realized that he would make a fine husband.

Garrett had a lot more going on that JoBeth. He has to protect Cora and find a way to keep her. He’s got to clean up the town from the ways of the old sheriff. And JoBeth’s old classmate, Tom, can’t seem to stay out of trouble or jail. All this while keeping his closely guarded past and secret. It’s only through an unfortunate accident that he and JoBeth are pressured by society’s standards to be married.

There was enough intrigue and dialogue to keep me interested and reading. For a historical, some of the language is a bit modern and unfortunately that distracted me a little bit. And the forensics were a bit convenient because I didn’t see Garrett as having that kind of investigative skillset. Overall, the pacing was good and the characters were interesting.

I found out after reading this story that this is a follow up story to ‘Winning the Widow’s Heart’. I didn’t read that but I didn’t find that took away any of the getting to know the characters feeling from this story. I would recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a clean, easy and fun read with no cursing or sexual content.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B+/C-

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Marshal’s Ready-Made Family
by Sherri Shackelford
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Love Inspired

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