At the ripe old age of twenty-three, Madeline Morgan is resigned to the idea that love and marriage are not for her. Unfortunately, her father disagrees and comes up with an ingenious plan. To curb the love life of his youngest, Robert Morgan proclaims that neither of his younger daughters can marry until Maddie does. This causes a stir and a generous pot is set up for whoever can take Maddie off the market. Aghast at being hounded by sweaty bachelors anxious to win the pot and her hand, Maddie turns to her brother for help. Her brother’s solution is to spread the story that Maddie was pining away for the love of her life, Evan Montgomery, who left for the war and has never returned. Things go from bad to worse when the ladies in town, struck by the romance of long lost love, demand that Maddie’s father rescind his proclamation and that the mayor give Maddie the deed to the dilapidated Montgomery ranch. When Maddie protests that her brother has gone too far, he replies with a shrug and the carefree statement that she needn’t worry because after eight years, it’s unlikely that any Montgomery would show up. As luck would have it, two years later Trevor Montgomery returns home to find a beautiful stranger living there, claiming to be his brother’s fiance?. A fiance? Trevor wishes were his own. Torn between his loyalty to his brother and the love in his own heart, Trevor works to uncover the truth behind the woman who has stolen more than his family home.
Maddie Morgan’s father has declared that her younger sisters can’t be married until she is married. The problem is that Maddie has no plans to marry. Ever. Her father’s announcement starts an endless stream of lame suitors that she can’t escape.
Her older brother Robert has a plan. There is a vacant home where a widow who lost both of her sons in the war lived before she died. The younger son, Evan, was a friend of Robert’s and is believed to be dead. All Maddie has to do is fake an engagement to the believed-to-be-deceased Evan Montgomery and everyone will leave her in peace… Right? Wrong!
The Town Ladies love this tragic story of lost love and they petition for Maddie to be able to live in the vacant home.
All is great for two years – Maddie is living in peace and she has fixed up the vacant home… and one night a man shows up at the house claiming to be Trevor Montgomery, the older son. As she nurses this “brother” back to health, she finds herself losing her heart to him. As Maddie’s deception goes deeper and deeper, she’s not sure that she will ever get her happily ever after…
This book has been on my wish list for a long time; this is a book you definitely should not judge by its cover! Now I want to read the rest of the books in this series: The Bettin’ Kind and The Lovin’ Kind!