“Wildflower Bride in Dry Creek” by Janet Tronstad

LOVE OR MONEY?

Marry a secure businessman, or become a bunk house cook for twenty hungry cowboys on a cattle ranch? When Angelina Brighton chooses the ranch, she runs from the wedding her billionaire father arranged. Angelina won’t marry a man she doesn’t love. Then along comes former special ops soldier Tyler Stone, barreling into Dry Creek to bring her back home. Or so she thinks.

But Big Sky country is full of surprises for everyone—especially for a faithful gal and rugged cowboy who discover what home really means.

BIO:  One of Janet Tronstad’s favorite childhood memories is of borrowing Zane Gray novels from her grandfather’s book shelf.

“There probably weren’t more than fifty titles there,” she recalls.  “It was only a shelf of old books in the back bedroom.  But it was the call to adventure for me. I still remember what it felt like to start reading a new book.  It’s the same excitement I feel today when I start writing a new book.”

Janet, one of five children, grew up on a family farm near Fort Shaw, Montana, a small town with a population less than 200.  This small town and the thriving church she attended have been an inspiration for her popular Dry Creek series of books published by Steeple Hill.

Janet holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and published in various national magazines before starting to write novels.

My Review:

Angelina Brighton, an heiress to the Brighton Security inheritance, has run away to Dry Creek, Montana, to avoid marrying her father’s lawyer, Derrick Carlson.  Mr. Brighton has been pressing for his daughter to marry him, even to the point of buying her wedding gown.  We find her working in Dry Creek as a ranch cook, arranging for Tyler Stone’s funeral and loving it.

Tyler Stone, originally from Dry Creek, worked for Brighton Security as a security guard to protect Angelina while she was in high school.  Upon her graduation, he signed up for a Special Ops tour in Afghanistan and was subsequently declared deceased.  He’s anything but, and he’s back in Dry Creek to return Angelina back to Boston for her wedding, as he’s once again working for Brighton Security.

His arrival connection with Angelina is filled with her speed and gusto, and sets the stage for a ‘less-than-a-funeral’ service that she won’t cancel.   The sobering end of the scenario is his family’s past and the supposed rumors and family dysfunction.  Would anyone be there for his ‘funeral’?

This is my first book by Janet, and I totally enjoyed the flirty romantic sparks that floated between Tyler and Angelina.  Their history seemed to be on a collision course, however, when Tyler got to thinking of his past and her father.  His brothers’ involvement was touching and real, but a bit much for Tyler.  The family interest was one I found heart-warming, considering their childhood.  The author did a wonderful job in portraying sibling love and their concern for their ‘baby’ brother.  (Yup, we had one of those in my family, regardless of age!)  The love between mother and son is honest and palpable.

Surprises galore are in store for everyone, whether those in Dry Creek or Boston.  The suspense keeps the book moving to the end, once the initial story unfolds.  I did find the opening a little slow and the conversation coerced.  But it could easily have been a little stunted as Angelina thought Tyler dead–a little awkward trying to converse with a dead man she once had a crush on!  After that, I was pulled into the story.  The humor made the story even that much more exciting.  But there were a few bumps and bruises during the different scenarios!

I’m not usually a ‘romantic only’ type reader, but Janet definitely kept my attention!  The characters aren’t as fleshed out as a longer novel, but the author delivered!  A very sweet romance!

My thanks go to Janet for a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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