The year is 1988 and it’s well known that ménage marriages are the norm in the town of Climax, Montana (the old Tanner’s Ford for all of you of the Bride Train series). Marci lost her tyrant of a husband in a house fire that left her with the clothes on her back, a scar on her face, and a fear that the law is after her for murdering her husband. She heads to Climax to live with the only family she has left, her sister Nikki, the town’s doctor. Marci is enjoying her new freedom, although she is leery of strangers seeing her scarred face. She’s also looking forward to exploring her sexual side since her marriage included only dreaded scheduled interludes.
Simon inherited the family ranch and works it along with his twin brother Lance. Lance is down in Texas doing some extra work, so Simon is alone on the ranch when he breaks his leg. When his leg ends up in a cast, Dr. Nikki arranges for Marci to head out to the ranch to take care of stubborn Simon, but doesn’t tell Simon that Marci is her sister. Marci is excited to take care of Simon, and she’s hoping that Simon will “take care” of her too.
Simon and Lance had a fiance a while back who turned out to be a gold digger, so they’ve decided to leave their wife up to fate. Once Simon has Marci on the ranch, he realizes she may just be the one. Now he just has to wait for Lance to come home and hope that Marci is on board with a triad relationship as well.
I admit to falling for Simon a bit myself. Between the twins, he’s the quieter and more studious of the two and there were a few times I found myself just wanting to sigh contentedly. Lance is a force to be reckoned with, as Marci finds out when she finally meets him. He has a forceful and dominant personality that Marci struggles with a bit because of the domineering side of her dead husband. Marci is a rare heroine who actually manages to think with both her head and her heart. So despite the fact that Lance is so dominant, she is able to recognize the differences between Lance and her husband. I actually enjoyed her character a lot.
Initially I was a little surprised by the 1988 setting of the book. It just isn’t a common period for a romance to take place. I didn’t know what genre to classify the book as. Not really contemporary, but I hesitated to call it historical(because I like most of you, was alive in 1988-and I don’t consider myself ancient yet). So I’m going with retro contemporary (thanks to Kay for that suggestion). I loved running across little things that reminded me of the time frame. Corded phones, valley-girl talk and Highway to Heaven. The references made me smile. At first, I couldn’t figure out what was romantic about 1988, but Reece Butler has shown me in this first book of what promises to be a good series. I anxiously await the next installment.