Author: Emma Lang
Series: #1 in the Circle Eight series
Review copy donated by author
A man learns to hold what is his
It is a vast spread in the eastern wilds of the newly independent Republic of Texas, the ranch their parents fought for … and died for. To the eight Graham siblings, no matter how much hard work or hard love it takes, life is unthinkable without family…
In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.
Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever
I’ve been a fan of Emma Lang’s writing since I discovered her stuff under her other name (Beth Williamson), but until now, I hadn’t actually picked up any of her books. So when she offered up ARCs of book 3 in the Circle Eight series on Twitter, I jumped on the opportunity. As a bonus, since I hadn’t read the previous 2 books in the series, she sent me signed copies. So while I was in bed this past weekend, feeling sick and sorry for myself, I dug into book 1.
It was to me the ultimately comfort read and by that I mean, it went down easy – there wasn’t a lot of conflict within (although some of the females, especially Olivia were major brats – or insert other expletive here) and there was a satisfactory conclusion – although, I do feel that everything was figured out early in the series – I had kind of hoped to see the mystery behind Matthew’s (et al’s) parents death continue through a couple of books, rather than being solved at the end of this one. However, the mystery behind the missing brother still needs to be solved, so maybe that will be the common plot through-out.
I liked the romance between Matt and Hannah – it was sweet with a mail-order/marriage of convenience theme that seemed common in the time period that the book was set in. Hannah’s grandmother was a hoot – I can’t wait to see her in future book (or at least, I hope she is in future books). The introduction of Brody (who it appears is going to be the hero in the next book was intriguing – I mean, you have to have the darkly handsome, stand-off-ish law enforcement type).
I would note, however, that in a few places that language and writing just felt a bit forced – like it didn’t really flow. But it is hard to place it. I don’t know – just something that I noticed – will be interested to see if I notice anything similar in the next book. Overall, I would give Matthew 3 stars with a recommendation to anyone who likes historical romances with a western theme.