Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: Marry Me

Marry Me
Jo Goodman
Historical Romance/Colorado/1884
Reidsville/Book 2
Kensington/December 1, 2010

From the author's website ~


Rhyne Abbott is fierce, brave, and used to a life of isolation on her father's spread on the outskirts of Reidsville, Colorado. But when, overcome with sickness, she collapses, she knows she must return to town if she is to have any hope of recovery. Only there is no place for her but the new doctor's home, and he wants more than just to heal Rhyne. He wants her hand in marriage.


Doctor Cole Monroe's hands are already more than full with his orphaned little sister to look after, and yet somehow he can't resist the magnetic pull of Rhyne's bewitching eyes—or her tempting kiss. But convincing her to trust him won't be easy. For Rhyne's heart needs as much tender care as her ailing body. And the only cure is the thing she most fears: to let herself fall in love...

The cover makes me think Marry Me will be a sweet, romantic love story. And at some points it is but it also has a few very dark, disturbing scenes that some readers may find upsetting. I was surprised at what happened to Rhyne since the blurb gives no indication of what a truly horrendous event Rhyne has gone through. Having said that, I did enjoy Rhyne and Cole's interactions when they were able to be themselves, talking and teasing each other. The scenes with just the two of them were some of my favorites.

Dr. Coleridge Monroe loves his little sister but she can truly be a meddlesome creature. It is because of Whitley's meddling that Cole finds himself accepting the position of Town Doctor in Reidsville, Colorado. I liked Whitley right off. She is a sixteen year old young woman with strong opinions and a fierce loyalty to her brother. It's just the two of them and while Cole is Whitley's guardian, I think they both took care of each other. Cole is a dedicated doctor but he is also interested in continuing his research and moving to Reidsville would allow him to do that. Cole is an intelligent hero and while he might be accustomed to city living he does try and usually succeeds when confronted with something out of his realm of experience. I liked that he didn't suddenly become this perfect western hero, as comfortable in the wild west as he was in the city.

The youngest of the Abbott clan has a reputation for shooting straight and never shying away from a fight. When the new town doctor pays a visit, he finds Rhyne in desperate need of medical attention. After seeing to her immediate needs, he convinces her to come back to town with him. It's there that she begins her new life. As Rhyne recovers from her injuries she is hesitant to leave the doctor's home. She has conflicted feelings - she wants to stay but she doesn't feel as if she fits in. Rhyne is a heroine who is certainly outside the normal realm of heroines. I liked how she is shown to be intelligent and not afraid to ask questions about the things that interest her. She doesn't understand that it's not proper for her to discuss the body and it's various parts with Cole, an unwed man. Those were some of the scenes that I enjoyed best. Cole and Rhyne would discuss whatever interested them at the time. It showed not only their intelligence but how they were comfortable in each others company.

Cole, being a doctor, is far more matter of fact about what he discusses with Rhyne and with Whitley. He can be blunt at times and overprotective at other times. It's as if the practical doctor warred with the protective brother/lover. His wanting to marry Rhyne was based on practicality with his desires coming in second. I liked how he began to see her for who she still was and who she was becoming. It was as if a new Rhyne had emerged and Cole's practicality be damned! He wanted her simply because he couldn't live without her.

There is a lot of drama in this little town with Cole and Rhyne in the midst of it. The way they both handled the crisis showed how well they had come to know each other. They worked well as a team and I think it was Cole's professionalism that gave Rhyne confidence when helping him. Once again, some of my favorite scenes were with just Cole and Rhyne, without any interference from the secondary characters.

Characters from the previous book, Never Love a Lawman, also made appearances and impacted Rhyne and Cole's lives. I must say I do wish everyone would stop referring to Will Beatty as "that no-account Beatty boy" it got very old, very quickly. He is a deputy and not some low-life drunkard. The town itself plays an important role in the shaping of Cole and Rhyne's relationship. Through the opinions of the townsfolk, the treatment of Rhyne and how the people react to Rhyne and Cole as a couple, Goodman showed how strong those outside influences can be.

Even though Rhyne gets away from her father, he still has a strong hold on her. That story line involving Rhyne's father left me cold. Someone should have shot him and put him out of everyone's misery! There is a lot that Rhyne doesn't know about her mother and father and while some of the discoveries are shocking, she handles them well. Almost too well. I think that was part of the problem I had with Rhyne. I liked her but because she had suppressed her emotions and feelings for so long, she kept herself distant and wasn't easy to get to know.

There is some sequel bait that comes riding in at the end. I didn't mind it and at this point, I find myself looking forward to Whitley's book. I do hope she gets one but would imagine it's a ways down the road.

Rating: B

*Thanks to Dear Author for the copy of Marry Me.


  1. Excellent review, Leslie!

    This was a really good read. I loved the way Goodman worked those characters, and the story. I also loved Cole and Rhyne's interactions, and Whitley was a favorite with me. :) She's going to be grrreat if or when she gets her own story (we hope).

    LOL on the father getting shot! I was hoping to a better resolution there too, but... I have a feeling that's going to happen in that pesky sequel, don't you? That's what I'm thinking. :(

  2. I liked this book better than Never Love a Lawman so I hate to say this, but I preferred her books set in England then her most recent Westerns - and I do so love Westerns. I think I read this one too soon after the Ellen O'Connell books and Marry Me suffered in comparison to them.
    But still - it's very refreshing to read a good Western.

  3. Great review, Leslie. See, I totally agree with you that the cover and blurb don't match the storyline - or not entirely. They always, always leave out the dark side of a Goodman book and boy, it can really, really be dark!! That's why I didn't pick up Marry Me at first. I've been burned too many times... and you think what Rhyne has gone through is horrendous, some other books I've read, Price of Desire and A Season to be Sinful. Talk about being blindside.

    That being said, I really enjoyed Marry Me :) I agree with everything you've said and I'm glad I read it :) I think I'm going to go back and read Never Love a Lawman.

    What is the sequel baiting? I seem to have missed it. Is it Rhyne's uncle arriving or Whitley's interest in law?

  4. Hils ~ I didn't like how the father issue was resolved. Guess that was obvious huh? LOL

    Cole & Rhyne were wonderful together. And Whitley would make a fun heroine. :)

    Kristie ~ I'll confess, I still haven't finished Never Love a Lawman. Oops! So I can easily say I liked Marry Me better. :)

    Nath ~ This one was so very dark! I haven't read Prince of Desire or A Season to be Sinful but if they're anything like this, yes, shocking.

    Sequel bait was the Uncle. My guess is there are also other family members too.

  5. I don't know about the uncle. I would have liked to see them meeting though :P

    I don't know, I felt this book wasn't so bad. Perhaps because I expect it now... I really hate it though when it blind-sides me ^_^;