After eight days in a cramped stagecoach, divorcée Marigold Davis already regrets her decision to come to Denver City to marry. She certainly didn’t realize she’d signed up for mosquitoes, mud, and scores of rough men eyeing her like a hot meal on a cold day. But with her life in Kansas all but incinerated, Marigold needs a husband. Even if she’s not the bride that gold prospector Virgil Gardner is expecting…
Virgil Gardner has a reputation as a grumpy hard-ass, and he’s fine with it. He’s also no fool—this is not the woman he agreed to marry. It takes a tough-as-nails woman to survive the harshness of a Rocky Mountain gold claim, and this whiskey-eyed, gentle beauty is certainly not the type. Now it’s just a matter of how quickly she’ll quit so he can find a wife who will stick. Someone who can care for the only thing he values even more than gold–his children.
But Marigold isn’t about to give in. Cramped in a one-room shack. Berry picking turned into a bear escape. Or cooking for an entire crew of bottomless pits. She’s got more grit than most. And just when Virgil starts to realize his replacement bride might be the treasure he’s been looking for, an unannounced guest arrives…to change everything.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Prospector’s Only Prospect
Series: -standalone title-
Author: Dani Collins
Genre: Western Historical Romance
Published: March 28, 2023
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
My Rating: 4.5
I happen to love a good, well-written Western Historical Romance, especially one written by an author that I trust to deliver an emotional, funny, banter-filled love story between one of the most unlikely couples you’re likely to find. The Prospector’s Only Prospect did all of that — and so much more.
Divorcée Marigold Davis certainly didn’t arrive in Denver City in the greatest of moods. Being cramped in a stagecoach for more than a week will do that to a woman. But she’s in need of a husband, and taking the place of the bride (her sister) in this mail-order bride contract seemed like a good idea at the time. That was before reality set in, and her intended groom discovered that Marigold had no intention of actually taking vows… no, been there and endured the pain of that experience. She intends to take care of Virgil Gardner’s children, but certainly, the man himself is off-limits in every way possible, and she’s not shy about announcing those facts.
Virgil knows that this woman isn’t his intended bride. No, this spitfire might make a good caretaker for his kids for the time being, but beyond that, he’ll wait her out because it’s guaranteed that she’ll run at the first hardship. He didn’t expect to be impressed or to discover that Marigold has hidden depths that he missed seeing in his initial anger at being tricked. But a woman who will stare down a bear to protect his children is a woman to take seriously.
I loved Marigold and Virgil together. Their banter is filled with sass and a growing affection that neither expected. While their story is intense at times and funny at others, what really impressed me were the historical details of the time. A historically difficult time for women who were treated with disrespect so often, had few actual rights of their own, and had to fight for every little step forward they could make in a male-dominated world.
Of course, a complication is tossed into their shaky relationship, and I’m hoping that this story is the start of a series to resolve one uninvited guest’s future. Actually, I loved so many of the secondary characters that learning more about them would be something I’d love to experience.
I had such a good time in this world. If you love a romance that is filled with laughter, tensions, banter, and a few surprises then you’ll want to pick up Marigold and Virgil’s story soon.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
Release date: March 28, 2023
Available in print or for your favorite e-reader