PROTECTING THE MOUNTAIN MAN’S TREASURE by Misty M. Beller
SERIES: Brothers of Sapphire Ranch #3
GENRE: Historical/Western Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Misty M. Beller Books, Inc.
RELEASE DATE: February 6, 2024
In the wild mountains of the Montana Territory, the Coulter ranch is a place of family, loyalty, a hidden fortune…and a bride he can’t remember marrying.
Jude Coulter is far more comfortable in his family’s sapphire mine tucked in the Montana mountains than on the bustling streets of New York City, where he’s been sent to deliver a shipment of gems. His relief at boarding the train for the first leg of his journey home is short-lived when an accident renders him unconscious.
Angela Larkin worked hard to earn this assignment for the Treasury—an undercover mission to determine the source of the sapphires brought each year for auction in the city. When an accident causes her target to lose his recent memory, Angela jumps at the opportunity to create the ideal ruse. Jude seems surprised to learn the two of them had married and were returning from a glorious wedding trip, but his severe head injury keeps him from protesting…for now.
But the accident is far from the worst threat they face. When enemies close in, Angela and Jude must depend on each other to survive the treacherous journey home. As the danger mounts, so too does an attraction neither of them anticipated. But can their love withstand the revelation of their tangled beginnings?
From a USA Today bestselling author comes a mountain family saga filled with a pretend marriage, amnesia, undercover agents, and a love worth treasuring far more than riches.
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Fake marriage with a forced proximity element? Yes please!
Oh… and the ‘husband’ doesn’t realize it’s a fake marriage because he has amnesia? Yes PLEASE! Sign me up for all the swoony possibilities!
And there are lots of swoony moments in Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure, thanks to Misty M. Beller’s talented storytelling. I’ve got a soft spot for Jude anyway, after reading the first two books in this series, so having him as the romantic lead in this story was all kinds of delightful. There are a couple of scenes in this book that had me reaching for my fan and grinning at the same time – such a wonderful blend of romantic and fun. Angela is the perfect heroine for him, too, even if her reasons for latching on to him and creating the marriage deception aren’t exactly selfless. I enjoyed getting to know her character, including her career with the Treasury Department and her multicultural heritage. Her story is sympathetic, but her courage and tenacity are admirable. And Jude … Jude is just such a great guy. A man of integrity who is fiercely loyal to his family and loves God steadfastly. Did I mention how swoony he is in this book? He’s also great to have around when danger is afoot … or atrain… or asteamboat… or ahorse – well you get the idea of all the places that danger finds them on their journey back to the ranch.
Speaking of the suspense side of things, there were several twists that I didn’t see coming and which added to my enjoyment of the story. Beller always does a marvelous job of placing readers right in the middle of the harrowing journey she takes her characters on, and Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure is no exception. I felt Jude’s tension as he tried to figure out the memories he was missing while also keeping the money from the sale of the sapphires safe (and I loved how he turned to God in prayer so easily). I felt Angela’s tension as the stakes for keeping the marriage illusion alive just kept getting higher. I felt the tension from both of them as they struggle to get back to the ranch safely and react to the surprises that leave them reeling. Not to mention the growing romantic tension between them… and we’re back to that (no surprise – this is me, after all lol).
Bottom Line: If you love western romance with vivid settings, a dose of danger, layered characters in forced proximity (with a marriage-of-convenience vibe) and a solid faith thread, then you need look no further than Misty M. Beller’s latest, Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure! The brothers of Sapphire Ranch are quickly adding more women to their clan, including Two Stones’ bride whom we met in the novella just ahead of this book, and I’m loving the subtle (and not so subtle) changes we see in them. Watching Angela and Jude fall in love – despite the unconventional start to their relationship – is sweet and fun and oh-so-swoony! But watching Angela find her Heavenly Father is even better. The suspense thread easily ensures that readers will stay on the edge of their seats and be invested in the outcome, and I’m even more eager than I already was for book four after the way this one ends!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion
USA Today bestselling author Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories set on the 1800s frontier and woven through with the truth of God’s love. Her Southern roots run deep, and she lives in South Carolina with her husband and children. You can connect with her at her website.
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