|The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden|
Let’s take a look at this historical Proper Romance title from Shadow Mountain Publishing.
First, the summary:
Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.
Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.
Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.
And now, my review:
What a fun story! The opening line, which the publisher used in the back cover copy, is hilarious: Sheriff Cade O’Brien was heartily sick of shooting people. I laughed aloud a few times with this story. The banter between the sheriff wannabes was delicious.
Our heroine is a very capable sheriff in a time when women weren’t taken seriously in that role. I rooted for her even as I wondered how the author would pull off this contest between potential sheriffs—one female who had already proven herself but gotten no recognition, and three men of various abilities. Reading this story, you feel the contrast between 1875 and 2016. So much has changed, and yet some things still haven’t. With this gender-related theme woven throughout, the story has universal and timeless appeal.
The author writes a convincing male POV. Cade came across as masculine and mysterious and respectable. Well done!
We have a “mystery box” throughout. Unfortunately, the book lost my interest about two-thirds of the way through and I never discovered the answer to the ongoing mystery. When I get a chance I hope to go back and learn the answer. I’ll leave it to you to read the book to see to what I’m referring. (To be fair, I have many books on my TBR pile and have to keep the novels moving quickly through the queue.)
I’ll be watching for more from this author. Her work is fun and her writing, strong.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted historical with insightful characterization and multiple layers in terms of plot and human nature, check out this enjoyable story.