A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray.
It's Texas, 1874. Scout Proffitt has long since given up on being anything like his Civil War hero brother, Clayton. Scout isn't proud of the man he's become, but it's a bit late to change now. Or is it? When Scout makes his way to the Bar C Ranch, which he won in a poker game, he's wondering if the Lord has something planned for him.
Rosemarie Cousins has lived a life filled with self-doubt and guilt. Shouldering the blame for her brother's death, she's certain the darkness that fills her life will be her forever companion. When a stranger rides onto the family's ranch, claiming he owns it, she is finally free to choose to continue in the darkness or seek her dreams.
If you are a character-driven reader, you won't find better character-driven fiction than A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray. These characters are put to the test from beginning to end. Scout and Rosemarie are so much more than they appear to be in the beginning. It's wonderful to watch their stories unfold--separately and together. Though their romance is important to the story, I never felt it was the focus. I wouldn't be opposed to sharing this book with my father-in-law because there is definitely enough action to hold your interest.
I didn't know this was the third book in a series. While A Texan's Choice is definitely a stand-alone novel, perhaps the confusion of so many characters being introduced in the beginning would have been lessened by reading the earlier books.
My nitpick was in the editing. There were more errors than I would like to see within a novel's pages. The back cover blurb even has an error. The Cousins' family ranch is the Bar C in the book, not the Circle C, which is what is printed on the back cover. I haven't discounted the possibility that I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book, but that is not noted anywhere on the copy I received, and the ranch is also called the Circle C on the publisher's website. I have to admit to also being confused over the color of Scout's eyes. It's such a little thing, but his eyes were mentioned often in the book. When Scout first approached Rosemarie, it is said he has pale blue eyes. By the time Rosemarie finds herself face-to-face with Scout again, she comments on his dark eyes. Later they are said to be "the darkest shade of gray imaginable, a true mix of dark pewter and blue." That doesn't even take into account that the man on the cover has brown eyes. I felt if so much attention was paid to his eyes that it should have been consistent.
All that said, if you focus on the story and the characters, those details probably won't bother you. A Texan's Choice is definitely a book worth reading.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I was not compensated in any way.
This is the 54th book I've read for the following challenge:
It is the 31st book I've read for the following challenge: