The rustling and land-grabbing on his ranch has been going on far too long, but his mother promised him it would stop just as soon as he married and produced an heir. So he's sent off for a mail-order bride who won't ask questions and wants a baby as much as he does.
He just doesn't expect to fall for her.
Shannon Montgomery is not a solution.
She's spent her life knowing she's ugly, thanks to the large birthmark on her face. Becoming a mail-order bride to a man who's never seen her seemed the ideal answer, but she's eaten up with guilt for not confessing her imperfection to him ahead of time. See, she didn't expect to arrive at Sunset Valley and give her heart to her husband quite so soon.
And now they're out of luck.
Lucas's problem doesn't go away with his marriage; if anything, it gets worse. Now Shannon is in danger too, and Lucas learns he's willing to do anything to protect her. But Verrick, the notorious gunslinger Lucas hires, is nothing like he seems, and turns Lucas's world on its head in more ways than one.
Between Shannon and Verrick, Lucas needs to earn how to open his heart to his past...and his future.
Calm. Detach. Focus.
These are the words Verrick--the West's most notorious gunslinger--has lived by for the last twenty years. But six months ago his life changed when he received a telegram from his grown son, asking for help. Arriving at Sunset Valley, Verrick was disturbed to discover it was impossible to detach himself from this family he hadn't known about.
And when it comes to Cora Montgomery--his son's new sister-in-law--detachment and focus are impossible. She's as full of live and laughter as he is solitude and silences, and her paintings capture the world in a way Verrick can't fathom. From the moment he meets her, he's puzzled by their strong attraction...and concerned too.
But when a revenge-bent rival threatens Sunset Valley, Verrick knows he'll do anything to protect his new-found family, so he leaves...never expecting Cora to follow. And during their desperate race to save the ranch, he definitely doesn't expect Cora to carefully peel back the armor he's built around himself, showing him what a life with a loving woman could be.
Cora Montgomery is changing him, right as he needs all his wits and carefully honed instincts. And the worst part? Verrick isn't sure he's strong enough to stop her.