Avon, Dec 2001, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1894 Colin McBride returns to Denver after a long absence to see his friends, Trev and Kate, while his leg still heals from the mining accident three months ago. There are a few extra children since he last saw the Trevelyans. Even more shocking is to see how grown up the two youngsters he remembered giving piggyback rides to but especially twenty years old Kate, who is now a beautiful young lady instead of the four year old he remembers.
Annie and her father have argued over her future as she wants to be an actress and has turned down several marriage proposals while Trev feels the stage is not a place for a wholesome woman. Her parents have decided to send Annie to a finishing school in San Francisco and appoint Colin as her escort since he is heading to California to start a ranch. On the journey west, Annie plans to seduce Trev into what she wants, but one thing leads to another and soon adult love blossoms between these two unlikely individuals.
HIS UNEXPECTED WIFE is an engaging Americana romance due to the gender battle between the dynamic lead couple. The support ensemble provides depth that brings alive the gay nineties in several western locales while showing off author Maureen McKade's ability to draw convincing, in-depth characters. Though the pace seems slower than a nineteenth century Oregon Trail wagon trip because of an unnecessary element of suspense, the war between Annie and Trev makes for an enjoyable reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner