Everett Cline has tried this mail-order bride thing more times than he cares to admit. Each time something happens that prevents the women from actually marrying him, and he's done. No matter how much it would help to have a wife as he continues establishing his Kansas homestead, he's not going to go that route again. When a good friend goes behind his back and orders one for him, Everett must decide if he's going to give it a shot or pass on her the way the other women have always passed on him.
Fleeing bad memories and the ache of an assault, beautiful Julia Lockwood hopes to find a fresh start in Kansas. Because of her family's medical history and her own personal experiences, she hopes she can find a man who will agree to a marriage in name only. She catches plenty of attention when she arrives in town, but the one man who seems most disinterested is the only one she came that great distance to meet.
Both Everett and Julia try to hide the things they are most ashamed of from their past, but things that have happened to us have a way of butting into the present until we take the time to deal with them.
I appreciated that both of these characters are dealing with a great deal of shame, but the way they failed at basic communication really bothered me. Also the way Everett became rather obsessed with developing the physical side of their relationship despite their agreement made me uncomfortable - that's the kind of behavior that sends up red flags. There's not a whole lot of action in this novel aside from the unnecessary tension of two people who won't talk to each other, so it was rather disappointing on many levels. I'm willing to give this author another try, but as someone for whom communication is a really big deal, the lack of it is really grating to me.