May Contain Spoilers
I checked this out of the library on a whim. So glad I did. This is a feel good romance with a pinch of danger. Thomas is a bounty hunter, and he’s after cattle rustler and murderer Jase Swindell. When he finally thinks he has Swindell captured, he has an unpleasant surprise. The murderer has a pregnant girlfriend who interferes with his capture, and then goes into labor! Poor Thomas does the best he can, but Anna, suffering from consumption, doesn’t live to see her son. Instead, Thomas does the right thing and takes the baby to the only safe place he knows; Esther’s ranch.
Esther has not had an easy time the last five years. After Thomas lights out of town, leaving her broken hearted, her father selfishly takes his own life after Jase Swindell rustles his cattle, leaving the ranch deep in debt. His suicide note pleaded with Esther to keep the ranch, and she’s tried hard to do just that. The taxes are an overwhelming burden, though, and this year she has nothing left to sell to make up the shortfall between her earnings as a laundress. She keeps staving off advances from the neighboring ranch, but she knows that it’s inevitable that she will lose her home.
When Thomas rides back into her life, Esther is torn. Here’s the man who abruptly abandoned her, and a week later, her father left her, too. When Thomas asked Esther to help care for the baby, she finds that she can’t refuse. It’s not the little guy’s fault that men are not trustworthy. And that is the theme that is repeated over and over again. Esther has to learn to trust again, and with baby Johnny and Rip the dog’s help, she finds her ability to forgive and care for others again.
Since her father’s death, Esther has stayed a virtual hermit on her ranch. She feels that the townspeople no longer welcome her because of her father’s actions. Esther doesn’t realize that her own behavior is off-putting, and that she has made herself unapproachable. When Thomas reappears in her life, he sees how much help she needs, and that she refuses to allow others to help her. So he sets about showing her the value of friendship and that relying on others isn’t a terrible thing.
I loved Thomas. He just wants to do what’s right. After being run out of town, he became a bounty hunter. Now that he’s reunited with Esther, he still doesn’t think he’s good enough for her, but he’s going to do his best to fix up the ranch and get her settled again before he heads off after Jase Swindell. He’s kind and caring, and wants what’s best for Esther and the baby. When danger threatens, he realizes that it’s time to make things right, and then to set down roots. With Esther and with the baby.
This is an inspirational romance, and it did get a little preachy at times. The time period made that not as onerous. I have enjoyed several of the Love Inspired Historical romances, and I’m adding Erica Vetsch to my authors to watch list. Recommended if you are in the mood for a sweet romance.
Grade: 4.75 stars
Review copy borrowed from our local library
About the book
Brought Together by a Baby
Bounty hunter Thomas Beaufort has no problem handling outlaws, but when he’s left with a criminal’s baby to care for, he’s in over his head. And the only person he can think of to ask for help is Esther Jensen, the woman whose heart he broke when he left town. But can he convince her to put aside the past until he tracks down the baby’s outlaw father?
Esther is ready to run Thomas off her Texas ranch—until she spies the abandoned newborn in his arms. Soon, working together to care for the precious babe stirs old hopes of a family. With trouble heading to their door, they could overcome it together—if she’ll entrust her wary heart to this sweet, second-chance family…