Marry Me-Jo Goodman
Zebra, Dec 1 2010, $6.99
In 1884 residents of Reidsville, Colorado offer a medical job to Dr. Coleridge Monroe. He is somewhat surprised since he did not apply. However, he figures his ward since their parents died his sixteen year old sister Whitley did so in his place. She knows he is unhappy at the St. John of God’s hospital in NYC where Dr. Erwin stifles his research.
In Reidsville, at the urging of Sheriff Wyatt Cooper whose wife Rachel pushed him to do so, deputy Will Beatty takes Cole to see two hermits, Judah Abbot and his son Runt. The family was a troupe of actors but the mother died birthing Runt and the older brothers left. While Cole examines Judah, Will finds an almost unconscious Runt bleeding horrifically from a beating. Cole realizes “he” is miscarrying due to a severe battering. Runt tells him her name is Rhyne and she is glad the baby is gone due to the sin. Will takes Judah to jail to keep Cole and Rhyne safe. They stay behind at his house so Rhyne can heal enough to travel. Wyatt and Rachel arrive as she knew Runt was female and pregnant so she sent Cole to her. She knows also Runt was raped. Cole takes Rhyne to his home where Whitley welcomes her warmly. As Rhyne and Cole fall in love a typhoid epidemic spreads killing many people; Cole and others work diligently to save lives and to figure out how it started.
The lead couple is a strong pairing of two interesting people as she was thought to be a man until she miscarried and he is a research physician. His sister, her father and the leads from Never Love a lawman enhance the story line with a great late twist. Although readers will find it difficult to understand how Judah thinks, Marry me is a wonderful western romance.