What a wonderful, heartwarming story. This actually had me in tears at one point, which is not at all easy to do. It has been too long since I’ve read one of Catherine Anderson’s novels. I was thrilled to see this one come along at the library, and not the least bit disappointed when I stayed up too late last night reading it.
It’s Colorado, 1891. Brianna Paxton is raising her twin sister’s child as her own, doing the best she can for the child in a world that has no pity for unwed mothers. She works several jobs, gets little sleep, and still goes hungry sometimes to feed her child. To protect them both, she made up an errant husband years ago by the name of David Paxton. She even sent letters to him at the Denver post office to keep up appearances.
Marshal David Paxton of No Name, Colorado received six years’ worth of letters one morning, a few of them written in the childish hand of Daphne, who begged for help. Something in them got to him, and he had a terrible suspicion — in his early twenties he was wild, frequently got drunk, and more than once woke with no memory of the night before. Could he have fathered a child and not known it?
He had to know for sure. He started by searching Denver for any record of another David Paxton. When he found none, he went to see Brianna, to put his mind at ease. But when he saw the child — the spitting image of his mother — he knew he could not walk away. He didn’t even want to. He fell in love with “his daughter” at first sight.
One of the things I loved about this book was that the two characters did not lie to one another. Well, Brianna did right at first — spinning the same tale she’d told everyone to protect herself and her child — but the guy was nobody she knew or trusted. As soon as it became obvious that she could not shake him, she told him the truth… that he wasn’t Daphne’s father and in fact, she wasn’t really her mother. He doesn’t believe her, which is also understandable given the lies she spun out at first. Far too often in a novel like this, the whole thing is steeped in deception and the two main characters get together under false pretenses. Such was not the case here, a fact that made the characters more likeable, the situation more bittersweet, and the tension far more compelling.
My only little complaint was that I felt some drag in this book, especially as we were waiting for truth to finally be established.
I thoroughly recommend this book to romance lovers, especially if you like historicals. And if you haven’t read Catherine Anderson before, give her a try! Her books are high on emotion, very sweet, and not overly sexual. (Although she doesn’t skip the sex scenes.) This book is further on in a series, so it might be an odd one to start with, but reading them in order isn’t hugely important.
Title: Lucky Penny
Author: Catherine Anderson
Published January 31, 2012