As the adopted daughter of the town’s madam, Strawberry Meadows has seen it all. After ten years of living in Lily Bell’s saloon she believes all men are the same: wild cads, cheating husbands, tumbleweeds, and outlaws. Marriage is not an option, but when Berry comes face to face with the town’s new sheriff, she finds herself fighting feelings she has never before experienced. With friends and family playing matchmaker, controlling the urge to throw herself into the lawman’s arms proves more difficult than she ever imagined. Sheriff Tavis Wilks came to Chamberlin to begin life anew. Perhaps find a wife and settle down. Unfortunately, not one of the women in the town caught his eye or held his interest, until he met Berry. Something about her set his blood on fire. From her hot temper to her unwillingness to let him close, he wants her, needs her. The only thing stopping him from making her his own is Berry herself. When an old enemy rambles into town and takes a special interest in Berry, Tavis must scramble to rescue the only woman he has ever loved before his future is destroyed by his past.
"I am a *huge* fan of western historicals, particularly those set in the brothels of the Old West, so this book was practially made for me! I absolutely adored Strawberry and the ladies of Lily Bell's Saloon. The romance, the action, the perfect western setting...I just hope to revisit these characters again soon! The perfect blend of sweet and spicy, this book is a must read for lovers of historical romance." ~Courtesy of M. Lapierre
Berry stood quietly as Lily composed herself. The older woman had been more than a little angry as she bounded through the saloon doors. She seemed to be less upset now, and only slightly frazzled. Reluctantly, she left Tavis’s side. Closing the distance between herself and Lily, Berry wrapped an arm around her. “I’m fine. You can stop worrying,” she assured Lily quietly.
Lily squared her shoulders, turning to face Berry fully and said, “No. I cannot stop worrying. Not until you’re out of his hell hole.” She jabbed her finger at the door. “We need to find you a husband as soon as possible.” She finished with a curt nod.
Berry felt the blood drain from her face. Marriage was the furthest thing from her mind. “I already told you that I—”
“I don’t care what you told me,” Lily interrupted, holding her hand up to stop Berry’s protests. “Get off your high horse and accept one of these fine young men who are nipping at your heels.”
Berry placed her hands on her hips. Her earlier irritation at Lily’s mention of marriage turned to white-hot anger. “Miles Clemmons may be a fine young man, but he’s as dumb as a rock! You cannot expect me to marry a man who’s ignorant enough to get lost on his way home!”
“I didn’t say it had to be Miles. There are plenty of men around here who’ve been after you since you blossomed,” Lily harrumphed hotly, waving a finger quickly in front of Berry’s full chest.
At that moment, Billy walked out onto the porch and ambled cautiously to Tavis’s side, sticking close to the building’s wall and as far away from the bickering women as possible. However, his cautious actions were for nothing. “What about Billy here?” Lily said with a smile, grabbing Billy by the arm. “He would marry you in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you Billy?”
Billy blinked with surprise at the question. Visibly confused, he took a quick glance at Tavis’s face and frowned. “Um, you see Lily, I would, but it’s just that…well, I’m not ready to settle down just yet.” He stuttered as he glanced from Lily and back to Tavis.
Berry’s anger began to boil. “If I decide to get married, I’m sure I can find my own husband. I don’t need you asking every man who passes by if they would be interested in marrying me!” She marched to the entrance with purpose.
“Well,” Lily Bell’s voice sounded loud and firm behind her. “You better find one fast or I’m going to post a sign out front and advertise!”