Pearl Parker made her living serving everyone else. To keep the peace with the wives of Piper's Hollow, Tennessee, she disguised herself to look undesirable. However, the preacher and his wife felt she was unfit to take care of her younger half-siblings and threatened to take them away from her. With her only protection in town being from the ailing sheriff, she new her only hope of keeping her family together was to move far away. This was not an easy task without money, transportation, or a place to go.
According to the conditions of his parent's will, Drake Kincaid needed to marry by his thirtieth birthday or lose his ranch. He worked long and hard on this ranch, and it's everything he lives for. Drake's grandfather stood behind these conditions completely. One month before his birthday he leaves his home in Texas to purchase some horses out east. He figured that he would find the most unsuitable woman, and, as punishment for enforcing the will, leave his new wife to live with his grandfather. While stopping to visit with his Grandpa's old friend, he met up with a tall bossy woman wearing old clothing many sizes to large. This strange woman, with the most amazing eyes, dared to challenge his gaze.
He needed to marry, she needed a home far away, so they made a deal.
Pearl believed that all her problems were solved once she left Piper's Hollow. What she didn't know, was that trouble was determined to follow her wherever she went.
Drake was satisfied that he fulfilled his obligation, so he was ready to go on with his life as he did before. He didn't realize that this marriage was going to change his life completely.
An arresting "rags to riches" story with a few twists and turns made this marriage of convenience turn into a suspenseful, rewarding romance!! I found Pearl and Drake to be a very pleasing couple, and enjoyed watching them juggle their insecurities around. There were a few parts of the story in the beginning where I felt I was missing out on some of the details, and, as a reader who loves tremendous sexual tension, I felt that Drake and Pearl's first experience together was a bit rushed. However, the Kincaid family has made their way into my heart. As the first of Clemmons' Kincaid series, it is a great introduction to the whole family! I can't wait to see Sarah overcome her shyness and find love, and for Storm to grow into a man and learn to trust at least one special person. I will be looking for their stories when they come out!
Jennifer C. Ebmeyer, March 2003
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