Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

Near the beginning of Sarah McCarty's Promises Linger (2004), the first entry in the Promises series, set in 1868 Wyoming Territory:

A man could look at a face like that for years and never get tired. It wasn't that she was beautiful, though she was mighty easy on the eyes. It was the way the planes and hollows came together in a delicate balance of strength, humor and bone-deep sensuality that had him gaping like a green kid. A face like that spoke of endurance and character. A face like that invited visions of naked bodies and long, lusty, leisurely nights. And her mouth, hell, her mouth was a fantasy unto itself. He couldn't begin to corral the ideas the sight of those wide plump lips had running through his head.

Asa McIntyre's initial thoughts when Elizabeth Coyote enters a saloon to find her abusive husband of one day to let him know their sham of a marriage is over. Fortunately, the marriage wasn't consummated, and Asa is exactly the man Elizabeth needs for her second try at marriage.

Elizabeth needs a husband to keep her ranch running, and she unknowingly offers Asa his dream life--a home/ranch of his own and a true lady for a wife and the mother of their future children.

First comes marriage, and then comes the chance to get to know each other.

McCarty again writes steamy love scenes and flawed characters with private demons who work through their issues together to form a strong pairing. As always, her writing, characters, and basic story don't disappoint.

My overall personal rating of Promises Linger is a B+.

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