The youngest of three women who were thrown off a wagon train and ended up raffled off in a wife lottery, Lacy was married to her husband, Captain Walker Larson, by proxy when his father paid the fines levied against her for allegedly killing a man. She was only fifteen at the time, and has spent the last three years caring for her ailing father-in-law while learning the newspaper business and waiting patiently for Walker to come home from the army. When that doesn't happen, she decides to take matters into her own hands upon finding out that he's stationed just an hour away. However, he's anything but happy to see her. Walker tries to hustle her out of town and back home, but she refuses to go until he consummates their union. Unfortunately it isn't the romantic scenario she'd hoped for, and she returns home disillusioned and not really caring whether she ever see him again. But two years later, he finally comes home, ordered by his commanding officer to protect Lacy from the man she and her friends thought they'd killed years ago. The outlaw is determined to find the gold he claims was stolen from him by the women and get his revenge, and living in a town where everyone knows her, Lacy has become a sitting duck. She isn't certain, though, if the protection is worth having to spend an entire month in the same house with Walker.
After a youthful heartbreak, Walker Larson shook the dust of Cedar Point off his feet and joined the army. He's aware that his father married him to Lacy in his absence, but he's had no designs on ever having a wife. When Lacy shows up in his office just as he's trying to evacuate the town because of a range war that's rapidly heating up, he has no time or patience for her. Then she demands that he consummate their marriage. He thinks to simply call her bluff to get her to leave quickly, but after one thing leads to another, the experience ends up being unsatisfactory. Walker has no real intention of seeing Lacy again, though, until the sheriff of Cedar Point contacts his commanding officer, who orders him to take a month's leave to go protect his wife from a murderer. At first, he's no happier about the situation than she is, but the more time they spend together, the more they discover that they actually do like each other. However, they still have opposing life goals that might not mesh no matter how compatible they are romantically. Then Lacy is kidnapped, and as Walker rushes to her rescue and they go on the run from the bad guys, they finally realize that they can't live without each other and will do anything they must to be together... if they survive.
A Texan's Luck is the third book in Jodi Thomas's Wife Lottery series. It all started when three young women banded together after being thrown off a wagon train. As they struggled to reach a town before their supplies ran out, they were accosted by an outlaw who tried to steal their wagon. They managed to fight him off, but thinking they'd killed him in the process, they turned themselves in to the sheriff as soon as they made it to the little town of Cedar Point. When the sheriff was unable to find a body, he had nothing to charge them with, so instead he levied a fine against them. Any man in town who could pay their fine would be entered in a lottery to win one of them as a wife. There's also been a running story arc throughout involving Zeb Whitaker, the man they thought they'd killed, believing that they stole his gold and he's out for revenge against them. Lacy's two friends, Bailee and Sarah found their HEAs in the previous two books, now it's her turn.
The youngest of the three, Lacy was married to her husband via proxy when his father paid her fine. She's lived with the elderly man and cared for him for the past three years, while patiently waiting for Walker to come home from the army. When she discovers that he's stationed just an hour away from Cedar Point, she decides she's done waiting and goes to him. However, their first meeting doesn't go well. He's in the process of evacuating the town due to violence that's erupted as the result of a range war, so when she demands that he consummate their marriage before she'll go home, it's nothing like what she's dreamed of for the past three years. Lacy returns home disillusioned and resigned to never seeing Walker again. Two years pass by, and then she learns that Zeb Whitaker has just been released from prison and is likely coming after her and her friends. Since Lacy lives in town, she's the easiest of the three to find. The sheriff sends word to Walker, whose commanding officer gives him a month's leave and orders him to return to Cedar Point to protect his wife. It's the last thing he or Lacy wants, but they're determined to make the best of it until Whitaker is found. Then Walker will simply return to army life, leaving Lacy to run his father's newspaper business. However, as they run from the bad guys, they discover that they actually do like each other and start to fall in love. But if they can avoid being killed, they'll also have to be willing to admit their feelings, and since Lacy doesn't want to leave Cedar Point and Walker doesn't want to leave the army, they need to find a compromise that will allow them be together.
Lacy was orphaned at a young age and passed around to various people until she was taken in as a companion to a woman headed west on a wagon train. Along the way, though, she was accused of being a witch and tossed off the train by the leaders, after which she joined with Bailee and Sarah who've become her best friends. At only fifteen, she was the youngest of the women to be married off in the wife lottery. It was her future father-in-law who purchased her freedom and used the power of attorney that his son, Walker, left him to marry her to Walker by proxy. Ever since she's been a great help to him running his newspaper, learning the business like a pro, and when he became ill, she nursed him through his final days. After three years of waiting for the fabled Walker to return home and claim her, she's fed up and goes in search of him, demanding that he consummate their marriage right then and there. It doesn't go as she'd hoped, leaving her disillusioned and not caring if she ever sees Walker again. Then he shows up on her doorstep two years later, insisting that he's been ordered to protect her from Zeb Whitaker. Lacy doesn't think she needs a protector, and would prefer he leave. However, growing up, she realized she could survive almost anything if she knew it was eventually going to end, so she begins counting down the days until Walker goes back to his army base. Along the way, though, she begins to warm up to him after he saves her life more than once and proves that he can sometimes have a gentler side. But she isn't sure whether he feels the same way about her and whether they can find common ground. I really liked Lacy. She's sweet but has a backbone, and despite her youth, she knows what she wants out of life. Once she and Walker start developing feelings for one another, she's more than happy to show her affections for him, while bracing herself in case he still doesn't want to stay once his time with her is up.
Walker always felt like he played second fiddle to his older brother who was the cherished son, so after a major heartbreak at the age of seventeen, he shook the dust of Cedar Point off his boots and joined the army. However, he wasn't just an ordinary soldier. He basically trained to be an assassin, taking on the tough, dangerous jobs that required precision. He's never really wanted a wife, so even though his father wrote about the wife he'd gotten for him, Walker couldn't be bothered to go home to meet her. When Lacy shows up just as he's evacuating a town to protect the people from the range war that's heating up, he's more annoyed with her than anything. When she demands he consummate the union on the spot, he decides to call her bluff, and when she doesn't back down, he does a poor job of it. Although that one time with her did kind of get under his skin, Walker still doesn't return home until he's ordered to by his commanding officer. Even then he only plans to protect her from Zeb Whitaker and hopefully take the guy out before going right back to the army base. Things don't exactly go as planned, though, and as he continues to watch out for Lacy's well-being, Walker finds himself falling in love for the first time. When Lacy is kidnapped, he finally realizes just how much he cares for her, but even if he can save her, he isn't sure if they can make it work when they have such different goals in life. I felt like Walker's characterization was rather uneven. He vacillates between relating to Lacy in a cold, stern, military-precise way and having softer, gentler moments with her. Because of this, he did, at times, frustrate me a little. He also had a couple of what I'd call rather prudish moments, which I don't think I've ever seen from a romance hero before and found a bit odd. Otherwise, though, I liked Walker. He's clearly skilled at his job and knows exactly how to protect Lacy, and in those kinder moments, I was able to warm up to him.
Overall, A Texan's Luck was another enjoyable book in this series. I liked how the story played out. The pacing is nicely done with a good mixture between suspenseful moments when the bad guys are doing their thing and the lighter, more romantic moments between Walker and Lacy, gradually building to an exciting climax. I also liked how Walker and Lacy's relationship slowly built from them not really liking each other, to starting to communicate and get to know each other, and then falling in love. I think they were a well-matched couple and I liked both of them pretty well. If not for Walker occasionally irritating me a bit, I could have easily given this book the full five stars. But even still, it was a relatively minor thing that didn't keep me from awarding it keeper status. Sarah and Sam (When a Texan Gambles) are off elsewhere, but I very much enjoyed seeing Bailee and Carter (A Texan's Wager) and having them play roles in the story. We also get to see more of Nell and Jacob who will become the hero and heroine of the final book of the series, The Texan's Reward, and I must admit that their part in this story makes me very much look forward to reading their book soon. So all in all, I had a good time reading A Texan's Luck.
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