Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper's Station, a women's colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask. Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he's always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve. As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper's Station must choose between safety or risking everything to fight for their future.
"With his angel in his arms, he'd always be in heaven." It is impossible not to fall in love with this adventure. I now completely understand the cover portraying a cocky, confident, strong-willed women, dressed to impress; it's because she had a community of women that looked up to her for guidance. My favorite part of this story was that it was nonstop. Many stories will build and sometimes drag you along for almost an entire book before they reveal the twist and bring everything full circle within the last few chapters, but this story never slowed down. It was filled with a constant fight, with many town meetings and encouraging speeches shared. I teared up when Malachi gave his first one. "Today he [the outlaw] came after me [Malachi], foolishly believing I was his only threat...He was wrong." This story is filled with pride and determination to survive and thrive. The setting of the story being centered in an all women's community, I thought strange at first, but what better environment to have drama and gossip among townsfolk then have it be solely made up of females. You grew in confidence with the community as they bonded together and learned how to defend their homes. The only thing that caught me off guard was the Alice and Wonderland reference of falling down a rabbit hole. I had to stop and do a little research for myself to realize how old that story really is and that it did indeed fit in with this time period already being almost twenty years old even at the prologues time setting. Which reminds me how this books prologue alone hooked me into this book. It could have been it's own story of misfortune, getting the reader that invested and sympathetic for the Malachi character so fast. I would easily rate this five out of five stars and recommend this to adventure seekers, thrill enthusiasts, romance readers, and historical buffs.