Ray Malloy is a single father in an age when every child has two parents. Abandoned by his shallow wife, he struggles to find the balance between being a father and being a successful rancher. At the end of his rope with his wild child daughter, he hires a governess from New York to teach his daughter, Melody, to be a lady.
Lillian Wickham is desperate for a job, poor as a church mouse, and determined as a bulldog. Arriving in Wyoming to a chilly reception, and saddled with a five-year-old girl that could be mistaken for an incredibly, dirty little boy does not daunt her.
Ray is determined to avoid women completely, to ignore Lillian’s luscious figure, ruby red lips, and husky voice. Lillian is determined to turn Melody into a lady, come hell or high water, and avoid the hellion’s devastatingly attractive father at the same time. Until one night when Lillian’s clumsiness drops her right into Ray’s arms and their passion takes on a life of its own.
When unexpected danger steals into their lives, and threatens the stubborn child they both love, will their passion be strong enough to survive, or will it tear their world apart?
I thought that The Prize was my favorite of this series, but I think that The Treasure is my favorite. Mostly b/c of Lillian. She’s such a feisty heroine, something I don’t usually like. With the way that Lillian’s character was written, I couldn’t help but like her.
After Lillian was fired from her job as a governess, she heads to Wyoming to be a governess/teacher. Traveling sight unseen is one of the hardest things Lillian has ever done, but she doesn’t have another choice. She has a bit of a problem with clumsiness, which is why she was let go from her last few jobs.
Ray Malloy sees Lillian and immediately knows that she’s not the one he needs to take over the caring of his five year old daughter, Mel. For one thing, she’s way too young. Ray has no intention of being attracted to someone that is living in his house and taking care of his daughter. He soon learns that Lillian is more of a steamroller than anything else and when her mind is set, there is no turning her from her course. He finds himself agreeing to a trial period, though he’s sure that he’s going to send her back as soon as possible.
Lillian’s clumsiness was so endearing. Ray’s acceptance of it was even more so. He just accepted it as a part of Lillian and didn’t make her feel bad about being who she was. He was a person that gave her unconditional acceptance, which no one has ever given her. That doesn’t mean that he was easy to live with. On the contrary, Ray was the most surly and arrogant man that she’s ever been around.
Their attraction is almost instant, with Ray fighting it the whole way. When his ex-wife returns after abandoning her and their daughter five years earlier, Ray has no idea the lengths she’s willing to go to get what she wants. Lillian is the only one that can help him, which he grudgingly accepts.
Most of the time I was reading this book, I found that I had a little smile on my face. Lillian was just really refreshing and so perfect for Ray.
4.25 out of 5.
Other books in the series: