Another Man's Wife
by Denysé Bridger, historical (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-500-4


Chris McQuade, our Federal Marshal hero, is most charmed by his fellow passenger in the coach, Elizabeth Davis, especially when their coach is held up by gunmen wanting to avenge some poor sod who died at Chris' hand and she uses her gun to help take down one of those men. The attack on their coach forces them to abandon it and travel together on horseback instead to their Wyoming destination of Wind River. I'm sure you can guess what will happen between these two.

In Another Man's Wife, there is however a problem standing in the way of the happily ever after. Like the title suggests, Elizabeth is a married woman. She hasn't seen her husband for almost a year (they were married for only a year before that), ever since he took off to chase after dreams of gold and glory in the West, but now that she's traveled all the way here to meet her husband, she realizes that Chris is also looking for him for a different reason. Mark Davis is a wanted bank robber.

It's probably a good thing that Elizabeth has long made up her mind that she no longer loves Mark because she and Chris are soon making the bushes rustle in the wilderness and Chris is announcing to her that he's in love with her. "Fast" doesn't cover the rate of how these two work, I tell you. This is a very short story which leaves me with questions regarding the circumstances behind Elizabeth's marriage to Mark. Why would she marry him in the first place and why does she so easily believe Chris when he tells her of Mark shooting down a deputy? Did Mark do something to her that convinces her that he's an untrustworthy villain?

Another Man's Wife feels like a few chapters from a much longer story. On the whole, this is a readable story with two pleasant characters. Sure, they fall in love way too fast and most unconvincingly, but at least they seem like level-headed and likable folks. The story leaves many questions unanswered, however. Perhaps it's best to treat this story as an appetizer that you may be in mood for if you need a very quick and pleasant read that you can pretty much put aside and forget the moment you're done with it.

Rating: 74


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