Kisses in Keystone (Seven Brides of South Dakota Book 2)


HISTORICAL:  When Roy rescues seventeen-year-old Hattie Arnsby from a hard life with her drunken father, the young girl believes she is destined to become a happy bride. Her own addiction to alcohol makes her an easy target for the evil man, whose true plan is to sell her to the Red Garter, a brothel in Keystone, South Dakota. Over the course of the following year, while she is forced to work as a prostitute, whiskey becomes the only friend Hattie believes she can count on —  until Deputy Hugh Bradley shows up, intent on taking her home to her sisters. As Hugh nurses a malnourished and downtrodden Hattie back to health he comes to care for her more with each passing day, but will Hattie’s addiction, combined with her damaged sense of self-worth, keep their story from having the happy ending Hattie so desperately desires?

Readers who enjoy well-researched historical fiction and sweet romance will enjoy this novel and its multiple fine details, not only regarding aspects of everyday life in the late 1800s, but also in the description of withdrawal symptoms suffered by Hattie once she is denied her previously never-ending supply of whiskey. Hugh’s character could arguably be the best developed within the narrative, his gentlemanly charm and heroic heart creating the embodiment of a near-perfect catch. Some might find it difficult to accept the course of action Hattie takes in the latter portion of the book, given her year’s worth of experience with men in this otherwise well-written romance.  A nice take on a standard trope, "Kisses in Keystone" is definitely worth picking up.

Claudette Melanson