by Maggie Osborne

November 2003
ISBN: 0-8041-1991-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Ivy Books
Mass Market Paperback

Pretty Annie Malloy is a new modern woman who wants to explore life’s possibilities. An only child, her parents have never stood in her way. Until now – Annie has betrayed their trust in the worst possible way. She’s carrying the child of a man she will not name, ruining her reputation and bringing shame to her parents. No one is more upset than Annie who only wanted to experience her sexual side in her quest for knowledge. She never had any intention of ever getting married.

Unfortunately, the man Annie chose to share this adventure with is a stranger who only comes to town occasionally. Annie knew Bodie Miller was a bank robber and she certainly didn’t approve, but then she never expected anything more than a few hours of pleasure either. When Bodie offers to marry her and make an honest woman of her, Annie refuses, knowing he will not give up his life of crime.

Sheriff Jess Harden has had his eye on Annie for quite some time. While most of the young women in town fawn over the strapping good-looking sheriff, Annie gives him little attention. But the townspeople have noticed his interest in Annie and when she turns up “soiled”, it’s Jess Harden everyone assumes is the father. When Jess realizes that whoever is responsible for this child is not going to marry Annie, he offers her a marriage of convenience in hopes that one day she will love him as he does her.

With each passing day, Annie and Jess grow closer with Jess willing and desirous of being the father to Annie’s child. Annie grows to admire Jess’ courage while enjoying his tenderness towards her. Jess loves watching his wife build a home while he waits patiently for her to become his wife in more than name only. But Annie has a secret she is hiding from Jess that could prove deadly.

Shotgun Wedding is a delight. Author Maggie Osborne has done a beautiful job of illustrating small-town life in the American west at the turn-of-the-century, highlighting the values and morals of the times. The character development is excellent, delineating the growth of Annie’s character from her thoughtless involvement with Bodie Miller, through her concern over her parents censure by the townsfolk and her increasing love for her baby, to the strength and resiliency she exhibits in saving her marriage. While this book is indeed an emotional read, Ms. Osborne skillfully uses humor as leavening. You will fall in love with Annie and Jess and long for more of their story.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Vivian.

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