When Caroline, the daugher of Major Adams, returns to the fort after her sojourn in high society, she finds that while she was too colloquial for Galveston she’s now considered too prim and proper for the prairie. Determined to find her own way in the world, she joins the hordes of people waiting to cross the boundary line and stake a claim in the Unassigned Lands. But when she sets her eyes on the same piece of property that the charming rascal Frisco Smith wants, a fierce competition ensues.
Raised as a foundling, Frisco has always wanted a home of his own. He’s taken a shine to the spunky Caroline Adams, but he wishes she had a little less spunk when she squeaks in ahead of him to snag the prime land he is after. Is courting her the best way to persuade her to pack up and go home, or is there perhaps enough room on one claim for the both of them?
This charming western romance continues the story from Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1) where Major Adams woos a governess/saloon singer with a heart of gold to be stepmother to his two girls. The Lieutenant’s Bargain (Fort Reno #2) follows the relationship between fine arts painter Hattie and the Major’s second-in-command. Now, in the third installment, the Major’s stubborn older daughter stars in a romance of her own. Although it has lots of character tie-ins to the previous books (particularly the novella Bound and Determined (Fort Reno #1.5)), The Major’s Daughter could still be enjoyed as a standalone.
The historical background of the Unassigned Lands was fascinating, including the history of the moonlighters who tried to break the rules by sneaking over the boundary sooner than they were supposed to. The author’s note shares how many of the outrageous events in the story are true to life, including the photograph that proves the moonlighters’ moonfalseance…but, wait, no spoilers.
In true Regina Jennings style, this book sparkles with amusing dialogue and situations. Although I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first two books in the series, it was still a fun read.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.