Saturday, June 16, 2012


Title: Matthew (Circle Eight, Book One)
Author: Emma Lang
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

Copy bought by reviewer

A man learns to hold what is his.
It is a vast spread in the eastern wilds of the newly independent Republic of Texas, the ranch their parents fought for … and died for. To the eight Graham siblings, no matter how much hard work or hard love it takes, life is unthinkable without family…

In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.

Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. And I'm still scratching my head over it. Emma Lang also writes under the name Beth Williamson. I have read her book, Unbridled, which I truly enjoyed. But Matthew left me feeling a bit unsure if I would contine to read this series.

Granted, I typically don't read historicals, but because this was Beth Williamson, I decided to give it a try.

Matthew is the oldest of eight children, and lives on a ranch in Texas- early 1800's. After the unexpected murder of his parents, he is thrust into the role of head of the family and the weight of the heavy responsibility is almost paralyzing to this young cowboy.

He struggles to do the right thing-what his father would have done would he still be alive-and heads to Houston to claim the land promised him.  Only he finds out that he must be married in order to receive it. Hating to lie, but unable to just walk away, he makes up a name on the spot--Hannah.

Now he is on the search for a woman with the name Hannah to ask her to marry him.  All in order to save his father's dream of increasing their ranch and ensuring a promising future. 

I guess that is what has bugged me about this story. It's a little bit too contrived, too falls perfectly into place for my taste. But pushing that aside, Matthew is well written with accuracy of the time period always at the forefront. 

Hannah was a great character and I loved the her personal growth in this book. She struggels to become the woman Matthew needs and still manages to remain true to herself.  She has an unshakeable strength to be admired.

I tend to like my cowboys a little edgier--rougher and Matthew is not that. He is more gentle than I'd like and I never felt that "umph" I like to feel tingling you know where when I read a book.

Matthew is a sweet, easy to read, western romance that was just a wee bit too sweet for my taste. Avid readers of this genre will love Lang's portrayal of Matthew and this historical romance.

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