3 Out of 5 Stars
It doesn’t take long for Julie Baptiste to realize she yearns for more than the non-stop engagements and niceties dictated by New York high society. So, she decides to do something bold and answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride in Gold Sky, Montana.
Ex-Union soldiers Forrest Wickes and William Barnes have been inseparable since the War. They share everything, including the desire to find a wife. A woman who is willing to marry them both and provide the isolated town with a much needed teacher.
When Julie arrives in Montana the three of them must figure out how to navigate the boundaries of their new lives. Can Forrest and Will come together to provide what Julie needs and protect the heart of the woman who’s made her way intimately into theirs?
And how will a debutante-turned-teacher manage frontier life with two husbands?
I received this book in a LGBTQ+ themed advent book box from The Ripped Boddice (WHICH I FREAKING LOVED and I hope they do it again this year). I debated about reviewing Heart and Hand on here, as there isn’t much explored within the relationship of the two men featured, but there were undertones of a M/M relationship even though it wasn’t explicitly written out.
I’m a fan of the mail-order bride trope, there’s something so satisfying to see a relationship blossom into friendship and then into romantic love. That’s kind of what you get here with Julie, Forrest, and Will.
Forrest and Will, although it is never expressly written, have a lovers bond. That’s how I interpreted. They needed someone to balance them out and Julie was the perfect addition to their lives. She’s spirited, sexy, and full of energy. Forrest and Will? Whoo, those fellas, they definitely had the rugged cowboy, law officer persona down pat.
Julie’s jealousy, there was something about it that made me just as jealous as she was. There were times I wanted Julie smash a pie in someone’s face, but Julie is obviously more well-behaved than I am. Not only could I feel her irritation, but I could feel Forrest and Will’s frustration.
Romance wise, it’s on the lighter side of the steam factor. There was a lot of buildup but not enough oomph, at least for me.
This one left me wanting and I felt a little let down that it was marketed as a MMF novel. Was it a decent read? Yes, I enjoyed reading it. I love a good historical fiction featuring cowboys and a socialite.