Luke Granger is about to get more than he bargained for… As owner and manager of the Hardman bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. Calling in a long overdue loan, Luke finds himself reluctantly accepting a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt. Philamena Booth is both mortified and relieved when her father sends her off with the banker as payment of his debt. Held captive on the farm by her father since the death of her mother more than a decade earlier, Philamena is grateful to leave. If only it had been someone other than the handsome and charismatic Luke Granger riding in to rescue her. Ready to uphold her end of the bargain as Luke’s cook and housekeeper, Philamena is prepared for the hard work ahead. What she isn’t prepared for is being forced to marry Luke as part of this crazy Christmas bargain.I loved the setting and time period of this one. Based on the real town of Hardman, Oregon (which is now a ghost town) it was easy to step back in time and imagine what life would have been like back then. I liked that it took place around the early 1890’s and I liked how the author worked in their “modern” inventions into the story. It’s fun to think about how things we take for granted now used to be a nifty invention back then. I liked the mix of the old west with a touch of the modern, at least modern for them. I also love marriage of convenience stories and liked how that plot was used here. Luke is a successful banker and in a moment of weakness agrees to take a wife in order to cover the debt. Philamena Booth once had a happy childhood, but that all changed when her mother passed away and her father turned to drinking to try and forget how good he once had it. She has spent the last thirteen years in isolation and being abused by her father. While she had a really hard time, I’m glad the ugliness of what she went through wasn’t dwelled on. The story picks up right when Luke takes Philamena away and for the most part the story is lighthearted and conflict-free. I thought Philamena and Luke had a sweet relationship and were good for each other.
Overall, this is a pleasant step back in time to when life seemed so much simpler. I loved the story takes place over Christmas and thought it added a nice festive feel to the story. A nice, cozy read.
Welcome to the
A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
An Interview with Shanna HatfieldShanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
What inspired you to write the Hardman Holidays Series? I chose the town of Hardman as the setting because it was fun to imagine what the town as like back when it was booming. Today, Hardman is a ghost town. I wrote this particular series because I enjoy creating strong female characters and men brave enough to walk beside them.
What's the series about? Hope. Faith. Love. It’s about never giving up, finding inner strength, and giving love a chance. Filly faces a dismal future until Luke opens a new door for her. Ginny is running away from her past, trying to find a future. Alex thinks her nomadic lifestyle will keep her from ever experiencing true love. Despite everything, each of them hold onto the hope that tomorrow will be a new, better day.
What made you decide to make this a holiday series? I love historical romances, especially those set during the holiday season. Tying in a holiday theme to each story seemed like a perfect fit for the setting and the characters.
Tell us a little about your main characters. Filly is the heroine from The Christmas Bargain, the first book in the series. Much braver than she thinks, she’s endured her father’s abuse and imprisonment on their farm for thirteen years. Luke Granger accepts her in lieu of payment on a loan just to get her away from the cruel man she used to call Papa. She needs all the courage, strength, and humor she can find when the pastor insists Luke take her as his bride. Ginny is the feisty lead character in The Christmas Token, the second book in the series. She grew up in Hardman and fell in love with Blake Stratton. Since he came from a poor family, her mother decided to whisk her away before the two teens could wed. Relocated to New York City, Ginny enjoys life there until she arrives back in Hardman quite unexpectedly and realizes she never stopped loving Blake. In The Christmas Calamity, the newly-released third book in the series, Alexandra Janowski is a prestidigitator on the run from her past, from men out to do her harm, and the opportunity to fall in love. Forced to stay in Hardman while the blacksmith repairs her wagon, she finds her heart and thoughts drawn to banker Arlan Guthry.
Where do you get the inspiration to write? My inspiration for sitting down every day and writing comes from the fact that I love doing it and there is nothing else I’d rather be doing. I left my day job a year ago to write full time, so this truly is my chosen career and source of employment.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers? Thank you for hosting me today. I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to connect with your readers. I hope those who enjoy historical fiction, sweet romances, or a good western, will consider reading
Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.