The Wrong Man in Wyoming is the fourth book in the "Boots and
Booties" series, a series using one-word adjectives to describe the men.
The Last Man in Montana (HT #617), The Only Man in Wyoming (HT
#621) and The Next Man in Texas (HT #625) are the first three books.
The series will continue in December with The Right Man in Montana
Usually I don't like to start a series on the fourth book, but I don't
think I missed anything by coming in this late. I didn't get a sense of
continuing characters or settings. Perhaps babies are the only connection.
I really don't know. Whatever or not the connection is, this story stands
on its own just fine.
Recently divorced Abby Andrews and her three children are driving through
Wyoming to her mother's home in Spokane, Washington, when their van dies on
the side of a deserted gravel road. The smoke pouring from the engine lets
Abby know that things aren't looking too good.
Hope and help do arrive when Ty Monroe stops to offer his assistance. Abby
doesn't know it, but Ty considers her and her family the answer to his
prayers. He wants to marry his high school sweetheart, but his Uncle Jed,
who owns the ranch where Ty works, thinks that Ty and Trish are too young
to marry. Just that morning they had discussed that Uncle Jed needs a
diversion, a woman . . . something to take his mind off Ty and Trish.
Circumstances work to Ty and Trish's advantage. Abby needs a job to afford
a new car. Jed needs a cook. Thank goodness, this is not a scenario
where Abby is a complete dolt in the kitchen. Nobody has to pretend to eat
her cooking. She's a competent woman who's going to do a good job while
she's the cook/housekeeper.
Two recurring threads add gentle humor to the story. Jed is bothered by
Abby's nearness and decides that at forty, he's a confirmed, crusty
bachelor. He asks Ty to get the foreman's house ready for Abby and her
family to move into. Ty is aghast; that's the house that he's been
secretly renovating for Trish when they marry. He invents tales of rat
infestations, major leaks and anything else that comes to mind. I was
waiting for the haunted house approach, but Ty is off the hook when Jed
realizes that he has become deeply attached to Abby and her three kids.
Their presence in his house is offering comfort and warmth which have been
The second thread is how Abby deals with the ranch chickens her kids have
made pets of and the men's desire to eat fried chicken. Knowing that her
children will be distraught if she fries up one of the pets, she takes
great pains to buy chickens at the grocery store and then smuggle them into
the house. I found this theme to be sweet and honest, knowing what mothers
will do to spare their children unnecessary turmoil.
Two wounded people meeting and slowly realizing that happiness is right in
front of them is not a new plot line. No surprises or originalities are
present. Does this matter? Not a whit. Who cares when a writer allows us
to connect with two good people. There's a realistic feel to the whole
story. Abby and Jed don't fall in love at first sight. Sure, they find
each other attractive and Jed spends a lot of time looking at her legs, but
neither begins to weave fantasies about the other.
Abby's three kids never overwhelm the story. They're neither cloyingly
sweet nor obnoxious brats. They're normal, healthy, happy kids. Abby's
daughter Cass and Jed bond when Cass's nightmares about the bear rug in the
front room cause Jed to cart it to another location where it will be
Trish and Ty's story is perhaps the only Pollyanna part to the whole book,
the only weak part. I'm in agreement with Jed that these kids are too
young to marry. Yes, this is a personal predilection. I would have
preferred that they postpone their marriage, but Ms. Rolofson didn't ask
me. Darn it!
The Wrong Man in Wyoming is what category romances are all about.
While the title suggests that you'll be with the wrong man, don't believe
it for a minute. This is a satisfying story which can be read and enjoyed
in one sitting. That's exactly what I was able to do and what I recommend
for you. It will be time well-spent.