A jilted ex-lover and the railroad bring excitement to historical romance star Goodman’s third Cowboys of Colorado tale of romance and intrigue in a late-1890s Colorado town (after A Touch of Flame). Two years after Frost Falls, Colo., resident Jeremiah Salt died in a fire, his widow, Lily, who suffered Jeremiah’s drunken violence for years, has quietly carved out a peaceful life for her four children and just wants to be left alone. There is no room in that life for railroad surveyor Roen Shepard, though he charms her children and addresses her with respect. Their sweet courtship is intellectual as well as sexy, as Roen teaches Lily advanced mathematics while showing her what it is like to be treated tenderly by a man. When Lily gives Roen her trust, it’s a hard-earned victory. Meanwhile, tensions rise between Roen and Fedora Chen, the descendant of Chinese railroad workers, who endures harassment from several of the white townspeople while making plans to stop the railroad’s expansion; and Roen’s pregnant, vicious ex stalks him to Frost Falls. Domestic abuse and racism are meaty topics for a historical romance, but Goodman tackles them with sensitivity, aided by the strong plot and appealing cast. Readers will be eager for their next visit to Frost Falls. Agent: Pamela Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Assoc. (June)
Praise for A Touch of Forever
"Domestic abuse and racism are meaty topics for a historical romance, but Goodman tackles them with sensitivity, aided by the strong plot and appealing cast. Readers will be eager for their next visit to Frost Falls."—Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
Praise for The Cowboys of Colorado Series
“With humor, a touch of mystery and the efforts of a well-matched doctor and sheriff, Goodman draws the reader into the tangled lives of the citizens of Frost Falls, Colorado. Another winner by a master storyteller!”—Kaki Warner, RITA award-winning author of Texas Tall
"Goodman will satisfy fans of historical western romance with this sprawling, lusty recreation of life, love, and slowly uncovered secrets on a Colorado cattle ranch in the spring of 1892. Her fairy-tale Wild West also surrounds the requisite sexy courtship with plenty of rip-roaring action and appealing Colorado scenery."—Publisher's Weekly
"A Touch of Flame is the kind of book you want to disappear into...heart-wrenching, uplifting, and humorous all at once."—All About Romance
"A Touch of Frost is the perfect western for romantics. It has grit, spunk, and a lawlessness you’ll appreciate...pure entertainment."—Romance Junkies
“A Touch of Flame had all of the rapid fire dialogue, lovable characters, and rich details that I’ve come to expect out of Jo Goodman’s wonderful writing.”—Harlequin Junkie
Praise for the Bestselling Novels of Jo Goodman
“Goodman has a well-earned reputation as one of the finest Western romance writers. Her strong plotlines, realistic, colorful backdrops, deep sensuality and engaging characters are only part of her appeal. The winning combination of toughness and tenderness are what enthrall readers.”—RT Book Reviews
“This first-rate tale easily measures up to its predecessors and will make readers eager for their next visit to Bitter Springs.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A tender, engaging romance and a dash of risk in a totally compelling read…Gritty, realistic, and laced with humor.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Jo Goodman is a master storyteller and one of the reasons I love historical romance so much.”—The Romance Dish
“Fans of Western romance will be thrilled with this delightful addition to Goodman’s strong list.”—Booklist
A changeling among the members of his creative, free-spirited New York family, Roen Shepard hasn't an artistic bone in his tall, rangy body. Instead, his talents lie in railroad engineering, a skill he intends to put to good use in Frost Falls, CO, as a surveyor for the upcoming railroad. New to town, Roen can't help but be attracted to young widow Lily Salt; and while she is not in the market for another husband, she can't help but notice Roen's kindness and awareness in dealing with her four young children. A wary friendship develops between the two, but neither thinks that a dangerous relationship from Roen's former life would result in a marriage of convenience for them—or that it would eventually become something more. VERDICT Crisp descriptions, insightful character development, and four savvy kids bring depth to this romantic historical charmer that is pure gold. Goodman (A Touch of Flame) lives in West Virginia.
An engineering surveyor with a stalker agrees to marry a widow with four children, creating a new life for both in the American West.
Roen Shepard is an engineer originally from New York who has come to Frost Falls, Colorado, to survey land for Northeast Rail. The move out West conveniently puts 2,000 miles between him and his jilted lover, Victorine Headley, the selfish, spoiled daughter of the owner of a competing railway. In church, Roen spies Lily Salt, a local seamstress and widowed mother of four, and is immediately intrigued by her small, serene smile and rust red hair. Lily's tragic past was a subplot in the previous book in the series (A Touch of Flame, 2018): Her cruel and abusive husband perished in a fire under mysterious circumstances. Lily carries a heavy emotional load of both post-traumatic stress and guilt, but she is sensible, strong, and forthright and agrees to a marriage of convenience with Roen to provide a father for her children. For Roen, the marriage serves partly as a deterrent to Victorine, who is on her way west to claim him, but he is attracted to Lily and more than willing to see where the arrangement takes them. Unfortunately, Victorine and the violent man she brings with her are depicted with all the subtlety of a charging buffalo, and her pursuit ends with an unnecessary and suspiciously convenient plot twist. Goodman, a veteran romance writer, is known for her skill in depicting the booming American West at the turn of the 20th century, and most readers will be happily immersed in daily life in Frost Falls, although some will wish the days passed more quickly. Roen and Lily are both mature, kind, honest, and witty, and while their romance offers little excitement, it is sweet and believable.
Appealing characters and an unhurried plot make this a solid entry in Goodman's Cowboys of Colorado series.