Review of A TEMPORARY FAMILY by Sherri Shackelford

Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals | Paperback Published: March 7, 2017 and eBook Published: March 1, 2017 | Format: Paperback (288 pages) and eBook (288 pages) | ISBN: 9780373425150 and ASIN: B01IP8FI3M | Series: Prairie Courtships | Origin: NetGalley


Cover: Courtesy of Love Inspired Historical



Inside A TEMPORARY FAMILY by Sherri Shackelford, we travel back to the end of the civil war. Where the Gold Rush blends into the Western way of life and pioneers build towns or leave them abandoned, a stagecoach brings weary travelers toward their destination as trouble lurks around the corner.

However, when criminals plow into the lives of law-abiding folk any day becomes even more dangerous!

Tilly Hargreaves should be happy this war ended, but with the end of these horrid conflicts, the end of her employment arrives. The men returning from war are back at their jobs casting Tilly out of the office and into the home. Tilly is far from her peers inside the domestic affairs as sewing, baking, and cooking, but she found her niche working in her father’s law firm. Her job provided no pay, but she was not doing other homemaker chores either.

Her life is taking on more changes and not all are good.

Her sister, Eleanor, will be closer in location due to the death of her husband. While she loves her sister, her insistent critiques are not a thing to love, but for now, she’s traveling with just her three nieces. Although the stagecoach travel is rough, Tilly enjoys time with the children. Everything is going just fine until one of her nieces becomes ill.

This sickness begins a chain of events that will not leave everyone secure. In fact, she’s hard-pressed to believe they will make it out alive.

Meanwhile, Nolan West’s quest for solitude brings him to work for a stagecoach line at a remote relay station in an abandoned town. He deals with people just briefly enough to attend to their needs before they’re off to their next stop.

With an empty town around him, Nolan hopes to heal from his time as a prisoner. He was on the wrong side, of course, and was not far into the war when captured. Watching others around him die and his remaining alive facing the various afflictions of his confinement left him different, but Nolan is beginning to believe he may never change back to the man he once had been. His new idiosyncrasies drove him away from his father and away from civilization.

Today proceeds as any other day would have until a little girl becomes too ill to travel, but the stagecoach still must make it to the next stop. One woman and three children can be hard on his need for peace and quiet, but the empty town has more than enough quiet space until this situation passes.

However, three armed men on horseback bring even more trouble.

A gold shipment is to come through his town, and these criminals will intercept it without any fear of using Nolan and his charges as hostages. Nolan sees a chance to help keep this family safe. Posing as Tilly’s husband enables him to constantly be with them, but this makes him fight to keep his own nightmares away. All too soon, he goes from needing to be alone to never being able to leave Tilly and the children while these men up the ante with menacing and threats.

Will they survive these days before the even shipment arrives? What will happen to them once the gold is here?




***This opinion is my own.***


A TEMPORARY FAMILY by Sherri Shackelford begins at a stagecoach relay station and feeding stop inside an abandoned town where guests quickly come and go.

Nolan West relishes this quiet as he copes with being a former prisoner of the Civil War, but a sick girl, her siblings along with their aunt is about to change everything. Clearly, this couldn’t get more uncomfortable for him, but he cannot change the course of events.

However, some things have a way of changing all by themselves once the unexpected looms.

Tilly Hargreaves is grateful for the place to stay through this child’s illness, but the standoffish stagecoach man is not at all happy. She can understand why a man would feel so, and she tries to lessen the awkwardness through conversation. However, this seems to make him even more distant. Content with his stance, she tends to these children best as she can.

Mr. West seems more on edge the minute more men show up.

It does not take her long to see their exchange unfold and understand these men aren’t friends and in fact, they’re outlaws. One mistakes Tilly as Nolan’s wife, and he sticks to the claim. This distant man just puts himself with her and the girls to save them and keep himself as their protector.

Meanwhile, this bargain is sure to have a higher cost for all involved.

The more these two are together the more they realize all they do not have. Will their goals change or will they never live to see any of them through?