Oh, historic romances. How you pull my heartstrings--and not always in the ways the authors intended. I was hoping when I dove into Gordon's book that I'd be finding a new Julia Quinn or Lisa Kleypas to devour, albeit one whose book was set in the early American West instead of in London society. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The book wasn't bad, but it just wasn't what I look for in a historical romance novel.
So, The Officer and the Bostoner (the use of Bostoner rather than Bostonian is completely deliberate, by the way) follows Allison Piers, who gets off a stagecoach to get a bite to eat and ends up left behind in a military fort on the edge of Indian lands. She was on her way to meet her fiance--now she's stranded with no way of getting out for at least a few weeks. In swoops Captain Wes Tucker, who offers to marry her, keep his hands to himself, and annul the marriage when Allison's fiance arrives to rescue her so that she won't be harassed by the fort's other soldiers in the meantime. Allison doesn't see any other real options for herself, and so she agrees, and the prim Bostoner/Bostonian has to get used to rough living on the frontier.
While the story isn't the most original, I can't really fault that, because most historical romances revolve around tropes to fuel them. That didn't bother me. What bothered me was that Gordon apparently couldn't decide whether this was going to be a sweet or sultry romance, and so almost three-quarters of the way through it flops from one to the other. The first, larger part of the book has glances and blushes and occasional, mostly accidental touches and all kinds of modesty and so on, and while Allison and Wes had their moments, they definitely weren't getting steamy and ripping each others' clothes off, or even sticking their tongues in each others' mouths. And then, in the span of about two pages, it suddenly turns into all kinds of trailing tongues and vanishing clothes and...well, you get the picture. I really wish that either Wes and Allison had...not necessarily become physically involved earlier, but maybe had a stronger attraction to each other earlier. Maybe more steamy kissing or something? Nothing too much, just enough so that I'd know which way the book was going to go! The sudden emergence of steam in the last part combined with the outpouring of sudden drama (FAR more drama than in the rest of the book, really just dumped in at once) made the whole thing seem a bit unbalanced, and it flopped from sweet-but-slightly-boring into too-much-at-once territory very quickly.
So, I guess The Officer and the Bostoner wasn't quite my cup of tea. Or coffee, right, Wes? That said, Gordon seems like a pretty prolific writer in the historical romance genre, so maybe I just need to find a setting/characters that suit my fancy a bit more and we'll be a better match. But as for this one...?
2.5 stars out of 5.