Gillian Grey vows to help her childhood friend, a ghost, find and stop a killer who is brutally murdering young women in the West. However, because she is an unmarried city girl from a prominent, wealthy family, who is unfamiliar with the desert, she needs an escort. Aidan Baird is an Irish immigrant who works for Gillian’s father who agrees to escort Gillian through the Yuma desert on a botanical expedition to collect wildflowers. Can these two overcome their preconceived notions, secrets, and the hurts of their pasts to see that love with the right person is worth the risk?
Gillian is a woman of many talents and secrets, some very dangerous and others very cool—she is skillful with throwing knifes. She leaves her hometown to escape the scandal of hastily calling off her wedding to a hateful jerk, who only wants her inheritance, cares nothing for her, constantly criticizes her, and undermines her confidence. She is a smart, stubborn, loyal, resourceful, and determined tomboy who does not see herself as womanly or feminine, and she does not fit in upper class society for a number of reasons.
Gillian wants a life that matters so she commits herself to helping others, especially other women who do not have wealth or connections. But more than that, she wants to be loved, desired, and cherished for who she is. When she feels attraction and desire—for the first time—when she first meets Aidan, she starts to think that he could be the man to do those things. The last thing she wants to do is become a pawn for another money-grubbing jerk, and since he is on her father’s payroll, what else could he be? So, she is determined to resist his appeal by thinking the worst of him.
Aidan is an Irish working man, a traveling salesman who sells the goods that Gillian’s family produces and markets through her father’s company. He is strong, resourceful, honest, hard-working, gentle, and kind. He wants a better life for himself and his sister, and escorting Gillian through the Wild West is the perfect opportunity to get the money he needs to buy a ranch and get a fresh start on a better life. Aidan is also an outcast because of his Irish heritage and lack of social standing and money. He has been hurt in the past by a young heiress who claimed to love him but only used him while planning to marry another with wealth. So, he is not too excited to be escorting a pampered, spoiled, rich girl through the desert. But almost from the moment he meets her, Gillian is nothing like he expects and everything that he wants in a life-mate.
Aidan and Gillian are well-developed, likeable characters who completely drew me into the novel and kept me turning the pages, hoping they would get their much-deserved happy ending. I love how Andrews develops the attraction between Gillian and Aidan, which is instantaneous from their first meeting. They have lots of chemistry and each interaction is filled with sparks. She takes the time to develop Gillian and Aidan and their relationship throughout the novel.
The novel is filled with lovely description that not only brings Aidan, Gillian, and all the other characters to life, but also takes you back to the past into the desert heat of Yuma. Gillian has lots of great details, twists, and turns, including a Jack the Ripper-esque killer, that are interesting and well-developed. However, the ending, while nearly perfect and very satisfying, could have been paced and developed a little better in terms of the introduction and reveal of the killer.
Gillian is a lengthy, but well-paced and well-written, fun read. It’s a historical western romance with lots of action, mystery and suspense, humor, sweet and sexy romance, and a supernatural twist.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Zumaya Embraces (May 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934841927
- ISBN-13: 978-1934841921
Purchase a print copy of Gillian from Amazon