Historical Romance

ARC Review: The Prospector’s Only Prospect – Dani Collins

After eight days in a cramped stagecoach, divorcée Marigold Davis already regrets her decision to come to Denver City to marry. She certainly didn’t realize she’d signed up for mosquitoes, mud, and scores of rough men eyeing her like a hot meal on a cold day. But with her life in Kansas all but incinerated, Marigold needs a husband. Even if she’s not the bride that gold prospector Virgil Gardner is expecting…

Virgil Gardner has a reputation as a grumpy hard-ass, and he’s fine with it. He’s also no fool—this is not the woman he agreed to marry. It takes a tough-as-nails woman to survive the harshness of a Rocky Mountain gold claim, and this whiskey-eyed, gentle beauty is certainly not the type. Now it’s just a matter of how quickly she’ll quit so he can find a wife who will stick. Someone who can care for the only thing he values even more than gold–his children.

But Marigold isn’t about to give in. Cramped in a one-room shack. Berry picking turned into a bear escape. Or cooking for an entire crew of bottomless pits. She’s got more grit than most. And just when Virgil starts to realize his replacement bride might be the treasure he’s been looking for, an unannounced guest arrives…to change everything.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dani Collins is a new-to-me author whose stories I’ve been eyeing for a while now. So, when I had the opportunity to review an ARC of her latest release, The Prospector’s Only Prospect, I jumped at it.

And I’m so glad that I did!

Although, I don’t read western romances as often as I’d like, I’ve really enjoyed the ones I have read so far. However, the gold rush period and the political issues stemming from the “state vs territory” debate (oversimplified explanation, I know) were new for me.

The hero is Virgil, a grumpy, cantankerous gold miner who’s in need of a wife to help look after his children. With his grouchy personality and cynical views on love, he decides a mail order bride is the way to go.

He places an advertisement in the newspaper, receives a response, and sends a coach ticket to the special woman. Easy, right?

However, who turns up is someone he didn’t expect!

Marigold is a woman down on her luck. She’s divorced, homeless, and in need of a fresh start. I adored her tenaciousness and strength. She has no idea what she’s stumbled upon when she arrives at her new home, but she doesn’t let it get her down.

There’s a phrase that I regularly see on social media: “Do it scared.”

Well, that’s Marigold in a nutshell. She’s frequently out of her depth and terrified about all the dangers in this new place (e.g., bears, outlaws, lack of law enforcement) and yet, she puts on a brave front and does things anyway. I admire her realistic attitude.

This story also features many other enjoyable side characters (Virgil’s children and the other prospectors) that add depth and variety to the (very) small community. Their attitudes, personalities, and general day-to-day actions often had me laughing and wondering what they’d do next.

Overall, I found this book to be a much-needed breath of fresh air. I enjoyed it immensely and spent so much time laughing at the antics and witty comebacks. (“Bonfire Bill”, anyone?).

While I don’t think I would’ve particularly enjoyed living during that time. It was interesting to see so much of what was going on. From simple things like how they made beds to more complex matters like the political ongoings, it was an interesting read that I struggled to put down.

Collins may have been a new-to-me author, but after reading this book, I’ll definitely be making sure I pick up more books from her backlist and keep an eye on any future releases.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC.

This blog post contains affiliate links which means that if you choose to purchase a product through an affiliate link, I may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Get your copy today!
Amazon | The Ripped Bodice

Want more romances similar to The Prospector’s Only Prospect?
Check out these titles.
Hitched to the Gunslinger – Michelle McLean
The Widow of Rose House – Diana Biller
Highland Thief – Alyson McLayne


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