No Other Will Do
by Karen Witemeyer (Goodreads Author)Men are optional. That's the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women's colony in Harper's Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight--and she knows just the one.
Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's plea arrives, he bolts to Harper's Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve.
As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.
My review: 8/10
I enjoyed this book. There were parts that had me laughing and smiling and were just what I had been hoping for.
I don't usually like blatant women's movement stories during this time period because it usually seems too progessive and unnatural for the time; it's not usually believable for me. But this one was different. The attitudes and struggles felt authentic. And there was a lot of originality; I don't recall having read a historical novel involving an explosives expert before nor a full women's colony.
The story reminds me of an old western, so naturally there is gun slinging drama and face offs that just aren't my taste. But it didn't overwhelm the story.
My favorite parts of the story were actually the beginning/backstories. I could have read a whole novel about a kid's survival and what shapes him into the man he becomes. It was very well done.