The Officer and the Bostoner is an American historical romance by Rose Gordon. When I saw the description for Gordon’s latest, I will admit to feeling some trepidation. The setting is in the American West, which is a departure from everything else I have read by Gordon. But since I have loved everything I have read by Gordon, I decided I would give it a shot – it also helped that I was granted a review copy via NetGalley.
Allison Pearson is a proper young Bostonian traveling to Santa Fe to meet and marry her betrothed. Unintentionally, Allison is left stranded in a military fort where it would be in her best interests to marry temporarily until her fiancé can arrive and escort her to Santa Fe. To avoid improper advances from the soldiers stationed there Allison decides to marry Captain Wes Tucker for protection, never expecting to fall for her temporary husband.
Captain Wes Tucker is a Southern gentleman and really has no ulterior motives in helping Allison out by marrying her. When Wes encounters Allison left behind at the fort, he offers his name in marriage to protect her. While I question this logic somewhat (surely there is another way to help Allison), I like the marriage of convenience theme, so I will enter into a suspension of belief. Wes is immediately drawn to her, but is aware that Allison will be leaving him and the rough conditions they live in at the fort. The problem is, Wes starts to wonder what it will take to make Allison stay in the backwater town, leaving her rich fiancé behind.
I cannot express enough what a wonderful surprise this one was. I loved Gordon’s Groom series, but I wasn’t sure about this change in setting. I shouldn’t have worried; everything I love about Gordon’s writing was still there. We still have a young, and rather naïve hero and heroine and their romance is impossibly sweet. This was exactly what made me continue with Gordon’s Groom series after scoring Her Sudden Groom for .99 cents. I found Gordon’s stories are a refreshing change from the usual historical romance fare I typically read. I liked this lighter read and the fact that both the hero and heroine were not experienced in the ways of the world. I don’t think you come across this type of story in mainstream historical romance often, and I love the departure that Gordon takes us on. Gordon is the perfect go-to author if your looking for a sweet, uncomplicated story with a guaranteed happy ending.
What I also like about Gordon’s style is her portrayal of a romantic relationship. While I think most of us like a lot of angst in our romance reads (it’s expected in a romance), in real-life , it’s just not quite the same. I think that Gordon does a fantastic job of showing readers a more realistic relationship. I have nothing against those types of historical romances where insta-attraction turns to love, and in fact I read a lot of them, but because Gordon’s style is markedly different, I’ve taken notice and she’s become a go-to author for me.
And finally, I have to say something about the marriage of convenience trope. It is probably one of my favourite set-ups in historical romance. In real life, this would be horrifying, but I love that it generally works out in a historical romance. What I liked about Gordon’s take on this trope in her latest, is the fact that this marriage of convenience didn’t suddenly force the characters into a happily ever after. Despite the short length of The Officer and the Bostoner, Allison and Wes take their time getting to know one another and it’s clear that they have respect for each other. Wes has to be the perfect hero who has no intention of manipulating Allison’s vulnerability.
Overall, I loved this new addition from Gordon. The new setting pleasantly surprised me and I can’t wait to see Second Lt. Jack Walker’s experience with a mail-order bride.