Lazarus County has yet to be tamed. There’s drought, bandits, and natives to contend with. People have moved out there hoping to better themselves, have a chance at the kind of life they could never hope for back East. Of course plenty of the settlers are lonely and willing to take a chance on love, even with someone that they’ve never met.
In She Has to Stop Running Sometime, Ellen has to stop running sometime. She’s fled her past all the way across the Atlantic and has given up hope of having the kind of romance she dreamed of as a girl. Bruised, inside and out, she’ll be happy just to find a family she can keep house for.
Nate Harper has been in Lazarus County, NM, for years. His younger sister knows how lonely he is has been seeking a bride for him back East. He’s embarrassed, but his heart wells up with kindness when he reads about Ellen’s hopes for a new life and invites her to his home as a housekeeper.
In Western Redemption, Marlie Kane needs salvation. Not just for herself but for her three brothers, two of which can’t stay sober long enough to pay rent in Boston. When their landlord tells Marlie that her only way to make money is to sell her body, she’s praying for a miracle and willing to try anything to get away.
Graham Evans is the cooper and carpenter of the town of Gilgamesh in Lazarus County. After losing his wife to diphtheria, he came to New Mexico to forget his past. He’d long since given up on love but is surprised by the happiness that his friend Nate has found with his mail-order bride. Ready to throw the dice, he puts out a matrimonial ad himself.
In Western Freedom, Annabelle Feelan is from the upper crust of Philadelphia. Her wealthy father has showered her with luxuries and indulgence her entire life but now is beginning to despair of her. It’s time for her to marry, but Annabelle finds every prospective husband who is suitable to her father a complete bore.
She longs for the sort of romance she’s read about in novels. None of the men in Philadelphia could bring her excitement or rescue her from bandits! She finally takes matters into her own hands and puts an advertisement in a newspaper. She never imagined a man like Aidan Killarney would respond!
In The Sheriff Needs a Bride, Lazarus County needs a sheriff. There are Indian tribes and bandits throughout New Mexico, and the people of Gilgamesh have gone on far too long without a lawman. The town folk unanimously vote for John Wilkins, the stage coach driver, but he thinks his soldiering days are long past.
Nonetheless, he is beloved by the people of Gilgamesh, including the Kimball family who are just there for a spell. Harriet Kimball finds herself enchanted by Gilgamesh and begins to think of the place as home, going so far as to put out an ad for marriage in the newspaper. She is almost as surprised by John Wilkins’ reply as he was.