I just got done reading Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy. It is the third in the Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, after Calico Canyon and Petticoat Ranch.
Here's a description from Amazon: "All aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she's determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare? Grant is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage?"
My opinion: I LOVE this book. It is one of my favorites of this series.
Grant is about 24 years old and has, oh, about twenty children. And six or so grandchildren.
He was orphaned at a young age, and when he turned 17, he began taking in other orphans, some very close to his age, which explains his abundance of kids and grand kids. Grant raises about six or so kids at a time, all in his tiny cabin house.
Hannah is also an orphan. She was Grace's (if you remember Grace from Calico Canyon) adopted sister. Hannah and her younger adopted sister, Libby, who has an injured ankle and does not speak, sneak on a train. When Hannah realizes it is an orphan train, she puts Libby in with the other children. They make their very last stop at a town called Sour Springs. The only two orphans who weren't adopted are Libby and boy, Charlie.
Grant comes along and adopts Libby and Charlie without a thought to the girl's injury and the boy's attitude.
Hannah is shocked, and protests. She is certain that Grant is a tyrant who adopts children to put them to work just to make money for him, much like the man who adopted Grace and Hannah.
Grant successfully adopts the kids, and Hannah moves to town and becomes the teacher. She has her heart set on rescuing the children from Grant's clutches.
Grant, of course, is nothing like Hannah thinks him to be. His children are perfectly happy.
However, when a swindler and his wife come to rob Grant of the oil on his property, Hannah and Grant learn a lot about each other they never would have.
This story was amazing. I loved the characters and the plot line. I LOVED it!
What are you reading?