Must offer a comment or two about the characters --- first when Cade left he was about sixteen years old -- no guy knows his own mind at that age.
Zoe [icky name]Bradshaw was definitely at fault and supported by Cade's sister, Addy. But she did marry and made the best of the life she decided to live. And I can understand why she figured that Cade should give Addy and John's children to her.
Ah, therein begins a very well written story with a lot of great supporting characters. They make reading the story well worth it. I do not go for the heroine being older than her man but who am I to restrict the author.
Zoe had a lot of resentment and feelings of betrayal to work through but it did not stop her from being an excellent mother to the children -- ten year old Brodie -- six year old Will -- eight year old Holly and five year old Missy. Her fault, her secret should have been shared with Cade.
It appears that the one to be feared was elderly Aunt Latitia, John's aunt. She was adament about family raising the children.
Chalmer Winslow, a man of 65 years, was called "Pop" by everyone [I think] and was sheriff of Winterborn, Kansas - 1885.
A gently scheming man who knew how to make people think that they had an idea first. He had an ingenious plan to get Cade and Zoe married.
Cade planned on riding out of Winterborn as soon as he found a family to take the children. Some how he kept getting delayed - but still figured he had time to leave before the killer, Hart McGill could track him down. A bounty hunters' life was very unstable.
You just fall in love with the children and Cade's capitulation to them and can understand his reawakened love for Zoe. I got the impression that he was shattered when Addy told him that Zoe had married. Loved the decision of the children to call Cade, "Uncle Pa".
I fell in love with the townspeople as they proved that they would be willing to protect their own. I chuckled when the older ladies started to carry guns and when Cade finally realized that the people were watching his back in anticipation of McGill's showing up. These people filled out the story with such gentle humor even Sawyer Gayford who wanted "credibility" after Laticia practically ran him down.
Cade was the town's famous native son and he lived up to both of his reputations as helper, caregiver and bounty hunter.
Ah, I don't want to give away all the little twists and turns that make this such an intigueing story but you will definitely love the way it ends.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and should be shared.