A Bandit’s Vow by Kate Condie {Aster Ridge Ranch; 4}

Book Blurb:

She never dared to dream of a love of her own.

He never dreamed marriage would be his most dangerous exploit.

Eloise Morris always puts her family first, and she spends her days working hard to support them. Marriage has never been part of her plans, but when Eloise is suddenly faced with the prospect of losing their family farm she does the unthinkable and accepts an offer of marriage… from a man who is little more than an outlaw.

By rights, Aaron Harder should have been dead by now. Long ago, he chose to live fast and die young. Against all odds, he’s somehow still standing. But hiding out with money burning a hole in his pockets, waiting for the day a bounty hunter will come to take him to the gallows, is not living. When fate hands him a chance to do one good thing with his miserable life, he grasps it and offers himself to Eloise Morris as her husband in a marriage of convenience meant to save her family from ruin.

Now if Aaron can only get Eloise to look him in the eye, this washed-up bandit might just be able to propose to the fresh-faced young woman with the beautiful innocent eyes who is much, much too good for a man like himself…

A Bandit’s Vow is book four in the Aster Ridge Ranch series, after A Widow’s Vow. It is a clean romance and can be read as a standalone.

I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.

AnnaScott’s Review:

I’ve always had a thing for the marriage of convenience trope, probably because it illustrates that love is just as much a choice we make as it is a feeling we experience. That being said, A Bandit’s Vow was an excellent book to curl up with during a winter storm.

Let’s start with the characters. I loved Eloise, and how fiercely independent and protective of her family she was. I felt like she and Aaron balanced each other out well, and their chemistry (while sometimes a bit explosive) was great. I had a harder time connecting to the other characters, but I think it’s because this book is a part of the series, and so I was jumping into the middle of their collective story.

My only real complaint was that I was really expecting more of a climax at the end. There was a small bit of drama at the end, but it was really short and felt anticlimactic. Aaron is a wanted ex-criminal who is living in hiding, and so I was waiting for him to be discovered and have to face court and then be released because of good behavior, or some other dramatic ending life that. Even in Aaron and Eloise’s relationship, I kept waiting for the moment that they both realized that they actually cared for each other instead of just tolerating each other. The whole story felt like it was building towards something, but ended without any real climax.

Overall, this was a fun read, and I would be interested to read the other books in this series so that I could appreciate the other characters more fully.


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