Married to crooked gambler Jack Thornton, Alex has spent much of her adult life in sleazy saloons, working rigged poker games and small- time swindles, while enduring her drunken husband’s brutalities. Finally, she alters her appearance, changes her name to Cathy, and catches the first train out of Denver, only to find herself broke and stranded in a sleepy little cow town. Fearing that Jack will find her and desperate for traveling money, she empties the cash register at the store where she’s found a job, and is caught in the act. Unaware of past, or that she has an enraged husband looking for her, Will agrees to let “Cathy” satisfy her bail bond by working at the small ranch he shares with his two children. The isolated cabin is miles away, though, and a judge demands that the couple be legally married before spending months together in the wilderness. At the ranch, Cathy is forced into a life she’s spent years trying to avoid—cooking, cleaning, and scrubbing laundry—while also dealing with Will’s resentful adolescent daughter. Will soon learns that the best way to handle his stubborn new “hired hand’s” bad manners, incessant profanity and hot temper is with a wooden hairbrush or a folded belt. With one husband close on her trail and bent on vengeance, the situation is further complicated when Cathy realizes she’s fallen in love with her second husband—and that he’s in love with her, as well. Formerly released as: "Borrowed Bride by Judith McClaren" Includes BONUS short story "The Picnic".