The Memorable Mrs Dempsey by Gail Ingis is a beautifully written romantic adventure set in the 19th century with well-drawn characters caught in a love triangle. The naïve Leila proves to be strong and noble as her determination to hang on to Hank, her rat of a husband, takes her into the dangers of the Wild West. I winced and fretted as Leila endured unimaginable horrors throughout her journey, yet hangs on to her commitment to her marriage, while denying the amorous attentions of Rork, her husband’s business partner. While her husband is out carousing, Rork has remained the gentleman, always there for the lady in distress. He proves his love by putting Leila’s life before his own during the many vicious attacks from deserters and thieves. I cheered when Leila finally faces the ugly truth about her husband’s addictions and cheating. When she demands a divorce, Hank escapes westward to avoid signing the papers that will cut him off from receiving Leila’s ample dowry. In love, but unable to marry, Leila and Rork chase after Hank for him to sign the papers. And so, the murder and mayhem continue until the story explodes in a mind-boggling climax. Wow!
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