Cover Image: Courting Miss Emma

Courting Miss Emma

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Member Reviews

A Camel and a Cannon

Although this is the second book in The Hangman's Daughter series, I don't think you'll have any trouble following the plot, even if you haven't read the first one. (You'll want to, though--it is also a rip roaring full-bodied story.) Lots of action and adventure, focusing on the restless post-Civil War years in the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas. A worthy successor to book one!

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I do love when an author sets the bar high, but gently nudges it up a notch or two the next time around. Winning Maura’s Heart was a favorite historical romance for me last year and I touted it as one of my top reads. Emma’s story came along and here I am again, prepared to gush my heart out.

Courting Miss Emma is a standalone story with clear connections to the first in the Hangman’s Daughter series focusing on her sister, Maura and Calhoun who are secondary characters in this latest.

Emma’s personality is somewhat different from her sister’s. They’ve both experienced extreme prejudice and hardship as a result of growing up as the local hangman’s daughters and their mother dying when they were children. To say that Emma has a thick emotional barrier and a lack of trust in humanity is an understatement. She’s found peace and contentment at their new home, the old mission raising the orphans. But, then a memorable first encounter with the new neighbor knocks her off balance.

Stone’s just gotten out of the military and hasn’t shifted to civy life yet. He likes his military regimented lifestyle and that chaotic group next door are unsettling for the poor guy. He just wants to ranch and keep his camels (yep, you read that right, camels) in peace. But, stubborn Emma Taggart is not his only worry. A hard, greedy land-grabbing rancher in the area who won’t stop at violence to get what he wants and Emma’s Heaven’s Door Orphanage at the mission and Stone’s land are on his acquisition list.

The romance was there and slow burn in the background for much of the book. The action scenes of gunfights and cannon fire courtesy of Jubal were hard fought enough to please any straight up western fan with the added wonderful layers of strong character growth as Stone, who shares some things in common with Emma, and Emma work through their pasts and reach out to each other to partner and more. Personally, I enjoyed getting updates on Maura and Calhoun and her Uncle Max and the kids as much as meeting the new editions. I had thoughts that this would be the last since I only knew of two Hangman’s Daughters, but no, Emma and Maura learn they have a sister who has her own spitfire personality.

All in all, the emotional depth, the hot action sequences, and the sweet and sometimes funny pairing were sensational. If you like a pulse-pounding plot and gentle romance against a well-drawn western setting, throw the saddle on this series and ride.

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I didn't love this one but I also didn't hate this one. However I'm not sure how I feel about this one.

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I really enjoyed Emma and Stone's story! I just loved watching these two take down the bad guys!!!!!!!

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I loved this book, although second in the hangman’s daughters series it can be read as a stand-alone. Emma is one gutsy lady who is not afraid to stand up for herself and the children she cares for in the orphanage. Despite the horrors she had undergone her kindness and love of others shines through and it is heartwarming to see her find her soulmate in Stone, who has himself had a terrible upbringing, Two people who totally complement each other.
Looking forward to reading more about Calista her half sister and hopefully reading how she finds her happy ever after.

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I loved Emma and Stone. What a cute story; it made a perfect afternoon read for me. The plot was not over-dramatic, and the conflicts were easily solvable.

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Emma Taggart dedicates her life to caring for her charges at Heaven’s Door Orphanage. She loves them without reservation, and figures they’re the closest she’ll come to having children of her own. So when her new neighbor, former soldier Stone Landry, shows up one day and accuses her of failing to keep an eye on them, she doesn’t take it very well. But when an attorney shows up saying that neither the orphanage nor Landry have any claim to the land they’re living on and have to vacate the premises, Stone and Emma realize they’ve got to work together to keep their homes. No-good rancher Zeke Parker will stop at nothing to take the land out from under them all, and Stone isn’t going to let that happen.
I love, love, love, Linda Broday’s books! I had only good things to say about the first in this series, Winning Maura’s Heart, and she continues the story in fine fashion with Courting Miss Emma.

As one of the hangman’s daughters, Emma has given up on the idea of love. Sure, her sister Maura managed to escape the fate of being the hangman’s daughter, but Emma reckons that won’t happen for her. She envisions potential epitaphs for herself as a lonely spinster, and those are by turns wryly funny and heartbreaking.

Linda Broday gives us a lot to focus on in this book! There’s the main story of the dastardly land grab by the villainous Zeke Parker. We also get to meet a new, unexpected Taggart family member, and in wonderful found family fashion, Stone takes in a young man and does a pretty good job of parenting even though he thinks his own past makes him unsuitable as a father.

There’s action aplenty, with gun battles and a kidnapping (that doesn’t go quite according to the kidnappers’ plans). But there’s also that sweet, sizzling romance. Broday writes clean romance that, for its lack of on-page spice (which I appreciate!), may still leave you fanning yourself because my, doesn’t it seem a bit warm in here? They get off to a rough start, but the chemistry between Emma and Stone practically burns off the page from the get-go, and I am here for it. They’re two wonderfully flawed people who’ve learned to expect the worst from life that find each other and realize that maybe life’s best isn’t out of reach for them after all.

I love that Emma isn’t some wilting violet. She isn’t afraid to jump into the thick of things, and she also isn’t afraid to tell Stone Landry exactly what she thinks. She’s a heroine who doesn’t just wring her hand and wait timidly to be rescued when she finds herself in a difficult spot. She’s resourceful and uses what she’s got to make it easier for her rescuers to get her out of harm’s way.

The children are just wonderful. Emma loves them with all her heart, and maybe they grow on Stone a little, too! Their interactions with Stone and his camels are hilarious, and their determination to help their beloved Miss Emma is touching. I want to reach into the pages and hug them all.

And yes, I said camels! Stone has rescued camels that were mustered out of military service. If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you may remember another Lone Star Lit book that talked about the military camels of Texas, Once Upon a Camel. That book is for a younger audience, but I loved it, too, and it was fun seeing the camels show up in a different context.

Found family, sweet romance, action, tension, hope rising from the ashes – Courting Miss Emma has everything I love in a book. It’s in the running to be one of my favorite books of 2023.

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Courting Miss Emma is a sweet romance but the storyline does not shy away from difficult situations and very dramatic moments in a time in history that challenged the most stalwart of people.

Emma is the sister who thought she would never be courted since she was not young and soft and demure like most “ladies” of the time were.

But the fact that she was not all of those things is what Stone Landry finds so attractive in her. She is feisty. Speaks her mind. And doesn’t avoid a conflict. However, he doesn’t find those qualities so attractive when they first meet. He has come to tell her that she should keep the kids who live in the orphanage from wandering onto his property, and she tells him in no uncertain terms where he can put his advice on childrearing.

He’s never had a woman stand up to him. Well, he’s not had a whole lot of experience with women, so what does he know? So he just rides back to his place more than a bit befuddled from the meeting.

Since this is a romance, the reader knows that Stone will get over his initial dislike of Emma, and she will also get past thinking he is an insufferable, bossy man. They are both introduced as characters the reader will immediately relate to and cheer for when they face the hired killers who are trying to drive them off the land.

In the times when the orphanage is being threatened, Emma stands with her Uncle Max and the other men to hold off the attacks. Emma is a very strong woman, and that’s one of the things I like best about her. She will do anything to protect the children in her care, as well as the other people in her life that she loves.

I loved the first book in this series, Winning Maura’s Heart. It has a perfect balance of western and romantic elements, that this story doesn’t. At least not for me.

Because of the type of characters that Emma and Stone are, and the difficulties that they face from the threats by the man who wants to take their land, it seemed like that would take precedence over the growing feelings they have for each other. Not that there shouldn’t be moments, but maybe not in the middle of a battle?

Despite that little problem, I did enjoy the story a lot. It was great to see the change in Stone as he adapted to civilian life and figured out how to be a good neighbor to the folks at the orphanage. And, as always, it’s always a pleasure to read a story that has a surprising, yet satisfying conclusion.

The role that the camels play in the story is quite clever, and they, as well as Stone’s Army buddy, add some comedic moments that lightens the intensity of the drama.

All of the characters from the first book in this series, Maura and Cutter, as well as Uncle Max and the French nuns; and, of course, all the children are included in this story. And they are not mentioned just to be mentioned. They all play an integral role in the resolution. What the kids do is priceless. Then there are some new characters that hint at more stories to come in the series.

Readers who like a western romance that is sweet and decent with a terrific cast of characters will enjoy this book a great deal.

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If you have any interest in historical romance of the western\Texas history variety, you can’t go wrong with any of Broday’s books. And COURTING MISS EMMA is another winner. (See all my other reviews here if you are looking for other suggestions.)
CHARACTERS
What stands out for me from our main character, Emma, is her heart and self-deprecating humor. Being the daughter of the local Hangman, Emma has not had an easy life. In spite of this, she has such immense love for the orphans she and Maura are helping to raise. Emma’s humor shines throughout the novel with her quirky tombstone epithets that she thinks of. It makes me think I should start planning what my tombstone could read. I might need some revisions like Emma.
As an ex-military man, Stone likes his routine. And Emma and her charges disrupt that routine right from the beginning. Stone’s character growth throughout the novel is one of the highlights for me. While he is falling in love with Emma, he’s also learning to love the kids in her life and what a civilian life could be like.
As much as I enjoy the main characters in this book, I also genuinely adore the secondary characters. All of the characters are fully developed, with individual personalities and characteristics. Uncle Max, Jubel and his cannon, the camels, the kids, everyone is great! Instead of a woman doctor this time (shout out to Doctor Mary!), we have a woman lawyer, Dan Jordan. Great to see Ms. Broday representing women in non-traditional careers. I’m all for that. We even meet some Texas Rangers by the end of the novel.
ROMANCE
COURTING MISS EMMA is a romance; we clearly need to discuss that in a review. What really impressed me about Emma and Stone is that both were resigned to not falling in love and remain single due to childhood traumas. But:
"‘One day.’ He dragged air into his lungs. ‘One day I intend to court you, lady. That’s a promise. Hangman’s daughter or not.’"
The relationship between Stone and Emma develops quickly once the action picks up in the novel. From their meet cute, through attacks and a kidnapping, to the sweet conclusion, I was cheering for these two characters.
I also really adored Calhoun’s and Maura’s relationship. And I clearly need to read their story.
On the spicy meter – this book is a clean romance. No worries if you blush or skip ahead while reading the sexy time scenes in romance novels.
PLOT and WRITING
The main storyline in COURTING MISS EMMA involves saving the orphanage and surrounding farms from being stolen out from under them by a robber baron. I relished all the action scenes! Lots of shoot-outs. Canon shots. More of the camels! It was a hoot! I was rooting for the team from the beginning. The fact that Emma is a self-rescuing heroine sure didn’t hurt, either. 😉 I’d almost go so far as to call this book western/action with a side of romance. And another side of humor, which I always appreciate.
This novel is the second in the series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The fast pace of the action results in a quick read.
While the novel does have a distinct conclusion, the introduction of Calista, the third Hangman’s daughter, gives us a hint of what’s to come in the next novel. And dang, she is feisty. That story should be fun.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Reading and highly recommending another book by Linda Broday is my pleasure.

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Linda Broday knows how to bring the wild west to life with action, romance, and humor.

Emma is a character that you will admire; at least I did. She is strong, smart, and not afraid of holding her in any situation. She may have a tough life due to her father's position, but that doesn't mean she misses out on life. She has a fulfilling job running an orphanage. Sure, she dreams of having someone to call her own, but it is hard to find a man willing to look past her father. Enter Stone Landry. He is a former military man but has issues of his own. He isn't prepared for Emma at all. She challenges him yet also entices him. He never expected to fall in love, but sometimes, love doesn't care what you want and gives you what you need.

This may be the second in the series, but you don't need to read the first to enjoy this book. I tend to read books in order that are a series, but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything while enjoying Emma's story. The story is filled with action when someone comes to try and claim the mission that houses Emma's orphanage. Even back then, there were plenty of people trying to gain the advantage for financial gain. It isn't just the mission they are trying to obtain but also the land around there, including several neighbors, Stone's land, and Emma's sister, Maura. I loved how they all banded together to fight off these thieves. Are they successful? You will have to read the book to find out.

The romance between Emma and Stone starts off slow. They have some miscommunication early on, which sets the tone, but over time, they are able to resolve their differences. I like that they challenge each other, and it isn't an easily won affection for either party. They are both stubborn but sure of themselves and what they want from life and each other. 

There is unexpected humor in this book when Emma comes up with various epitaphs for her tombstone. They vary based on the situation, but each time, they gave me a chuckle. The levity offsets the seriousness of the battle for the land.

There are some new characters added to the mix, including a new sister for Emma and Maura, Calista. Calista comes to the mission with a chip on her shoulder, but I enjoyed watching her slowly lose that chip and become a part of the family. There is also a lawyer, Dan, who offers a lot of sage advice and information that helps them in the end. There is also a young man, Vinny, whom Stone saves from a life in town with an abusive father. And we can't forget Jubal, who brings a cannon to the party. Jubal is a hoot as a crusty older man who tends to hit on the ladies.

I recommend this series and really anything by this author! We give it 5 paws up.

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I've loved every Linda Broday book I've read, and this is no different! I requested this book from Net Galley and couldn't wait to dive into it. It's the second book in the series but you can read it as a standalone book. I fell in love with both main characters. I knew Emma from the previous book in the series but in this book, she is much better developed. She runs an orphanage in San Antonio, Texas in the 1880's in a run down, old mission but loves the children with her whole heart. However, when she is crossed, she is a mama bear! I loved how she didn't let anyone push her around, even if it was her new neighbor, Stone Landry! The man didn't want children coming next door to see his camels - ha! He soon learns that kids are curious, and Emma is the woman for him! However, they have worse problems as there is a mean, evil man trying to get their land (along with other landowners) and he'll stop at nothing to get it! ALL the characters in this story were important! I fell in love with the teenager that Stone "adopts" and the former military friend that comes to help out with the fight. I love the French nuns that live in the orphanage to help out Emma. Emma's uncle Max is a hoot! Also, Emma's sister and her husband from the first book are back and play a pivotal role in this story. I loved everything about this book!

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It’s no wonder Linda Broday is my go-to author for Historical Western Romance. She delivers an immensely entertaining read every time. Every. Single. Time. Courting Miss Emma, the second book of her The Hangman’s Daughters series continues Ms. Broday’s long list of excellent books with memorable lead characters, heart-in-your-throat action, unpredictable storylines, despicable villains, and a motley crew of support characters that include children and animals (camels in Texas!). Most importantly, there’s humor to balance all the angst and violence inherent to the subgenre. And, of course, sweet wholesome romance.

"Life was fleeting at best and a woman had to grab every moment. Emma wanted no regrets when her time came.”

Miss Emma Taggart has to be one of my favorite Linda Broday heroines ever. Not only is she intrepid, caring, capable, and resourceful, but she is also incredibly funny. Her internal musings about possible epitaphs are either poignant or downright hilarious. Morbid perhaps but admirable nevertheless considering a lot of people want her dead just for being the hangman’s daughter. I love that she saves herself from danger and defends her found family with all her might. A true heroine in every sense of the word.
Life doesn’t play fair sometimes … We have to make the best we can of what we’re dealt.”
Stone Landry is a great match for Emma. They have fantastic chemistry and have heavy daddy issues in common. Stone’s character arc is probably the most compelling in this story. From getting pissy about orphans trespassing on his property to becoming a father figure to an abused child. His reflections on being a soldier make this book a fitting read for Veteran’s Day.

"She held on to hope despite the odds.”

Another aspect of Linda Broday’s writing I love is the way it transports me to the time and place of her novels. Maybe not the exact time as she herself confessed in the author’s note but certainly in the general vicinity. Incorporating elements like the camels, the canon, the concept of land grabbing, and the presence of the Chili Queens into the story goes a long way toward effectively bringing the setting to life.

"She wanted to be someone’s whole world, not just a little piece of it.”

The introduction of a third hangman’s daughter and a tattooed stranger wandering into the orphanage ensures the continuation of this wonderful series and I am super happy about that.

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I can never go wrong with a Linda Broday book and Courting Miss Emma is another hit with me. I especially love that Linda Broday books always include a mystery, heart thumping danger or an action packed adventure. Broday’s Historical Western Romance books are never just a love story and are set back in the Wild West era. Broday always gives the reader so much depth in her masterful writing.

Emma and her sister, Maura, have utilized an old mission that their uncle and three nuns had taken up residence at. The sisters take in a slew of orphans to give them a safe home at the mission and name the orphanage, “Heavens Door”. The group keep finding theirselves in life threatening danger as someone is trying to run them off so they can claim the land and the old mission as their own.

Emma and Maura are the daughters of a Hangman. They’ve lived their lives being ostracized, shunned and spat upon. Neither of the sisters thought they’d ever find a place in life much less marry and have children. These thoughts made taking in the orphans, as their life mission, just what the sisters needed to find their place in life as well as give them a home. A quote in the book that tells the reader how impossible it is for the sisters to find happiness is, ‘The hangman’s daughter oh so fair. But cursed she is so best beware. Suitors who dare to give her hope. Will soon be dangling from a rope.’

In book one Maura found love and with book two does Emma hold a chance of finding love too? She never would have thought it possible but does hold onto hope after Maura finds happiness.

Stone Landry, a new neighbor, shows up at the orphanage to return children that wandered onto his property. Emma and Stone clash from the get-go. Stone is less than a neighborly neighbor. Stone makes it clear that he doesn’t like children, trespassers or possibly anyone. Stone is very intrigued by Emma and her ability to match him tat for tat with spit fire words that keep up with anything he throws at her. Emma does find the new neighbor alluring even though he does ruffle her feathers.

I really got a kick out of Emma thinking of her headstone epitaphs as she encounters life circumstances.

From all the children at the orphanage, to the nuns and all the supporting characters in this addition to the Hangman’s Daughters series, hold a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Broday introduces one very unexpected character in Courting Miss Emma that leaves me anticipating what’s to come in book three to this series.

If you like Historical Western Romance, books with a mystery or adventure, or romance books you’ll love this book, this series, and all Linda Broday books.

This is a great read and leaves me yet again not being able to choose my favorite Linda Broday book!

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In Courting Miss Emma by Linda Broday, Emma Taggart, who runs Heaven's Door orphanage in 1868 Texas, faces challenges when Stone Landry, a guarded ex-army man, becomes her neighbor. Their connection is tested by violent raids and a powerful rancher, Zeke Parker. Emma must find the courage to trust Stone and secure the life she dreams of.

Courting Miss Emma is the second book in the Hangman's Daughters series, focusing on Emma, the younger Taggart sister. She's dedicated to running their orphanage and is known for her stubborn and cautious nature due to her past. Stone, her neighbor, has his own issues and isn't keen on starting a family. Their first encounter is quite entertaining, with some great banter.

The side characters were all amazing. Each of them added an extra layer to the story and were incorporated greatly into the narrative. I also liked how all the characters joined forces to defend their homes, adding some thrilling action to the story. While I would've appreciated a bit more romance, it didn't ruin the experience.

Linda Broday is excellent at crafting action-packed historical western romances that grab your attention right away. Her stories and characters are consistently captivating, which is why I always look forward to her new releases. I have complete trust in her ability to deliver engaging tales.

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Author Linda Broday never, ever, ever disappoints. Courting Miss Emma is another example of stellar writing, strong emotions, sassy and sweet women, suspense and danger, and a large helping of historical facts you never knew. I never thought about hangman’s daughters and what their lives might be like. But Broday has opened my eyes with this fascinating, intriguing, compelling series.

Sisters Maura and Emma Taggart don’t want much: maybe just a taste of “normal” lives, family friends, peace. But what they’ve had most of their lives is being persecuted, shunned, ostracized because their father is a hangman. Their mother has died and their father is cold and unfeeling, not displaying any affection or concern for them. In the first book in the series, Winning Maura’s Heart, the sisters try to settle in a Texas town. They are driven away but set up Heaven’s Door orphanage in an old mission outside of town. Maura meets a man who loves her for who she is and she marries. Emma is happy for Maura but doesn’t see that happening for herself. She is resigned to no romance, but running the orphanage fulfills her and she would do anything to keep the children safe.

And that brings us to Courting Miss Emma, book 2 in this delightful series. Emma is happy running the orphanage; the children are everything to her and Heaven’s Door is a haven for lost souls. She doesn’t expect the great love Maura has, but then Stone Landry buys the property next to theirs. He’s infuriating - opinionated, sharp, rude – and Emma gives as good as she gets. He’s an ex-Army man who just wants to be left alone. Yet there is something about this woman who is like no other. She’s infuriating, but also strong, independent, resourceful, dedicated, determined, loyal – and beautiful. Stirs something in him he never expected. And those little flutters and twinges she feels around him? Surely they can’t mean anything. No man is ever going to want her once he learns she is a hangman’s daughter.

Stone and Emma are thrown together when someone wants to take their lands by any means possible. They must protect the children, the land, each other. Respect and admiration grow and maybe more. Maybe a lot more.

Courting Miss Emma has everything. Characters we loved from book 1 are back. As are the townspeople who still don’t want Emma and Maura around. You might think Texas would be an open, mind-your-own-business place, but it is astonishing how cruel the townsfolk can be, both physically and emotionally, to the children as well as the adults. Throw in the rancher who wants to take over the land and you have an exciting fast-paced tale full of danger, help from unexpected places, and surprising events at every turn. Broday’s meticulous research provides a picture of Texas in 1868 that is fascinating. Add in Stone’s camels (yes, camels) and Emma’s ridiculously funny quotes she imagines might be appropriate for her tombstone and you have an entertaining, sweet, suspenseful, wonderfully satisfied read. Bonus: a couple of characters and budding relationships that fan the flames of hope for more books in this series.

Thanks to the author and Severn House for providing an advance copy of Courting Miss Emma via NetGalley. I loved this book as much as I love everything this author writes. I can’t wait to see if there will be a book 3 in the series. I voluntarily leave this review; all opinions are my own.

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This was an exciting and suspenseful book by one of my favorite authors. Ms Broday writes so much in her western stories which held my interest from first chapter and never let go. The characters were fully developed with thoughts and feelings of their own. Even though this is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone.
Emma Taggart is a daughter of a famous hangman who was run out of a town because of her father.
She and her sisters took along children who had no parents to establish a orphanage at a old mission. They find nuns willing to help and giving them a place of safety. But there is always someone who wants the land and will take whatever measures to acquire it.
When their next door neighbor brings back a child snooping on his land, he tells the woman to keep them away. His name is Stone Landry, who is a handsome bachelor with a gruff demeanor. With a rocky start, Stone and Emma come to terms with each other. There is an attraction that blossoms and Stone finds that courting a female like Emma will take all his concentration. His love for Emma is true and hoping for a happy ever after is the key.
I appreciate Net Galley for this ARC title in which I gave an honest review.

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Land disputes, lots of shootouts, camel, and a new sister add a lot of drama to this second book of the hangman"s daughters series.

Stone Landry buys the land next to the orphanage and definitely ruffles Miss Emma's feathers a bit. Before too long, riders keep coming to try to take both of their lands by force.

Emma, just like her sister Maura thinks that no one can love a hangman daughter, but Stone works his way into her heart. They are both tough as nails and will defend their home and eachother no matter the cost.

Even with all of the drama defending the orphanage, there are some lighter moments with the children and Stone's crazy camels. The constant action kept me interested and some new characters entered to set up the next book. Maura and Emma got to meet their younger sister Callista. She is definitely different is all I'll say.

This book could be read by itself, but it was nice getting a little bit of continuation of Maura's story from the first book. This book took me to the wild west with some family perseverance and love.

Thank you to Severn and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ARC for my honest review.

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I just finished reading Courting Miss Emma by Linda Broday and it was my first time reading this author. The story of Emma Taggart, a determined woman who runs "Heaven's Door" orphanage just west of San Antonio, Texas in 1868 with her sister Maura. With the help of three France nuns, Uncle Max and a 17-year-old girl. they all care for the town's orphan children giving them to love and home that desperately need at their young ages. Although this is book 2 in a series, it can be read as a standalone. Emma, the younger Taggart sister, is known for her stubborn and cautious nature, due to her past, and is dedicated to running the orphanage and providing love to the children in her care.

When one of the little boys goes missing, she meets Stone Landry, a guarded ex-army man who is their new neighbour. Emma and Stone butt heads and sparks fly between them. When trouble comes their way again, their connection is tested by violent raids and a powerful rancher, Zeke Parker. Emma must find the courage to trust Stone to save the lives of the children she loves and others who live at the orphanage.

Stone, on the other hand, has his own issues. After just recently leaving the army, he and his three camels come to find a new home. He is not happy that next door is an orphanage because he isn't keen on starting a family and does not want the children on his property. But he will soon find his own child to help when he seeks employees to work on building a rock wall to keep the orphans out.

This suspenseful and gripping story is entertaining from the start and has great banter between the two main characters. It is action-packed, and the great side characters add to the story as they all join forces to defend their homes, adding thrilling action to the story.

I was completely captivated by the story and found the author's writing style to be wonderful. Although I didn't read the first book in the series, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything by reading this one first. However, I usually prefer to start from the beginning of a series to fully immerse myself in the genre and the characters.

The series seems to have a clear direction, which makes me eager to read the next book. I fell in love with all the characters in this story and I'm hoping they will all get their happily ever after. Overall, it was an enjoyable reading experience.

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I'm sad to say this did not work for me. I liked "Winning Maura's Heart" much better. I wanted to see a similar dynamic here but there was too much action. Our couple kept being interrupted and only interacted in very small doses. I was also not a big fan of the plot of this book.
I knew going in this is a clean romance (which is perfectly fine). But I missed seeing that undeniable chemistry I found in book 1. It wasn't bad, but it was tepid; at least in my opinion.

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

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In Linda Broday's Courting Miss Emma, set in 1868 Texas, the story revolves around Emma Taggart, who runs the Heaven's Door orphanage and Stone Landry, her enigmatic ex-army neighbor with camels. Emma's challenging past and Stone's guarded nature make for engaging banter in their initial encounters. The characters, including the children in Emma's care, are well-crafted, contributing depth to the story. As they face threats from the antagonist, Zeke Parker, a gripping land war unfolds, blending action, romance, and suspense seamlessly. Linda Broday's descriptive talents bring the Old West to life, making readers feel a part of the setting. Courting Miss Emma offers a unique blend of historical flavor, romance, and thrilling action, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.

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