The Lieutenant’s Bargain by Regina Jennings
All Hattie Walker wants is a chance to prove herself as a real artist. Longing to paint the luscious landscapes of the Rocky Mountains – and for recognition – she takes a stagecoach to Denver. However, her stagecoach is attacked by gunmen, and Hattie is rescued by friendly Arapaho – but she doesn’t realize they’re friendly.
Lt. Jack Hennessy has made a name for himself in the US Cavalry based in Fort Reno, and he’s put his all into earning the trust of the Native American tribes. When he’s sent to retrieve a rescued woman – who is most definitely not behaving herself – he’s stunned to find himself face-to-face with Hattie, the girl he pined over back at home.
No longer bumbling and scrawny, Jack sees the chance to finally prove himself worthy of the beautiful Hattie, but things go awry. Jack and Hattie strike a bargain to save face, but if he lets her go to fulfill her dreams, he’ll have to abandon his life’s work, his reputation, and the woman he has always loved.
Featuring a charmingly bookish and clueless hero and a clueless-in-her-own way heroine, The Lieutenant’s Bargain is full of Regina Jennings‘s trademark humor. Even better is the character transformation as Jack gains the last bit of confidence he needs and Hattie opens her heart to see beauty and worth where she never had before. I adored this novel and highly recommend it.