Calvin McBride can’t imagine settling down with any woman but Josie. Her rough and tumble fearlessness and enjoyment of the ranching lifestyle make her the perfect wife material – which is why her transformation comes as such a shock.
Josie’s worked her last cattle drive between Kansas and Texas. She’s determined to remain in Kansas and become Mrs. Calvin McBride … she just hasn’t informed Calvin of his impending nuptials yet. Normally she’d head straight out to his ranch where she’d wash the trail dust and dirt away but this time she opts to bathe at Birdie’s Room and Board and then get gussied up in fancy ‘girl clothes’ in the hopes of garnering his attention.
Calvin’s none too pleased with Josie’s change of routine. He’s already decided to ask her to marry him but seeing her in a dress and smelling like flowers rather than cattle has him rethinking his plans. He isn’t interested in women’s frippery and he really liked the ‘old’ Josie, so why has she decided to make such a major change in her appearance? Fortunately all is not in vain because Calvin’s brother has some helpful thoughts that may sink into Calvin’s confused mind and save the situation.
It’s not often you read a story in which a woman works a cattle drive. Typically that’s considered a ‘man’s job’ so I found Josie to be quite an interesting character – and I especially loved her reaction to wearing confining women’s garb. Calvin’s aversions to the dramatic changes in Josie are completely understandable and laughable since clothing doesn’t change who she is inside. RANCHER MCBRIDE is a charming historical short story that captures the determined spirit so prevalent in ranchers – both men and women. Lauri Robinson brilliantly brings these characters to life so that readers will be enchanted with Calvin and Josie from the very first page through to the end.