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Building Forever*

Courting Not Allowed in Morals Clause

Emma decides to go west and become a Gilbert girl to support her family; her father has recently passed, and her mother is ill, so she cannot work. Gilbert girls work in the dining rooms of the Gilbert hotels. The Gilbert family employees well-brought-up young ladies for these jobs, and there is a strict moral code for the term of the contract: the girls cannot be courted until their contract is up. While Emma will miss her family, she is looking forward to the adventure. Hartley is a builder who has only worked on smaller projects previously but has managed to talk his way into working on one of the bigger Gilbert hotel complexes in Colorado. He and Emma have an almost instant attraction, even though that first interaction has a measure of embarrassment for Emma.

What an enjoyable book! Emma’s kindness and compassion in her desire to help her family pulled me right in. She is plucky and adventurous as well. The writing is easy to follow, and the characters the author has created—especially all the Gilbert girls themselves—are uniquely individual. By making them so three dimensional and distinct, the author has set up the basis for a good series as we follow the life and experience of each of the girls. I like that this book gave a glimpse into what was probably similar to endeavors that actually happened across the west in those early days.

If you enjoy western romance, you will most likely appreciate this well-crafted, clean story.