Groom For Hire by Ruth Ann Nordin
When Joe Otto accepted the job to lead a wagon train to California, the last thing he expected was to be asked to marry Mr. Heller’s daughter. Still pining over the one that got away, he’s not sure he has it in him to open his heart to another woman. Mr. Heller assures him the arrangement will only be temporary. Once Joe delivers her to her aunt and uncle in California, he can annul the marriage. Joe can use the money, and besides, it’s only a temporary arrangement. She won’t be his wife for the rest of his life. Reassured by this logic, he agrees to the marriage contract.
Michelle Heller knows the only way she’s going on the wagon train is if she has a husband, so she readily accepts the deal her father makes with Joe. What she doesn’t expect, however, is that her new husband is the most attractive young man she’s ever seen. Over and over, she has to remind herself their marriage isn’t real. It’s only borne of necessity. But as the days pass on the trail, it’s harder to remember their marriage is only on paper, and it seems the two are at odds as to what they want this marriage to be.