They Ain't Proper

by M.B. Guel

1880s, The Wild West.

An easy, solitary life on the outskirts of Ghosthallow is all Lou Ramirez wants. They want to buy some house plans, build a home, and live their quiet life far from townsfolk’s prying eyes. But somehow instead of house plans, a housewife is delivered to their door.

Clementine Castellanos desperately needs a way out from under her family debt, and it seems as though selling her services as a wife is the only way to do it. Expecting a rough, harsh man to be her new husband, Clementine is pleasantly surprised to instead be dropped off at the ranch of an equally surprised Lou.

Lou would rather Clementine leave them to their lonely existence, but Clementine is too charmed by the quiet and mysterious rancher to give up. She may have come into Lou’s life easily, but she certainly isn’t planning to leave that way. Undeterred by Lou’s prickly demeanor, Clementine is determined to get her reluctant spouse to open up to her.

When the past comes back to haunt the pair, the fight for their independence—and their love—may become more deadly than either of them ever expected.



In stock



Genre Historical Romance
Length 298 pages
Publication Date May 18, 2023
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642474824
Editor Ann Roberts
Cover Designer Ally Baldwin



"Amelio Robles Ávila fought in the Mexican Revolution and is thought to be one of the first transgender people in recorded Latin American history. He threatened anyone who misgendered him with his pistols and lived out his life happily as Amelio despite being born under a different name. He isn't the only person who “cross dressed” or lived their life hidden behind the clothes of the gender they weren’t assigned at birth. Even the minimum history we have mentions several instances of women joining the army dressed as men in nearly every war.

My mind began to spin with the possibilities of all the people who lived out their lives as their true selves but were erased from history. All of the people who loved and thrived but we’re told they never existed.

I couldn’t let go of the idea, and thus Lou the Mexican genderqueer rancher was born. I wanted to gift myself the queer Latinx Old West love story I craved and knew others would love. Hopefully through this fictional story people can see themselves as the hero, not just the villain stereotype. And maybe the ghost of a trans person who didn’t get to celebrate their love story with the world will be given a voice."

—M.B. Guel

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