Tag Archives: western

Review of “The Queen of Paradise Valley” – Cat Dubie

Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.

Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana’s ranch, back to prove he isn’t the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.

 

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Teresa entered the room, her eyes troubled. “Signore, what–?”

“I locked her into the room and don’t want anyone to let her out.”

Si. She is angry now, but that is good. Anger can be overcome. I do not like the way she has been these past weeks, a statue without a heart. She will learn you mean her no harm.”

It was the longest meal Del had ever sat through. The key to the bedroom door lay on the table in front of him. He vacillated between rushing up and releasing Diana from the prison of the room, and dropping the key into his pocket and leaving the house. At last he finished the cognac, stubbed out his cigar, and trudged up the stairs. Light showed beneath the door.

He entered the room prepared to be assaulted or to find it in shambles. But she surprised him yet again. She reclined on the bed, her skirt tucked around her legs, and looked at him with eyes as cool and glittering as ice water. He pushed the door shut behind him. Her expression did not change, but her chin rose.  

The length of the room was between them, yet challenge ignited the air: mentally, like telegraphed messages crackling toward each other along the same wire; physically, like speeding locomotives on a collision course.

Someone tapped on the door. As if a switch had been pulled, a collision was thwarted.

Signore–” It was Alfredo, apologetic. “Clem is downstairs. He needs the Signora’s help with the cows.”

She slid from the bed and smoothed her skirt. “Where did you put my shoes?”

Del rubbed his chin. He had veered onto a detour while she continued on at full speed.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Money and the thirst for power cause many people to go off the rails, no matter the time period. In The Queen of Paradise Valley, readers will go on a journey featuring murder, mayhem, and misunderstandings.

From the very start, Diana and Del’s lives are turned upside down by treachery. Things only become more stressful when multiple people conspire to take everything away from them. Of course, you know things will work out for them. However, their happily ever after was not an easy road to travel down. 

Kidnappings, attempted murder, murder, fires, and even a run in with Baldface (bear) kept The Queen of Paradise Valley moving along in a steady pace. Whether Diana and Del were facing obstacles from dastardly outsiders or battling each other at home, quiet moments were few and far between. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

 

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Cat Dubie believes she was destined to write. Her love of words began early – she was making rhymes soon after learning to talk. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn’t let her sleep.

She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.

After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love …

 

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Review of “The Devil’s Own Desperado” – Lynda J. Cox

 

 

He’s everything she fears… Wounded gunfighter Colt Evans stumbles onto a remote homestead never expecting to find compassion. But beautiful Amelia McCollister is like no other woman. Suddenly, his dream of settling down with a wife and home is within reach–but only if his past never comes gunning for him. She’s everything he dreams of… Amelia had to grow up fast after outlaws murdered her parents, leaving her to raise her siblings alone. With a young brother who idolizes shootists, she dreads having a notorious gunman in her home. But as Colt slowly recovers, he reveals a caring nature under his tough exterior that Amelia can’t resist. Just when Colt starts to believe he can leave the gunfighter life behind, his past returns, bringing danger to them all. Can a shootist ever hang up his hardware? Or will their dreams disappear in the smoke of a desperado’s gun?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 

No matter if it’s 2016 or 1887, you never can escape your past. Some how, some way, it will rear its ugly head. In Colt Evan’s case, his past brought danger in the regards to gun-toting men looking to settle a score.

As you can imagine, with any good historical tale, there instances where men drew guns. One at a card game (beginning of the book) and another towards the end of the book (where past meets present). In both instances, Colt survived both battles. Sure, he might’ve sustained some damage but I didn’t really expect him to come away unscathed. You wouldn’t either, right?

Even though this book some tension filled sections, the rest of the story was mostly filled with tender moments. Amelia and Colt’s stolen kisses and lovemaking could only be described as sweet.

Jenny, Amelia’s sister, was so dang cute. I loved it when she smiled and, as a parent, it tugged on my heart to see her afraid. There was one scene, with her, that reminded me of an unforgettable moment in The Patriot (2000). I’m speaking of tear-jerker involving Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and his daughter, Susan (Skye McCole Bartusiak). For those who’ve seen the hit movie, I think you know which scene I’m thinking about and can get a rough idea where I’m heading with my vague remarks regarding Jenny. 

As for Saul, you can tell he’s going to grow up to be a fine gentlemen because he’s already a sweet young man. 
 

Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
(highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤
 
 
 

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. Her heart has always belonged to cowboys, the wide open spaces, horses, and Lassie. She grew up on a steady diet of cowboy movies, syndicated Westerns, and Lassie.

All of those influences play a role in her life now. She writes western historical romance and raises and shows collies. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.)

She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at Lynda J. Cox. (https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox)
 

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Review of “Seize the Flame” – Lynda J. Cox

 

Jessica Depre’s life is in tatters. She’s on the run, thanks to her abusive husband Robert, who needs to silence her about his criminal escapades and the part he forced her to play in them. When bounty hunter Drake Adams walks into the boarding house where she works, Jessica slips away into the night. Her only hope of surviving and protecting those she loves from her husband’s rage is to vanish forever.

Unable to accept that the only woman he ever loved left him standing at the altar and married another, Drake Adams has given up a good law practice in the Wyoming Territory. If he’s not hunting down bounties, he’s pursuing the bottom of a bottle of bourbon. When Drake learns his former fiancée, Jessica Majors-Depre, has a price on her head, he decides he will collect the reward.

Can the bounty hunter and the bank robber ignite a future from the ashes of their past when they are trapped by a blizzard in a mountain shack or will playing with fire burn them both?


 

 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Treachery, dirty rotten scoundrels, jealousy, lost loves reunited, and an unfortunate encounter with a bear trap….. Seize the Flame had everything you’d want in a western romance book and more. 
 
Two most notable sections of the book (for me): 
 
1.) Everything involving the bear trap. Lynda wrote the scenes so well, so vividly, the reader can almost feel Drake’s pain, hear his screams, and see the determination in Jessica’s eyes to not let him down.  She faced weather, wolves and her abusive husband, all in the name to save Drake; the man she’ll truly love forever. 
 
2.) Stud poker scene. Jessica and Drake had no money so they improvised in a most fun and sensual manner. Winner of each hand kisses the loser, anywhere, and the loser is forbidden to touch while he/she is receiving the kisses. Yes, there were absolutely no losers in this game. The only thing lost was articles of clothing. Mmm! 😉
 
Now for the ending (the epilogue), based off the prologue I didn’t expect it to end as it did. Maybe you won’t either. Only way to know for sure is to buy the book. 🙂
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
(highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤
 

 
 

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. Her heart has always belonged to cowboys, the wide open spaces, horses, and Lassie. She grew up on a steady diet of cowboy movies, syndicated Westerns, and Lassie.


All of those influences play a role in her life now. She writes western historical romance and raises and shows collies. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.)

She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at Lynda J. Cox. (https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox)
 

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Review of “Wilder Hearts: A Western Hearts Novel (Book 2)” – Lilly Gayle

 

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Writing about the outlaw, Jake the Snake, could be the opportunity of a lifetime—if it doesn’t get her killed.

 
When Ellie Wilder takes her sister from their grandfather’s home, she’s determined to put her family back together and write of their adventures. Then she runs into Jacob Harper, a man who resembles Jake the Snake, a notorious outlaw who once rode with Billy the Kid. Is it possible the outlaw who escaped justice has mended his ways? Or is the handsome Mr. Harper now murdering servant girls in Austin? Finding out the truth could be the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime. 


Former Texas Ranger Jake Harper has returned to Texas to help solve the Servant Girl Annihilator murders. But when a similar murder occurs in Harmony, Texas, Jake goes undercover as Jake the Snake to find a connection between the series of brutal murders. Then Ellie Wilder shows up. Her snooping could blow his cover and get her killed, but Ellie soon becomes a bigger threat to his heart than his investigation.

 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Are you a fan of movies such as Young Guns and Tombstone? If so, then this is the book for you. In Wilder Hearts, Lilly drops names like Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and a few other notable westerners in a tale that’ll keep your interest peaked. 
 
In Wilder Hearts, more than one mystery is attempting to be solved; more than one murderer to be caught. Not all the cases were open and shut. However, through the process of finding the Annihilator, two people found love and their HEA. 
 
So if you like sexy lawmen, women who’s attitude are as big as their bosom, then pick up this book. 
 
Word of warning, Lilly pulled no punches with how the victims died. Each victim died brutally. 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

GET YOUR KINDLE COPY TODAY!!

 
 
 
DON’T FORGET TO ALSO CHECK OUT 
Helpless Hearts: A Western Hearts Novel (Book 1)
 
 
Can a former gunslinger find redemption through love?

Former gunslinger Noah Sinclair returned home so he could regain his respectability. Instead of redemption, he finds temptation in Juliana Jeffries—a woman engaged to the man who offered him a job and a second chance. Despite Noah’s loyalty to his boss, Noah’s Helpless Heart still yearns for Juliana—a woman with dreams and ambitions that don’t include a former gunslinger.

Noah stole Juliana’s heart years ago, but then he left town to avenge his father’s death. Now, she dreams of becoming a doctor and she’s obliged to marry Avery, a man with a secret she’s sworn to protect. Noah’s return could test her loyalty, her ambition, and her heart.

 
 
 

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Award Winning Author of paranormal and historical romance:
2015 OKRW International Digital Awards. 2016 Still Moments Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards.

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Review of “Renegade Heart” – Nina Barrett (Interview Included)

 

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As if Vegas didn’t have excitement enough, December brings the National Finals Rodeo to the city. Heading the Imperial Hotel’s participation as a host hotel, Kerstin Hennepin is rushing to a meeting when a fall sends her tumbling into a stranger’s arms and he’s in no hurry to let her go.

Jake Aaron is a troubleshooter for the rodeo Or maybe he’s just plain trouble. Their attraction is instant and one close encounter leads to another, but Jake comes with plenty of questions. True he’s busy handing the offstage antics of rowdy rodeo contestants, but does his job also include romancing a young barrel rider and carrying a concealed weapon?

With the finale of the Finals approaching, Kerstin needs answers. But when her search for the truth reveals more is going on behind the scenes than on the arena floor, she and Jake are squarely in someone’s cross hairs.


Interested?
Below is a sneak peek of Renegade Heart – Let me know what you think.
 Thanx!
 
 

“This way.”
 
It wasn’t a question.
 
Putting an arm around her shoulders, Jake steered her away from the entry to a shadowed alcove behind a pair of oversized ornamental urns. Droplets of water from the fountain misted the air. He pulled her into the dark recess as if it had been placed there for them. Kerstin flinched as the cold of the stone façade penetrated her thin clothing. The afternoon’s warmth was only a memory now. Before she could shiver, he swept her into an embrace. Her legs braced against his, he trailed kisses down her exposed neck.
 
“Jake.”
 
It sounded like she was begging.
 
Was she? Backed against the stone of the Imperial, she was trapped between fire and ice.
 
He captured her head in his hands, his tongue parting her lips.
 
Her breath caught in her throat as she melted into him. The sweetness of his mouth was intoxicating, like drowning in honey.
 
Her hands made their way around him, savoring the tight muscles of his chest and waist. It was December and she was burning up. His thumb flipped the clasp of her bra. Was the Imperial’s director of special events about to be taken up against the wall of the hotel’s entryway? Over the years there’s been similar stories about some of the hotel’s randier guests.
 
Her hands found their way under his suit coat and down his back, feeling the dampness of her shirt. She caught her breath as he cupped her breasts. He was saying something about his room.
 
She jerked her head, staring up at him. Taking both hands, she shoved back against him. Her sudden strength must have caught him off-guard. He took a step back.
 
“Kers . . .”
 
She twisted away as he reached for her.
 
His room? His room?
 
She was at the entrance and inside before the doorman had a chance to open it.
 
His room? Not until Jake Aaron could convince her he wasn’t Ginny Mathieu’s lover and explain why he carried a concealed weapon in a back holster – .40 caliber if she knew her weapons.
 
And she did.
 
PURCHASE LINKS: 
 
 
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 (review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
For those who live the rodeo life or have every been to one, I know you’ll appreciate the attention to detail in Renegade Heart. She illustrated beautifully the hard work it acquires to pull off the rodeo. How much time and effort it takes to keep guests, vendors, competitors, basically everyone happy. For the most part, it appeared to be a 24-7 job but Kerstin did it with style and grace. 
 
For those not familiar with rodeos, Nina explained certain events in a rodeo without it appearing mundane. BTW, if you haven’t seen a rodeo before, check one out. It’s a helluva thing to witness — intense, on the edge of your seat action! Plus, you can’t go wrong with men or women in chaps. For that alone, I’d buy a ticket. 
 
Before I conclude this review, I want to touch a bit on the mystery portion of this western tale. For me, the mystery was boring. It didn’t hold my interest at all. The conclusion of it seemed rushed as well. Actually the last 10 or so pages seemed thrown together because the author needed to ‘wrap it up’. 
 
Hey, at least Jake and Kerstin got to ‘ride off into the sunset’ together and that’s all that matters…. Right?
 
PURCHASE LINKS: 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
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Hi, I’m Nina Barrett. I’ve been a public school teacher, focusing on early childhood education and am having a blast now writing contemporary romances. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was one of those children who loved going to bed at night because you could lie there and make up stories. I’d be out west with Roy and Dale or in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood. It took time and persistence to gain publication. Winning a scholarship to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop gave me a boost and my forthcoming romance Renegade Heart is dedicated to them in appreciation. Musa Publishing released my first book Marriage Made in Haven in June 2012. The Wild Rose Press published Return of the Dixie Deb in December 2013 and A Man to Waste Time On in January 2015. Its sequel Renegade Heart is available April 27th.

I live in Southwest Ohio. My hometown recently was featured on the cover of Ohio magazine. I enjoy traveling – I’ve been to the top of Masada in Israel and the bottom of the great pyramid at Chichen Itza. Advocating for autism research and education is a passion.

I’m on Facebook as nina.barrett.315 and at nina@ninabarrett.net – love to hear from readers and fellow writers!

 

Tell us about your background – have you always been a writer?

(Nina) At least in my head. My mother was a great reader, reading to me nightly and on long car trips – Mother Goose, Thornton Burgess, later introducing me to the classics – Heidi, Treasure Island, Little Women. I finished my first complete story in junior high, an Agatha Christie type mystery, and continued writing through high school. College, marriage and a career in education kept me busy, but I continued writing and submitting manuscripts growing more and more discouraged. Winning a scholarship to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop re-energized me and led to the publication of my Western romance Marriage Made in Haven.

 

What lead to the writing of Renegade Heart?

(Nina) I was intrigued by the excitement and explosive energy of Las Vegas. In my previous release, A Man to Waste Time On, Cinnamon Smith is stunned to realize the general manager of the neighboring Imperial Hotel Casino is the waste of time loser who dated and dumped her sister back in their hometown. And he wants to date her. No way . . . but then securing an order from his hotel might prove salvation for her struggling teashop. And he is so good looking.

Doing research and finding out what goes on behind the scenes of a major Vegas property was so captivating it lead to Renegade Heart and Kristin Hennepin’s adventures when the National Finals Rodeo comes to Vegas and Kristin falls into the arms of a rodeo troubleshooter.

Who are some of your favorite writers?
 
(Nina) Jennifer Crusie, of course. She began by writing category romance for Harlequin while teaching English in a local school system before moving on to being the best selling author she is today. Having taken a class with her at Antioch, I can attest to the fact she is unfailingly supportive and encouraging to neophyte writers.

In historicals – Dorothy Dunnett; for mysteries James Lee Burke and for fun, Kristen Higgins.

What’s coming up for your readers?

(Nina) My work-in-progress, Deep, Dark, Delicious. And Deadly, continues my Vegas trilogy. When candy heiress Sofie Matthew wakes up from her coma in a hospital bed, there’s a strange man staring at her, a murder to be solved and a ring on her finger. What’s the story with that?

 

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