Deadly by Sylvia McDaniel #Review

Deadly by Sylvia McDaniel #ReviewDeadly by Sylvia McDaniel

Series: #1 Lipstick and Lead
on November 7, 2014
Pages: 301
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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three-stars  

I had read the author’s trilogy, Cuvier Widows, and loved them so I was happy to pick up another book set in the past. This time the excitement happens west of the Mississippi and involves three strong, feisty and determined sisters who have turned bounty hunter to help save the family farm and earn them a livelihood. Light kitchy western dialogue and world building with scorching hot passion and a terrible hard choice sum up this story.

This is the first book in the series and of course the reader can start here, but I felt like I was stepping into an already established story. I was curious so I checked and indeed, there is a prequel novella that gets things started for the sisters that name their bounty hunting enterprise, Lipsticks and Lead.

The story opens with oldest sister, Meg and her sister, Ruby, getting set to bag their latest bounty, a man wanted for murder dead or alive. They’re doing fine until Sheriff Zach Gillespie shows up and takes their prisoner while also exacting a bit of revenge on Meg for her stunt of dragging him out of the bath, tying him up and leaving him naked in the center of Main Street. Meg lost her temper over Zach’s hurtful comment about a woman who would wear pants and now she is fuming again. Ruby begs her to be cautious, but Meg is now determined to thwart Zach and get her bounty money. Zach’s actions make her wonder if there is more to this than just petty revenge against her especially when he and that prisoner aren’t on their way to the closest jail cell.

Zach is risking everything including his reputation and job to fulfill a promise. He takes Simon from the McKenzie sisters and heads out to leave Simon in a safe place while he investigates the truth. If Simon is guilty then he will face the law, but Zach is entrusted to prove his innocence. Meanwhile he must play cat and mouse with the wild fury that is Meg. He was all set to marry her and he loves her still, but she can’t stand him after he made that comment about preferring his women in dresses. Her involvement complicates things as does the real possibility that he won’t be able to prove Simon innocent. Zach knows he has a tough decision to make and it will have to be soon.

From the beginning, this one struck me as a story that one couldn’t take too seriously if it was to be enjoyed. This was just zany and fun. Not one that the reader should pick up it they are looking for a serious western romance that gives attention to the details of setting and culture. There is a western cheesiness to it and Meg is over the top wildcat. The antics of her and Zach run like a romantic comedy in a western setting. The three sisters are all vastly different in personality, abilities and outlook, but they are loyal and strong when working together. It was a nice twist to see lady bounty hunters. The serious part of the story was Zach’s moral dilemma over what he will do if the prisoner Simon is innocent or guilty. Will he honor the law or obligation to a family member?

Zach and Meg are a crack up the way they went about their romance. A night of truth or dare with the whiskey bottle leading to mean hangovers in the morning. Later, they teased and tormented their way into the bedroom for a hot smexy night only to be awoken in the morning at the point of her sisters’ guns. I swear if there were gift registries back then theirs would have tons of rope on the list. They were always leaving each other tied-up to make an escape.

Meg is stubborn and lets her temper get the better of her. She grudges on the fact that Zach criticized her choice to put on pants and take a very non-feminine job. I’m okay with feeling hurt that he publicly put her down especially since she felt she didn’t have any choice. However, she made the comment more than once that the reason she didn’t have a dress was because she couldn’t afford one. They only had enough money for her two sisters to have them so she sacrificed. Um, the gals were close to paying off a mortgage and making hundreds and thousands of dollars on their bounties which totaled ten at this point, surely they can afford a few yards of cotton that was cents on the dollar? There were a few things like this that made me raise my brow, but I set it aside and went with it.

All in all, it was mildly entertaining with lots of sass to make one chuckle a few times. I would recommend it to those who want something lightly engaging with a few people who put the ‘wild’ in Wild West.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • From the beginning, this one struck me as a story that one couldn’t take too seriously if it was to be enjoyed.<< this is what's I feel over a few contemporary romance books. It doesn't have to be serious all the time, its nice to just relax and be entertained once on a while.

    • Exactly, but I always feel the need to warn people in case they’re looking for something else. It was fun and I laughed several times.

  • I am sometimes in the mood for a light hearted read. Looks like this might be the one to read for those occasions.

  • Awesome review as always. Lol! The whole cotton thing is pretty strange it sounds like, but I guess it makes sense. Sounds like a good read for when you dont want anything serious.

    • Yeah, it was just an example of why I said not to take it seriously. It’s just for fun. Thanks, Laney.

  • I do love some sass with my characters. That I think would have had me raising my eyebrow as well on the clothing.

    • Holy cow, these two were full of it! I laughed so hard and enjoyed their antics, but yeah, there were times when the stuff this gal got het up about just didn’t make real sense.

  • Lindy Gomez

    I love humor in a story, but have trouble enjoying one with cheesy humor. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall. Sometimes it’s nice to read a light hearted read where you can smile and chuckle at the characters and their antics.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • This one actually did push the limits of my humor several times when I’d get hung up on the improbable stuff. But it is nice to get a fun, light one in between the heavy hitters.

  • I liked the sound of the characters, I’d have to see about the cheesy humor. I don’t think I ever listened to western romance so I’d would have anything to compare it to, it might be a good thing 🙂
    Great review Sophia!

    • I guess I should say its like a spoofy western though it does have its serious moments. I think this would be like listening to a book in the humor section. I have a snorty laugh so I wouldn’t be able to listen to it in public.

  • I just might have to try this one out…I do like westerns and sounds like it has some good humor too.

    • It was pretty funny. They were constantly trying to one up each other.

  • This sounds like a fun series with how each book is about one sister. Although it would be nice to know about the prequel beforehand. It sounds a bit over the top, but like a good read if you’re not looking for anything too serious. Great review!

    • Yes, I wish I had realized there was a prequel. Some don’t make a difference, but others make you feel like you missed things.

      It was hilarious and was more funny than serious.

  • I love the setting and yeah siblings who are sisters. I dig series that share siblings stories in each book. Thanks for the tid-bit about the prequel.

    • The sisters were some of the best part. I cracked up when her younger sisters burst into his hotel room and threatened to shoot him so she had to come out from under the covers where she was hiding from them.

      Yeah, I think getting the prequel first would have helped me not feel like I was jumping into the middle of something.