A while back, I read the second book in this series and I had plans to come back and get the rest. Finally, I did and the second wasn’t a one fluke wonder because Sam and Scarlett’s story was as good as the other.
While I did manage to read book two first and I did fine, I can see how getting them in order would be more the thing. Lots of stuff makes better sense now.
The story opens with Sam Kane, the Marshal of Dorado, settled in to watch the bank. A recent army gold shipment is housed there and several banks in that part of Texas had been robbed. He had a twitchy feeling so was not surprised when he saw a light in the bank.
Sam goes into action and surprises seven robbers. Six get away with a portion of the gold and his youngest brother with a posse on their heels. The seventh, however, is in his custody. He was never more surprised when he realizes that he has a fiery, beautiful woman on his hands. A few members of the town call for her blood and it is only Sam that stands between her and a hangman’s noose.
Scarlett is fearful, knowing what can happen if the marshal turns her over to the mob or if they get past him. He has been rather kind considering she is a thief and a prisoner. He is attractive and she is taken by his cool, calm demeanor in the face of everything. He takes her to his family’s ranch where his father, brothers, and the hands can protect her. Scarlett knows her brothers will be back and she worries that someone will be hurt in the process. She doesn’t want the Kanes or her family to be injured so the only thing for it is to get away on her own.
Sam is confused and frustrated by his attraction to the red-haired minx who his family treats as a guest and he is forced to look on as a prisoner. He plans to do what he can to keep her alive, but he needs the gold back along with the rest of the robbers. And then he sees Scarlett do something unbelievable right before she escapes him. Her fear and secrets start to make some sense and complicate things a whole lot more.
I loved the blend of historical western and paranormal romance. There was a gritty aspect to it, but it didn’t go too far toward the violent path. The situation of Sam being a marshal and Scarlett being caught red-handed in a robbery made for an interesting conflict of interest. Just like Scarlett’s dilemma of keeping the family secrets and keeping everyone alive goes up against her desire to be with Sam and stay with him and his family.
The surrounding cast of their families was a huge draw. Sam’s father and brothers are fantastic just as Scarlett’s adoptive father and brothers are equally a bunch of scene-stealers. Definitely want more of those stories and glad to see that the series will include them.
The action came and went and provided some good excitement. I felt it resolved rather quickly, but there were a few good moments there near the end.
The romance was slow-burn yet full of tension and passion. Loved that. It was fun because neither Sam nor Scarlett are good at courtship and their efforts and ignorance made them a cute pair. But though Sam doesn’t have a suave flirtiness, he does know how to sweep a gal off her feet and passionately love her. And he had plenty of help from their brothers both protecting and advising. Oh yum, I want a Kane or Morning Star brother of my own- any will do.
All in all, this was great and I can definitely recommend it and the series.
NOTE: This was free through Amazon and ARe at the time I read this and still might be.
Romance Roundabout #37 HR
Literary Pickers #36 Safe
Mt. TBR #24