This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on November 26, 2019
It led with a hanging for two people desperate to survive in the hard, gritty frontier of the American West, but then it grew into something more if they were courageous enough to grab hold. Give me a hard fought story full of desperation and survival in the historic West paired with a romance pair that have to grow as individuals and work against a dangerous situation together and I’m pleased as punch.
Ride the High Lonesome opens on a woman dead on her feet happening upon a hanging. Only the man wasn’t dead when the others left and that was their mistake and her chance to survive out in that wild untame land. Kate saves the stranger and reluctantly places her trust in Luke Bowden as they face many dangers. Trust comes as does love though she knows its unrequited because Luke will never trust another woman with his heart again.
Luke came home from the Civil War a burdened man, but ready to pick up with his sweetheart back home only to find her married to his own brother. Feeling betrayed by both, he came west to begin again if he can keep his stake against natural disaster and against the ruthless outlaws roaming the western trails of the high lonesome. Now, he has a hurt woman in his care that is teaching him that not all women are Bonnie. Maybe he can give her a chance if the outlaws he’s after don’t get him first.
This author’s books don’t shy away from setting her stories and describing with authenticity the reality of the hard, desperate life of the American Western Frontier after the war. Her characters are colorful and suited to the times coming from a cross section of people ever moving west looking for a new start- even the outlaws who are also varied with some shades of gray more gentleman than some non-outlaws all the way through true evil needing to be stopped. Her characters have to be strong or learn to be strong to sometimes face all she throws at them from natural elements and bad breaks to gun battles or other desperate fights to live. In this case, the demons of the past for Luke are as tough for him to combat as Kate facing men who want to rape and steal.
I was riveted much of the time though I confess that there were times when one or the other of them was being repetitively introspective over the same internal issues so I skimmed that now and then. I loved them as a couple though their romance stopped and started as external conflicts and personal issues had to be dealt with and for all the conflict, this was relatively angst-free compared to many of her older books. I enjoyed that they were not prim and were quite open with each other even with Luke denying deeper feelings. They worked together and made a great team after that first little stutter-start that had me giggling a bit at Kate’s reaction to Luke seeing her in the all-together.
On a side note, Outlaw Hearts fans will enjoy the Jake Harker cameo with a scene that takes place during his first book. The author has promised this sort of fun cameo with several of her older series characters with each book in this new Outlaw Trail series.
All in all, I was well satisfied with this first in a new exciting western adventure romance series and look forward to each new story flowing from the pen. I can highly recommend this one to western historical romance fans who like spicy romance and gritty action set against an authentic historical backdrop.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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