Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Gunslinger by Lorraine Heath

No one writes Western Historical Romance like Lorraine Heath!

I had no idea this novella existed as part of a print anthology, and when I saw that it's being re-released in digital format, I was thrilled! Lorraine Heath writes three of my very favorite books, The Texas Trilogy, a Western Historical Romance trilogy that introduced me to the genre and had me clamoring for more just like it.

A hired gun falls for the one woman who's completely wrong for him in this Western romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath.

Chance Wilder never wanted to be a hero. A road-weary gunslinger with a ruthless reputation, he focuses only on his next target—and his next payday. That is, until a young boy offers Chance everything he owns—a piece of string, a harmonica, and a bent penny—if he'll save his sister from a couple of thugs. Chance agrees, only to discover that the beautiful, fierce young woman in need of rescue is actually the very person he's been hunting: his next mark.

But after he saves her, Lillian Madison awakens in him long-buried dreams and possibilities. Facing the demons of his past, Chance is forced to question his next move. Dare he risk everything by following his heart … and trust that the road to redemption begins with Lillian?
My short review...

The Gunslinger isn't part of the Texas Trilogy - that I can recall, but even if it is, this works very well as a stand alone. It's a sweet novella with some shoot-outs, romance, and steam, and it gives me two things - One; the Lorraine Heath Western HR fix I was in need of, and most importantly, two; the hope that since Avon chose to re-release it, I have hope that we Texas Trilogy fangirls will finally get Rawley's much needed story. I can't think of anyone more deserving of a happily ever after than that boy.

Note... A version of this work originally appeared in the print anthology To Tame a Texan, under the title Long Stretch of Lonesome.

My thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this story. In exchange, I'm giving them an honest review.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) by Cora Carmack

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.


All Lined Up is the first in Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series. It’s a New Adult story and because I am not a fan of that genre, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it much. Was I ever wrong!

My review…

My biggest beef with the New Adult genre isn’t so much about the stories themselves but about where I am in my own life and what I want to read. Though I suppose I do fall into the New Adult age group of early 20s to 30s – having been 27 years old for far longer than I want to admit – I just can’t cope with the angst and the drama and the relationship hogwash that seems to go hand in hand with these stories. That said, yes there was some of that here, but there was also something so sweet, so fun, so romantic, so sexy, so inspiring, so, so right about All Lined Up that I couldn’t help but love it!

Dallas and Carson are great characters who stole my heart! They live and love like people who have their hopes and dreams laid out before them, theirs for the taking if they only reach for them, work for them, earn them - because they are those people! How could I not love them?

The bottom line…

The New Adult genre gets a lot of grief from readers but the truth is, it fills a very important niche in romance reading. If you’ve stayed clear of it because you just don’t want the relationship garbage and added angst in your escapism reading, I urge you to give this story a try. In a genre filled with too much of the same old, same old, Cora Carmack is an exciting, fresh voice and her Rusk University series promises to be a winner!

An eARC of All Lined Up was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss, and in return I’m giving them an honest review.