Posts Tagged ‘Western Setting’

(Hot Cowboy Nights, #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Blurb:

In rural Montana…

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…


The wide open spaces of Montana’s ranching country are a long way from the decadence of Georgian England but Victoria Vane has made an impressive entry into the world of Contemporary Western Romance with the first book in her Hot Cowboy Nights series.


Wade –

What can I say about Wade? One word comes to mind—totally irresistable! Handsome, old fashioned, charming, attentive, generous, kind and sexy – who wouldn’t fall for him. Those crystal blue eyes, the disarmingly boyish grin and the cute dimple on his chin only added to his appeal.

He is so self-sacrificing as well…not only a successful lawyer but also working tirelessly to keep the Flying K family cattle ranch afloat when he really wants is to cut loose and live his own life.

I knew there must be something more to cause such bad blood between Wade and his older brother, Dirk, other than their feud over the sale of the ranch.

Nikki –

Nikki came from a dysfunctional family and learned to be self-sufficient. She likes to be in control of her life and hates feeling helpless or having to rely on others.

After several bad experiences, she has a deep distrust of cowboys whom she views as ‘notoriously unreliable, generally unfaithful and rarely capable of settling down’. She refuses to let her emotions overrule her good sense ever again.

She is also coping with her changing feelings towards the father she hardly knew and the scene in her father’s cabin, where she finds his letters, is very moving.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Wade and Nikki positively sizzles. I love their verbal sparring:

Wade spun towards his office. ”Help yourself to the phone and anything else while I get cleaned up.” He paused again on the threshold. “Of course, you’re welcome to use my office if you need greater privacy.” He added over his shoulder with a look of devilment. “Or in the event any wild impulse overtakes you while I shower.”

He went to work on his shirt button. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that made her hands itch to rip it off him. She averted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear , cowboy, “ Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her.” “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.

“Did you now?” He still stood in the doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

Of course, Nikki’s mistrust of cowboys causes conflict between them and I did get a little frustrated that it took her so long to realise that Wade was the real thing and worth grabbing and keeping! I loved the fact that Wade was sure that Nikki was the one for him and he was always there for her.

There are two deliciously wicked scenes that were most memorable…one where Nikki gets Wade all aroused with her suggestive talk about peaches and cream and another where the discussion about bulls and cows takes on obvious sexual connotations.

HOLY SMOKE! Ms Vane certainly knows how to write scorching hot love scenes. I felt sure my iPad was going to melt on more than one occasion!

I was intrigued by Wade’s brother, Dirk…a man bearing a lot of scars both physical and emotional. I’m anticipating that his story in ROUGH RIDER is going to be full of angst.

Ms Vane ‘s descriptive writing enabled me to visualise the sweeping beauty of the Montana ranching country and I also appreciated the elements of realism she brings to the story, highlighting the daily struggles of the ranching community.

What did I think of Ms Vane’s venture in the world of Contemporary Western Romance?

Bring on those hot cowboys!



Read November 2014


Hot Cowboy Nights series so far (click on cover for more details)
Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, #1) by Victoria Vane Rough Rider (Hot Cowboy Nights, #2) by Victoria Vane – 3 February 2015


** I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via NetGalley in return for an honest review.**




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(Comanche, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Cover Blurb:

Handsome, strong, and just a little bit dangerous, half-Comanche Chase Wolf is used to getting what he wants. So when he sees Franny — a golden-haired angel with deep green eyes, delicate features, and the sweetest smile — he sets out to make her his. But far from the innocent she seems, Franny is the local “unfortunate,” who services men above the Lucky Nugget salon. The shocking truth sends Chase reeling.

Long ago, circumstance forced Franny to make a terrible choice in order to provide for those she holds dearest. Now she lives a secret double life — respectable in one world, shunned in another — always fearful of discovery, forever marked by shame.

But Chase’s love for Franny is persistent and patient and knows no bounds. He offers her a life she longs to claim but believes she can’t possibly deserve. Franny tries to resist Chase, but he won’t listen to reason, and he won’t stop trying until her defenses have fallen, her heart is healed, and their love has triumphed


I loved this book! Catherine Anderson really tugged at my heart strings with this beautiful and deeply moving story of sorrow and heartache but also compassion, understanding, love and redemption. Ms Anderson always impresses me with the emotional depth of her writing and her ability to draw me into the lives of her characters and make me care deeply about them.


What struck Chase was how sweet and innocent she looked, the kind who made a man want to fight mountain lions for her and win.

A prostitute as a heroine shouldn’t work on many levels but Ms Anderson made Franny such a unique and sympathetic character that my heart ached for her.  I didn’t see her as she sees herself – a lost soul and soiled – I saw a lovely, sweet, innocent, warm person who had selflessly sacrificed so much for those she loved. She needed someone who could love her and prove to her that she was worthy of being loved. Chase was just that person.


She had known lots of men, but none had made her feel like this, as if she had been waiting all her life to set eyes on him.

I lost my heart to Chase.  His hero status is a bit shaky at first…

“Stay away from my sister and her kids. The last thing she needs is a tarnished little whore playing on her sympathy and messing up her life.”

but, with a little wisdom from his father, he soon becomes a wonderful hero who is kind, patient and compassionate, willing to love Franny unconditionally. I sighed when he told her:

“You are one in a million. Beautiful, sweet, desirable. Being with you makes me feel ten feet tall.”

I was so proud when he confronts Franny’s  self-centred family with some hard home truths.

The romance is handled with sensitivity and the scene where Chase finally makes love to Franny is both beautiful and sensual.

I love Chase’s wonderful parents; his full-blooded Comanche father, Hunter – purer of heart and noble to his bone – and his mother, Loretta – with a heart the size of Texas. Hunter follows the old ways and he imparts so many pearls of wisdom.

“The standards you set—only a saint could live by them, and I’m no saint. Not anything close.”

“They are a map I drew for you, Chase, nothing more. I tried to mark the way clearly, but as with all maps, there is more than one route. You must choose the way you will go.” (Hunter to Chase)

“Around here, no one will trip you, so you need not watch your feet. If you stumble, one of us will catch you from falling. So look up, yes? The best things in life are ahead of you, daughter. If you hang your head, you may miss them.” (Hunter to Franny)

I love how the whole Wolf family are willing to embrace Franny and accept her without hesitation.

The Epilogue left me with a deep sigh of satisfaction and a few tears.

This is the final book in Ms Anderson’s outstanding Comanche series and a story that really touches the heart. This is a series not to be missed.



Read March 2014

Comanche series (click on book covers for more details):

Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1) Comanche Heart (Comanche #2) Indigo Blue (Comanche, #3) Comanche Magic (Comanche, #4)



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She was his brother’s wife…

Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn’t Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas’s brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought Dallas’s letters made Texas sound like heaven, a place for her dreams to grow with the right man beside her.

And his only love…

By all appearances, Houston Leigh would hardly be considered the “right man.” The war he survived had scarred him inside and out, and he was little competition for his handsome brother. But from the moment Houston met Amelia, he knew she possessed the courage this wild land needed. She had eyes that could see past his wounded face to his soul. And he would fight any man—except his brother—for her heart. Now he and Amelia were riding down dangerous trails, sleeping under the stars, and God help them, they were falling in love.


Occasionally, a book comes along that has such an emotional impact, I find myself thinking about it long after I’ve finished reading it. This beautiful and poignant love story, is definitely one such book.

I absolutely loved Houston and Amelia! How could I not fall for such a vulnerable, tender, tortured hero or adore such a beautiful, sweet, compassionate heroine? They’re just meant to be together!

I loved watching their relationship slowly change as they drew closer to each other. It was easy to believe that they would fall in love when Amelia’s beauty, warmth, and courage captivate Houston:

That sparkle that lit up her eyes was enough to blind a man. And her smile. Her laughter. Dear God, but a man could start to believe in heaven and angels and an eternity of peace.

and Amelia comes to recognize the tender man hidden beneath Houston’s surly exterior.

“You don’t see the man you’ve become, you only see the boy you were.”

Ms Heath brings all the discomforts and dangers of the journey to vivid life. I felt that I was sharing all the hardships with Houston and Amelia.

Both have suffered the horrors of war but have chosen to deal with them in different ways. Houston has retreated into himself, any dreams he had for his future destroyed on the battlefield all those years ago. It’s hard to believe he was only fifteen years old when he suffered the terrible injuries that changed his life forever but this really brought it home to me:

…Houston had never had the opportunity to shave his whole face; he’d never flirted with girls, wooed women, or danced through the night. He’d never loved.

Amelia has tried to put all the terrible memories behind her by being cheerful and optimistic. I love how she always tries to find something to be grateful for in any situation. She’s courageous in taking a chance on marrying a man she has never met to fulfill her dreams of marriage and a family. She makes Houston realize that raising horses is his dream, a dream he has never before acknowledged.

My heart broke for him when Houston has to hand over the woman he loves to his brother. He knows he’s honour bound to accept Dallas’s prior claim on Amelia. He truly wants what’s best for her and knows that Dallas can give her everything he can’t. Although I knew there would be a happy ending for Houston and Amelia, Ms Heath still managed to keep me on tenterhooks at the very end.

The only other main characters are Houston’s brothers, Dallas and Austin. Dallas seems such a cold fish, completely obsessed with building a ranching empire and having a son to share it with. I imagined his wife coming second to his ambitions. Austin is the youngest brother and provides some amusing moments when he keeps using inappropriate language around Amelia and is constantly admonished by his older brothers.

I’m looking forward to reading Texas Glory (Dallas) and Texas Splendor (Austin).

TEXAS DESTINY is an unforgettable love story with a hero and heroine who will melt your heart.

RATING: ★★★★★

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Torn between the white and Comanche worlds of her parents, Indigo Wolf has grown up estranged from the townspeople of Wolf’s Landing, Orgeon. No one understands her elusive spirit-until Jake Rand comes to town to act as foreman of her family’s ranch. But Jake’s real motives are as secret as his true identity, and as personal as his growing attraction to Indigo.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it didn’t quite have the same emotional impact as the previous two books in the series, Comanche Moon and Comanche Heart. Once again, Catherine Anderson transported me back to 1885, to the mining town of Wolf’s Landing and into the world of Hunter and Loretta Wolf and their daughter, Indigo, the heroine of this book.

This book explores the growing relationship between Indigo and Jake with all its emotional turmoil and Catherine Anderson is so adept at drawing you into the lives of her characters and making you really care about them.

A terrible experience when Indigo was younger has left her with a deep distrust and fear of white men in general. Things she’s heard about how a white man treats an Indian wife do nothing to reassure her.

Given the circumstances, I can fully understand Indigo’s initial horror at having to marry Jake. After all, he’s a virtual stranger and a white man, two good reasons for distrusting him! Fearful for her safety, after further incidents at the mine, Jake forbids her to go to the mine or to go anywhere on her own. In Indigo’s eyes, Jake’s actions only serve to reinforce her opinions of him; she has become a virtual prisoner:

All the things she had always counted on had been snatched away, Lobo, the support of her parents, the home where she’d grown up, the mine, and her mountains. Even her name was different. Not Indigo Wolf anymore, but Indigo Rand. She felt like a cup that had been drained and left empty.

I think this shows a stubborn streak in Indigo and also a certain amount of immaturity because she’s not willing to see that her safety is Jake’s only concern.

Jake treats her with nothing but kindness, gentleness and patience and so I was frustrated with Indigo’s continuing antagonistic attitude towards him. It’s only when Indigo finally opens her heart to Jake that I realised just how deeply her past experiences had coloured her outlook on life and why she found it so difficult to trust Jake.

I liked Jake from the start because of his concern for those people affected by his father’s actions and his intention to go to Wolf’s Landing personally to investigate. He’s a man with a conscience.

His relationship with Indigo is complex. He is attracted to her from the beginning but won’t act on it because he feels guilty about lusting after his host’s daughter. Not to mention that he considers himself much too old for her. She is very different from the ladies in Portland and he is fascinated by her and when he offers to marry Indigo to protect her reputation, he’s not just being honourable:

If he were brutally honest, he had to admit that the thought of marrying her wasn’t totally repugnant. She appealed to him in a way he couldn’t define. He could almost taste how sweet her dusky-rose lips would be, how silken her skin. A man could suffer far worse fates.

Jake’s very patient with Indigo, always considering her feelings, even when it comes to consummating the marriage. I wasn’t surprised when he eventually loses patience with her and vents all his frustrations but this proves to be the catalyst for them to admit their love for each other. The consummation scene comes towards the end of the book but it is so beautiful and poignant that the paucity of love scenes didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book.

There are some funny moments in the book which had me giggling to myself particularly when Father O’Grady is talking to Jake about Indigo’s confession and when Indigo asks the local prostitute, Franny, for advice about her wedding night!

Although the action only forms a background to the love story, there is a nail-biting climax which will have you on the edge of your seat.

VERDICT: Catherine Anderson has again crafted a beautiful and tender love story

RATING : ★★★★★

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Years ago, Amy Masters escaped the Texas plains for a quiet life as a teacher in Oregon. Then, out of the shadows comes Swift Antelope, the Comanche warrior to whom she once pledged her heart. But Amy’s brutal past has made it impossible for her to trust any man-even the bold warrior who has haunted her dreams, the only man she ever loved, the Comanche heart she can’t live without…


This is a powerful and beautiful love story with a tremendous emotional impact. It’s a book that stayed with me long after I had finished reading it.

I really felt for Swift when he constantly tried to regain Amy’s trust with such determination and patience only to suffer her scorn and constant rejection. The scene where he is humiliated in front of a classroom of children is truly heart-rending. I couldn’t understand, at first, why he would put himself through all this. Later it is apparent that building a new life in Wolf’s Landing with Amy is his last chance to escape his past which he knows will ultimately mean his death at the hands of someone who is faster on the draw –

“Do you think I rode two thousand miles on a whim? I was running, dammit, running for my life!”

I love the way he tells Amy how much he loves her and wants her:

“That’s an L, as in love, and I love you more than I’ll ever be able to tell you with words. I want to tell you in other ways. In the way I kiss you. In the way I touch you. In the way I hold you. Won’t you let me say it my way, just once?”

So romantic!!

When he discovers the terrible secret Amy has been keeping buried for so many years, he is willing to leave rather than cause her any more pain, knowing the possible consequences for him. This is where I really fell in love with Swift’s character because he is willing to make such a great sacrifice for her.

I felt for Amy because of all she had suffered but I was so annoyed with the way she constantly spurned Swift. I wanted her to see beyond his outer appearance and recognise he was still the Swift she knew and loved and trust him enough to take a chance. Once I learned the shameful secret she’d been hiding from everyone, her reactions to Swift and what he represented made sense.

When Swift tells her he’s leaving, I could feel the turmoil Amy is going through – this is what she wants but, without him, her life will be empty. It’s such an emotional scene when Swift sees her running after him and she finally admits she loves him and wants him to stay. The love scene where Swift first makes love to Amy is so beautiful and sensual, a testament to Catherine Anderson’s wonderful writing.

There are some really very funny scenes in the book which help to relieve the tension. I particularly enjoyed the one where Amy is trying to evade Swift and climbs out of her kitchen window, only to get stuck half way. The dialogue between the two had me laughing out loud.

Catherine Anderson really impressed me with the emotional depth of her writing and I could fill a notebook with all the memorable quotes. I cannot recommend this book enough and it is definitely a keeper for me.



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Caitlin O’Shannessy’s late father left her with many things: a Colorado ranch, enduring memories of pain and sadness, an unshakable mistrust of men … and an adversary.

Ace Keegan has returned to No Name, too late to enact a rightful vengeance on his most hated enemy. The man who put a hole in Ace’s life is dead, leaving a daughter behind to run the family enterprise. Though proud and strong as well as beautiful, Caitlin is caught off guard when Ace’s calculated anger inadvertently destroys her good name. But Ace Keegan is a man of honor, determined to make amends by marrying the enchanting lady he wronged — and to nurture patience and love the light she guards in her damage heart until it blazes with the power of a thousand suns.


Colorado Territory

I loved this book! It’s a beautifully written and deeply moving story of two emotionally scarred people finding lasting happiness through the healing power of love. Classic Catherine Anderson!

Ace really made this book for me. He’s the perfect hero; under that tough exterior is a tender, sweet, caring man. He treats Caitlin with such patience and sensitivity when he attempts to woo her and gain her trust. I loved all the things he was willing to do like putting up with Caitlin’s cat, Lucky, and its antics, simply because she loves the cat so much. He even buys some lighter coloured clothes so that the cat hairs won’t show up so much! How could you resist a man like that? So I was starting to get frustrated by Caitlin’s continued refusal to trust Ace until the full extent of her father’s betrayal was revealed. It was easy then to understand why her deep-seated fear and distrust of men would not go away overnight.

There were so many moving and evocative moments in this book but I found this one so powerful.

He fished through the satchel for the rest of the doll, locating its parts, piece by piece. As he laid them all out on the floor, his skin turned icy.
Ace stared down at the pieces. No child could have done damage like this. The doll’s cloth body had been completely dismembered, and with such violent force that chunks of its torso had been ripped away.
A scalding sensation washed over his eyes. He returned the dismembered doll to the satchel. Without Catlin’s confiding in him, he might never know the story behind the doll’s destruction, but he could certainly guess. Her father. Ace curled his hands into tight fists.
Such savagery…
It was frightening and chillingly significant. Ace could only wonder what kind of childhood the girl must have had.

The scenes between Ace and his half-brothers, particularly Joseph, showed the strong family bond that existed. Their dialogue also provided some welcome funny moments. But one of the best scenes involved Caitlin. She is nervous at meeting Ace’s brothers for the first time but completely wins them over with her knowledge about cattle!!

RATING: ★★★★½

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Official Blurb

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she’s stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can’t she?


This passionate and compelling story really drew me in with its emotional intensity, in-depth characterisation, moving romance, vivid imagery and excellent dialogue.

Matty is the perfect hero.  With patience, tenderness and unconditional love, he helps Jezzy to heal.

No matter how she tested his boundaries, no matter what buttons she tried to push, Matty never once wavered. So instead he became her soft place to fall, a treasure to be cherished.

Jezzy is a tormented soul consumed with grief and guilt. Ms Nuest does an excellent job of making you really live Jezzy’s emotions and share her journey to rediscover herself and accept that she is worthy of Matty’s love.

”My beautiful, vulnerable, heartbroken Jezebel.”

I love the part The Reverend plays in Jezzy’s healing process and how Ms Nuest captures their deep connection perfectly.

It knew what she needed, without her having to say a single word. It offered no judgement, no prejudice. The horse didn’t care if her heart was full of shame or anger, if she was filled with guilt or remorse.

The story is beautifully written and what I liked most was the banter between Jezzy and Matty which is so natural and spontaneous.

”You need to go.”
He backed up. ”I know. I know.” He grabbed his shirt from the floor and slid his arms through the sleeves. He came back for another kiss.
“I know!”
“I’m going now!” He kissed her one last time before heading for the door. He paused in the doorway, shrugging into his coat.
“I miss you already.”

The only thing that really irritated me when reading this book was Ms Nuest’s constant reference to Matty’s dimples. I lost count of how many times they were mentioned!


RATING :  ★★★★★

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