Friday, July 27, 2018

Book Review: A Lady of the West

We're back from our mini-vacation! We went to the Wisconsin Dells to Great Wolf Lodge again just for a couple of days and it was just really nice. I'll have pictures and a wrap up of that next week. In the meantime I have another Linda Howard book review and now I only have four books left in my pile. I still need to buy eleven more of her books to complete my collection but that might have to wait because of bills and grown up stuff. Sigh.

A Lady of the West - Linda Howard
Victoria Waverly, noble daughter of the war-ruined South, is sold in marriage to a ruthless rancher. Honor and pride help her endure life as a wife in name only but nothing can quench her forbidden desire for hired gunman Jake Roper. His gaze is hard, but tenderness he can't hide promises to unveil to Victoria the mysteries of love.
Only true love can destroy....
Jake curses his burning need for Victoria, for he wants nothing to stand in the way of his drive to reclaim Sarratt's Kingdom -- the ranch that is his legacy and obsession. But ancient wrongs and blazing passions will bind together the aristocratic beauty and the powerful cowboy. In a bloody land war, they will fight for Jake's birthright...and seize at all costs the love that is their destiny.
I have to be upfront and tell you that a western romance generally is not my cup of tea. Give me a western romance set when the United States was still divided into territories and I'm even less interested. But this is a Linda Howard, I'm determined to read (and own) all of her books so this one made it to the top of my pile so I gave it a chance.

And I unexpectedly loved it. I absolutely could not get enough and I kept thinking about this characters long after I had finished!

This book centers around Victoria, who was sold by her family to wed Major McLain, and Jake, who is sneaking around in order to take back Sarratt's Kingdom from McLain. Jake is working as a hired gun for the ranch and as soon as he sees Victoria he knows that his carefully laid out plans now have a wrinkle. Victoria has brought her sister Celia and cousin Emma to the ranch as well and the three aristocratic ladies band together to make the best of a not so great situation. Soon Victoria begins to feel an attraction to Jake and she feels disloyal to her new husband but it's clear he doesn't actually care about her, he just wants the status of having married a real lady.

The book is divided into two stories, kind of. We have the before, where Jake is trying to get the ranch back, and the after, where Jake has the ranch- a whole new set of drama plays out.

I totally loved this book. It was a bit of a slow start for me but by the time I was a quarter of the way in I was sold and hooked, I couldn't put it down. I kept thinking about these characters and the story long after I had finished and I wanted more. The characters are great and full of angst and misunderstandings, probably a common thing back then, and I just really enjoyed it. It's different than what Linda Howard normally writes and I appreciated that.


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