THE OUTLAW’S DAUGHTER
HAYWIRE BRIDES, BOOK 3
Western / Historical Fiction / Clean, Wholesome Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: May 26, 2020
Number of Pages: 384
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He may be a Texas Ranger, but he only has eyes for the outlaw’s beautiful daughter . . .
Texas Ranger Matt Taggert is on the trail of a wanted man. He has good reason to believe that Ellie-May’s late husband was involved in a stagecoach robbery, and he’s here to see justice done. But when he arrives in town, he discovers the thief has become a local hero . . . and his beautiful young widow isn’t too happy to see some lawman out to tarnish her family’s newly spotless reputation.
Ellie-May’s shaken by her encounter with the ranger. Having grown up an outlaw’s daughter, she’ll do anything to keep her children safe—and if that means hardening her heart against the handsome lawman’s smiles, then so be it. Because she knows Matt isn’t about to give up his search. He’s out to redeem himself and find proof that Ellie-May’s husband wasn’t the saint everyone claims . . . even if it means losing the love neither expected to discover along the way.
Of all the characters, I think I liked Jesse the most. His determination in wanting to be a Texas ranger, and what he was willing to do to convince Matt of that, was like a persistent fly buzzing around a picnic table. But he was a very endearing persistent fly. I also really liked Matt maybe even a little more than I was drawn to Ellie May, which is probably okay because in a romance the reader is supposed to like the hero a lot. That’s what helps keep the reader engaged, hoping that the heroine will figure out how wonderful the hero is, too. Don’t get me wrong, Ellie May is a great character, and I loved how she was introduced as such a strong woman, facing down the Texas Ranger with her shotgun when she found him in her barn.
The flavor of the west and how hard it was to have a successful farm was very vivid in the story, and my heart ached for Ellie May as she tried to keep her little farm going after her husband died. And I even learned a new old saying, “Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash.” Apparently using whitewash was just an advertisement of how poor a person was and folks were reluctant to make that so obvious. I didn’t know that.
The relationship between Matt and Jesse that brought out Matt’s paternal instincts was touching, yet not sappy, which fit the two characters so well. It also fit men of that time, men who were even more reluctant to talk about emotional things than men today. That made Matt and Jesse very real and believable and I really enjoyed the parts they played in this story.
Some of the plotting was a little thin, and I had to suspend disbelief in a couple of places to accept some of the things that characters did, but it was worth it. I really did want to find out whether Ellie May’s dead husband, Neal, had been the stagecoach robber. Being a robber was in stark contrast to the man who charged into a burning building to save the children, but yet, there were all those clues, and the bag of money. And I certainly wanted to see Roberts, who had purported to be a friend of her late husband but was really part of the stagecoach hold up, get his comeuppance. Unless that involved him telling everyone that Neal had been his partner in the robbery.
I invite you to read this terrific historical novel and meet all these people and find out whether Neal was a good guy or not.
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New York Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than forty-six novels and novellas.
A two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist, Margaret has also written for a TV soap and is a recipient of the Romantic Times Pioneer Award. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth-grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.
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TWO WINNERS each receive signed copies of the first two books in the Haywire Brides series, Cowboy Charm School and The Cowboy Meets His Match Contest runs May 26-June 5, 2020 (US ONLY)
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