western romance

Review of ‘Moon Over Montana’

Posted on Updated on

Charity McCutcheon went off to Texas, and got herself into a peck of trouble. Y-Knot’s town sheriff, Brandon Crawford, took it upon himself to go from Montana to Texas to rescue her, and after successfully doing so, proposed marriage. Now, back home in Y-Knot, they’re faced with a dilemma; unknown to Charity, Brandon had applied for a job as a deputy U.S. marshal, and he’s received a response to his application. He now has to tell her, and face losing her, or give up on a job he has long dreamed of. In the meantime, Fox Dancing, a Cheyenne woman warrior, half-sister of Charity’s older brother Luke, the outcome of her mother’s time as a captive of the Cheyenne years before, leaves her tribal village to search for her famous half-white brother. When she arrives in Y-Knot, though, it stirs the anti-Indian passions of many local residents, and soon Charity and Fox Dancing find themselves facing mortal peril, peril from which only Brandon and Luke can save them.

Moon Over Montana is the fifth book in Caroline Fyffe’s ‘McCutcheon Family’ series. A combination western adventure and romance, it portrays life in Montana in the late 1880s colorfully and with the skill of a historian. The characters are full of life, and whether bad of good, act in ways that the reader can easily understand. While the book deals extensively with the romance that has blossomed between Charity and Brandon, none of the historical richness or actin is sacrificed in doing so. In fact, their relationship is shown against the backdrop of the times in a way that is both authentic and stirring.

This is a book that will appeal to devotees of both genres, a western full of action and historical color, and a romance that will set your heart to racing.

I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Treasure Me, Cowboy’

Posted on Updated on

Melody Chandler is a history teacher in the elementary school in the small town of Mule Hollow, Texas. Frustrated with having to deal with her drug addict brother, Ty, she decides to get away during the month of July to do historical research. She finds the perfect project on Turner Creek Ranch, where there’s an old stagecoach house containing old journals that might unveil the mystery of the legendary outlaw, Sam Bass. The ranch is owned by the three Turner brothers, Wyatt, Seth, and Cole, with Seth living on and managing the property. Wyatt, the eldest, has made an agreement with Melody to allow her to live in the house for the summer while she does her research, but Seth doesn’t want her or anyone prying into the family’s secrets and disturbing his privacy, so he demands that she leave. Normally shy, Melody, for once, finds the grit to say ‘no!’, setting her on a collision course with the strong-willed Seth.

Surprised and frustrated by her unexpected refusal to comply with his demand, Seth finds himself drawn to her, and when she finds a treasure map, decides to join her in her search for what he thought was a myth, part of Sam Bass’s last big train robbery, which has lain hidden on his ranch for a century. But, before they can deal with the treasure, they must first deal with the feelings that are growing stronger between them, and Melody’s ‘albatross,’ an addict brother who is manipulating her life and getting her to support his addiction.

Treasure Me, Cowboy by Debra Clopton is a western romance novel that introduces small-town West Texas and its colorful inhabitants, with many of the hallmarks of romance novels (without the heaving bosoms and obligatory sex scenes), and a deeply moving story of two people coping with significant changes in their lives. My only complaint was the failure to resolve the issue of the hidden treasure, which I realize was not the main aim of the story, but I’m an adventurer and historian at heart, and it caught my attention. Other than that, though, the story did not disappoint. It had emotions, a bit of adventure, and a lot of small-town humor, which, as someone who grew up in a small Texas town, I could readily identify with.

You don’t have to be a fan of the romance genre to like this book.

I liked it, but the number of unresolved issues, beyond Melody and Seth’s relationship, forces me to give it only three and a half stars.