Monday, October 25, 2021

The Troubleshooters (A Guns of the Vigilantes Western #2)


Title:  The Troubleshooters (A Guns of the Vigilantes Western #2)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages: 342

Year:  2021

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

In the newest novel in the Guns of the Vigilantes series, Dan Caine is up against some of the most ruthless and strange villains since his career in law began!  The novel follows Dan from the moment he meets the infamous Frank James until the end when he once again faces not a damsel in distress, but a ruthless killer!

The residents of Broken Back work hard, trying to save every cent they earn.  When the bank is robbed and a couple of people are killed, Dan Caine forms a posse with the aim of bringing back the money and outlaws to face justice.  Frank James was hired to bring one of the ladies who works at The Brass Buckle back to Missouri, when his plan to do so abruptly changed.

After the first posse ends in defeat, Dan returns to town to form a second posse.  This posse has an interesting mix of an old mountain man, an Italian man on a mission, and a few townies.  But will they all stick with the deputy sheriff through the hell they are about to encounter?

When they set out, Dan has no plans to bring these men back.  Justice on the frontier this time will be swift and without mercy.  Easier said than done as Dan soon learns of a group of women banded together called the Order of the She Wolves.  When the idea of a lycanthrope is first introduced in the tale, it added the aura of mystery and intrigue.

For the most part, I enjoyed reading the book.  Bringing in a true historical figure such as Frank James was brilliant as it drew me into the tale.  So far, there hasn’t been a focus on the main character Dan Caine’s love life though a teaser seems to be there at the end of the story.  There is another installment in the series due out in 2022 titled, Raising Caine, which I look forward to reading.

Readers should note that the novel does include the mention of sapphism without detail.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Undercurrent of Secrets


Title:  Undercurrent of Secrets (Doors to the Past #4)

Author:  Rachel Scott McDaniel

Pages:  256

Year:  2021

Publisher:  Barbour

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

The author sets her tale in the late 1880s and alternates her chapters from then to the current time.  Devyn Asbury is a wedding coordinator aboard the Belle that is docked in Louisville.  Devyn is a computer whiz who just went through a very public as well as humiliating breakup.  In order to have time away from all the fall out and attention, Devyn goes “offline” and lives a very quiet life.

When Devyn’s latest challenge is winning the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, she needs help!  Her boss gives her romantic books to read to help generate ideas and bring Devyn out of her heartbreak.  However, it is when she meets Chase, who helps her with his graphic designs that she just might have a lifeline to save her heart’s desire from sinking.

The intriguing part of the novel is the agreement formed with Devyn helping Chase solve a mystery, and Chase helping with his graphic design for the wedding contest.  But there is more to the mystery that Chase brings, and it ties the Belle, Devyn and Chase together in a way that is exciting and suspenseful!

The story ends up really in a heart-grabbing climactic conclusion, though the start for me was slow.  However, if readers are patient, the ending is so worth the wait!  I love historical fiction because they authors take nuggets of the past and make them come alive in the present!

The Doors to the Past series is a group of books that are connected not by a common thread, plot, or characters, but series in name only.  Each book is written by a different author who takes a piece of history and weaves a compelling tale.  The three previous books are The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman, Hope Between the Pages by Pepper D. Basham and Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse. Right now, Goodreads lists future book titles as Behind Love’s Wall, High-Wire Heartbreak, Love’s Fortress and A Promise Engraved.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Healing of Natalie Curtis


Title:  The Healing of Natalie Curtis

Author:  Jane Kirkpatrick

Pages:  368

Year:  2021

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The year is 1897.  Natalie Curtis is a woman who dedicated her life to the pursuit of a musical career.  She was a child prodigy.  Her big moment in the spotlight was about to happen when something happens.  As a result of this, her musical career is over.  She spirals into a deep depression that manifests itself with physical side effects for five years.

Her brother George returns to the East from the West in 1902.  He was a librarian, but due to his asthma he moved to the West for healing.  He returns a changed man.  He invites Natalie to join him out west for a time to see if she can also find healing.  Her parents are leery about her taking a trip so far away when her health is precarious to say the least.  However, Natalie is joyless at home with her parents, so she makes the decision to go with George.

Natalie’s life will never be the same.  She encounters Native Americans, and their songs are a balm to her soul.  She embraces their songs like rain in a parched desert.  She also discovers the many injustices the Native Americans endure due to The Code, which among other terrible things doesn’t allow them to sing their songs.  If they sing their songs, they are punished.  An entire culture is being wiped out, and Natalie decides to do something about it.  She will go to the tribes and record their songs, what they mean, their artwork and their names.  She will ensure that they will not be forgotten.

I thought this book was fantastic!  This story is based on a real person.  I appreciated so much the author’s notes after the story.  I was enraptured by the Native American’s songs, the reason why they sing a particular song and so much more.  I learned a lot.  The story spoke to my heart.  I loved George’s character.  He was willing to put his life and dreams on hold to share this journey with his sister.  I highly recommend this book; it is one of my favorites for 2021!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

To the River’s End (Jake Ransom, Man of the Mountains #1)


Title:  To the River’s End (Jake Ransom, Man of the Mountains #1)

Author:  William W Johnstone and J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  272

Year:  2021

Publisher:  Kensington

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Luke Ransom is a young man making a living on the American Frontier by working for the American Fur Company with a couple of other men.  Luke lives off the land and annually meets with other adventurers while supplying up for another year in the wilderness.  As the tale begins, Luke is on his way to the yearly rendezvous with his partners when he hears gunshots and decides to go investigate.  When Luke finds the source of the sound, he quickly lends a hand to a man he has never met, Jug Sartain. 

When Luke sets out again, after the rendezvous, he is now partnered with Jug and hoping he doesn’t have any more trouble with Dan Bloodworth.  Dan and Luke had a run-in during the rendezvous and while Luke just wants to move on, Bloodworth doesn’t.  Some might look at Luke and think he is too young and untested, but they would be wrong.  There is more to this young man than meets the eye.

Jug takes Luke to a mountain region where few dare to go as the area is inhabited by Blackfeet, who are fierce defenders of their land.  The pair runs into trouble from the outset, and their fight for survival increases when they come across a young woman who was taken captive but has escaped.  Now, the race is on to finish the trapping season successfully and get out of the mountains before the young woman’s captors locate her and the men who are protecting her so she can be free.

In this first novel of The American Frontier series, readers will travel back to a time where life was extremely precarious and exciting.  Luke Ransom is a man with many talents, lots of knowledge and quick reflexes that save his life many times.  Jug is an older man who sees something in Luke that others may not have seen, and their relationship is filled with mutual respect, admiration, and fun.  Many times, while reading the straight-faced sarcasm they exchanged a smile was brought to my face.  

Here is a story that highlights survival, bravery and friendship against the backdrop of the untamed lands.  Grab a copy and enjoy the newest addition to Johnstone country!  Visit the authors’ website and see what other adventures await your discovery:

Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Monday, October 18, 2021

When All Hell Broke Loose


Title:  When All Hell Broke Loose (A Preacher & MacCallister Western #3)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  304

Year:  2021

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

When All Hell Broke Loose is a tale that brings two fan favorites together to face insurmountable odds and foes, Jamie Ian MacCallister and Preacher!  Together these two are tasked with the U.S. Cavalry to confirm one way or another whether a Blackfoot tribe is holding white people as hostages.  Jamie, Preacher, the U.S. Cavalry and Prussian soldiers set out to try and track a trail that is five years old.  The two armies working together might pose their own set of trials and perhaps there might be traitors in the mix!

When All Hell Broke Loose is the third book in the Preacher & MacCallister western series.  The series begins with Frontier America followed by last year’s release of They Came to Kill.  Each book is a stand-alone, though reading them in order readers get to see the growing friendship between the two leading characters.

I really enjoy the personality traits of Preacher developed from his years of living as a mountain man.  As well as Jamie Ian MacCallister and his life from a captive to a family man.  Audiences will enjoy reading more adventures with these men in their own series:  Preacher: The First Mountain Man and Jamie in the Eagles novels.  I highly recommend the books for hours of entertainment and feats sure to leave a person wanting more from the pen of Johnstone!

I recommend visiting the authors’ website where you will find a booklist of all the books/series to date, merchandise and more.


Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.