The Gunfighter’s Pursuit (Ride Hard #2)

2

Emma Fairfax has a secret. She is not the prim and proper new schoolteacher this small Arizona town had been expecting from the East. Emma chased that poor woman away when she robbed her stagecoach and shot a man in cold blood. It wasn’t Emma’s fault. He would have shot her first. Now she was in a bind. No money. No place to go. A wanted criminal. Murderess! Her only way out was to pretend to be Miss Glendolene Rimmel, respectable schoolteacher.

And it was going remarkably well… until he rode into town.

Jackson Horn noticed two things straight away about the town’s pretty little schoolmarm. The sweet sashay of her hips when she walked… and that she was hiding something. As a Confederate soldier turned gunfighter after the war, he earned his money tracking down men for their bounties and hiring out his gun to the highest bidder. So he was good at spotting liars and thieves. He didn’t give a damn about the coin, what he really wanted was information on the man who framed him for murder. Each bounty, each kill brought him closer to his revenge.

The schoolteacher’s secret started out as a mild curiosity. A way to get closer to the straight-laced beauty’s charms.

Then she tried to kill him… twice.
Now Horn is determined to learn her secret. Determined to rein in her stubborn spirit and get her to accept his discipline and protection. He might even be falling in love with the feisty beauty… if he can get her to stop trying to kill him long enough!

—                         —                         —

This is the second book in the Ride Hard series. It is set in the west, shortly after the American Civil War ended. This book could easily be read as a standalone.

Emma is terrified when she first meets Horn, convinced that he is a lawman tracking her down, ready to hang her as a murderess. Luckily for her, he is more of a bounty hunter – a hired gun – who has no intention of prohibiting a future with the lady he has fallen for.

The Gunfighter’s Pursuit is a short novel that I read in one sitting. It contains a couple of scenes of dubious consent, but I would not consider the novel to be “dark”.

If you are looking for a quick and easy read with dirty scenes and insta-love, this is one book I would recommend for a cozy evening in bed.

****

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Wild Cat – a review

Wild Cat is the eighth book in the Leopard series by Christine Feehan. This series has really been improved with each book, and I loved Wild Cat and the previous couple of novels as well. The stories have become much more engrossing than the earliest ones, and I love the community feel when there are different characters mixing together.

If you are familiar with Feehan’s other series, you will notice that the Leopard books are much more erotic and sexual than the others, which are fairly tame (at least by my standards). I love this aspect and the pseudo-bdsm nature of the relationships.

Wild Cat features one of the heroes for whom we have been long awaiting a love story: Elijah Lospostos. Here are the deets of the book.

wild cat

A simple request for Siena Arnotto: deliver a gift to her grandfather’s friend. One look at Elijah Lospostos, hard-bodied and stripped to the waist, and Siena succumbs to a feline stirring she never felt before, and to Elijah’s reckless and pleasurable demands. But when that pulse-throbbing moment ends in the murder of an unexpected intruder, Elijah accuses the shaken and confused Siena of setting him up.

Then Siena discovers the truth of her Leopard heritage, of the secrets in her grandfather’s inner circle, and the sinister plot of revenge that has put her in jeopardy. When Siena’s grandfather is assassinated, she realizes the only man she can trust is Elijah. Now as her Leopard rises from within, Siena and Elijah share not only an animal instinct for survival—but a desire so raw and wild it may be the only thing that can save them.

—                —                 —

(Please note that this review contains minimal spoilers. I did my best to leave out the big things and any spoiler you find is from one of the first handful of chapters).

Wow, does Elijah Fuck The Hell Up. He doesn’t really “do” gravelling either to make amends. The arrogant bastard just decides that Sienna should forgive him because he regrets his actions, and more or less bullies her into doing so.

My last two sentences probably make Elijah sound absolutely irredeemable, right? Well, not quite. He didn’t physically harm her. He humiliated Sienna and caused her to lose all confidence and trust in herself which is arguable worse, but I’m more willing to accept this because it is not the result of a gender imbalance.

Also, in his (incorrect) understanding of the situation, Elijah did believe that Sienna had just tried to assassinate him. So ya, I’d probably do a whole lot more in that situation than just throw a naked woman out of my house and call her a few choice terms. And he does his damnedest to protect her after realizing his mistake.

Some of the readers who interact on the author’s social media and website are really not fans of the Leopard series. The sex is too headed or the men too overbearing. They maintain that this is emotional abuse, claims that were commonly thrown at this book, and the previous. I wholeheartedly disagree.

I love the story and the characters. It was sweet to see Sienna integrate into his world by mixing with past heroines, and I wish that Drake and Eli had had expanded roles. This is one that I would read again and again.

If you are looking for a book that exemplifies the type of simpering romance where the hero caters to the heroine’s every whim, these are not the books for you. If you like pushy alphas who lead in a relationship and are incredibly possessive of their ladies, we’ve probably found your niche.

* * * * *

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