He should have stayed dead. Calhoun buried who he used to be years ago; everyone knows he died sixteen years ago during the war. Jessie Caine finds out its not true; her childhood sweetheart, Mason Caine is still alive. Only, the man she sees now is so different. He's cold, hard and filled with hate, with a lot of it directed at her and his brother. He's a notorious gunfighter now, with a price on his head. They both have enemies and they both are right in the middle of a range war that's trying to start up. Its the set-up for an explosive confrontation; more than one!
I really liked this story, I would read something by this author again. The description of the what the characters were doing was so good; you could almost seeing them doing it. The whole attitude of Mason, while he's in gunslinger mode was really good. The author showed the calm, slow, watchful, guarded movements and angling to get the advantage but also let you hear what he was thinking too. Often he was tense and geared up for trouble but it often didn't show in his outer facial expressions. The author didn't just say it, she showed with her words. You could almost feel the heat, sweat, fear and when it was all over, the relief. I enjoyed Jessie, she was quite the spitfire and kept quite a few secrets herself. One in particular had me wondering pretty early on in the story but the answer didn't come out until later. Okay, some may say that was predictable but even if you can almost predict it, its interesting to find out in what worst possible way and time its going to come out!
I liked the POV's coming from both Jessie and Mason, they wove together really well (without re-going over the exact same ground, word for word.)
Just a couple of things
There were a few Spanish sounding words that I was unfamiliar with. It didn't ruin the story but kind of threw me a few times.
Calhoun was protective of Jessie, even though he tried to keep his distance to protect her and her daughter Lily. At one point in the story his thoughts about her were longing. I'm okay with that part too. But a few other places they went into kind of thinking of her as just another "calico". A few times, he kind of disrespected her in his thoughts. That I found hard to understand. To maybe say something to others that she wasn't anyone special was understandable. But even though he'd lived a hard life, womanizing and the rest, it just felt off, when he thought about her that way. Maybe he thought he was just protecting his heart from disappointment?
Speaking of disappointment..one of my favorite phrases in the book was from Jessie.
"Disappointment forever lurked just beyond the edges of her joy, ready to spring like a ravenous cougar." After all she went through, that was a pretty accurate statement. For Mason too. Every time a new challenge came up I found myself thinking, "oh no, how's he going to get out of this one?"
I was given a Free copy in exchange for an honest review.