Golden Angel-A Season For Treason

Golden is taking us back in time to the golden age of historical romance, the Regency, with A Season For Treason. If you have read some of Golden’s other historicals, you wll recognize some of the names in this book.

We start with Mary. She is in her first Season in London, being squired around by her cousin. He’s looking for a bride, and Mary knows the perfect one for him, Lady Arabella, but she’s being courted by Hartford, called Rex.

One year later, Mary is about to go back for her second Season. Her cousin and Lady Arabella got married, now her aunt and uncle are all focused on her. Not just that, but her friend Evie has asked for her and their friends Josie and Lily to go to London for the Season. She has a good reason for this. You see, Evie’s uncle is the spy master, and he’s on the hunt for a traitor and one who planned an assination. Evie is going to help find out who it is, and she needs the help of her friends. She also tells everyone that Hartford runs a secret society, and the society might be involved in the issue.

Mary, Lily, and Josie go out on their Season and start to find information. One night, Mary follows Rex into the garden at a ball, wanting to see if he is meeting with someone suspiscious. He catches her, and kisses her.

Rex does indeed have a secret society. It’s a very debauched secret society. Pretty much anything goes in this secret society, and on this night, he’s watching all the things go. He’s also bored. He’s not interested in any of the women that are there, even ones he’s played with before. Rex decides that maybe he’ll get a wife. They will be able to come play together, he’ll get his heir, and it will all be good.

Then, at a ball, he meets Mary, well, meets her by kissing her in the dark in the garden.

I like Mary. I think that she is very smart and very tricky. I think that she just expects to be overlooked, so she expects everyone will overlook her, which makes it possible for her to hide in plain sight. If your normal is to feel overlooked then you just settle into that. I do like that Rex really sees her though, and sees the side that she’s been working on hiding.

Normally I would say that the female main character is a little naive about love and marriage, but in this case, I think that it’s Rex. He didn’t realize what his feelings were, but he just thought that he’d be able to act as normal, even after the marriage, and he was just so surprised by having any other kinds of feels.

I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Golden Angel-Their Harlot Bride

Today we’re back in Bridgewater, this time with Golden Angel. Today we have Clive, Sassy, and William in Their Harlot Bride.

We start in a London brothel. Sassy is working there, but her madam has just sold her debt to the nefarious Lord Carmichael. That, of course, makes everyone thing that Carmichael now owns her. If you ask Sassy, it’s not true. Only one person owns her, and that’s her. And if she was going to be involved with anyone, it sure as hell wouldn’t be Carmicheal. He likes to hurt women. A lot. The last time she was with Carmichael, she was out of action for several days because of her injuries. So, Sassy is bound and determined not to let that happen again. She grabs a fire poker, smacks him the face with it, robs him, and leaves. Then she heads to NYC. Until she finds out people are looking for her. At that point, she finds a mail order bride ad that sounds perfect.

Clive and William have been friends for a long time, ever since Clive saved William from getting beaten up. Now they live in Bridgewater and are ready to take a bride, so William sent out an ad for a bride. He’s terribly excited. Clive is less so. So they are waiting for their lovely bride to get there on the train. William is so very ready to have a wife to love. Clive is… more reserved. Then, Sassy gets off the train, William pretty much falls instantly in love, or at least deep like, and Clive is a little worried. There seems to be something that she is keeping secret, but that doesn’t deter either of them from marrying her. And the fact is, Sassy is keeping secrets.

I thought that Sassy was really brave. It took a lot of courage to do what she did, well, and desperation. I mean, beating the Lord and stealing from him is desperation, running away to NYC and then Montana is courage. I like her determination and how she seems to be so happy to be in Montana. She’s a very happy person, overall, I think.

Of Clive and William, I think they are both good and honorable men, but it took me a hot minute to warm up to Clive. He is very closed off, and it is hard for him to trust. William is a very sweet man and is very open to life. I think they complement each other really well. Except for Clive’s temper.

OK, that’s all for this one. Nothing below the picture today.

Celeste Jones-Their Blushing Bride

Celeste has decided that she’s going to join the save a horse, ride a cowboy (or 2) movement and join in the Bridgewater Brides world with Their Blushing Bride. You know me, I’m always up for a good menage, so the Bridgewater world is perfect for me. The only thing that would make anything better is if one f the books was MMF instead of just MFM. Don’t get me wrong, I like MFM just fine, and I’ll read it every day of the week and twice on Sundays, but there’s just something about MMF that’s just really attractive to me. But, that’s neither here nor there, so let’s talk about this one.

Miss Lily Snow is minding her own buisness in Butte Montana, walking along the street with a pair of children, when the wind steals her hat away from her. Two super hot, gorgeous cowboys rescue her hat and give it back to her. She barely has a moment to talk to them before the children catch up to her, and so does their father.

Rye and Keane are childhood best friends. Rye, being the 3rd son of a lord, spent his years doing all that British nobility stuff. Keane became a soldier and went to Mohamir and then to Montana. He wrote his BFF Rye to come out to Montana and told him all about the Bridgewater marriage plan. So, off they are to Butte, to find their bride. Which they do, when an errant blast of wind knocks her hat off her head and right into their path. Of course, they figure that she’s married, because she’s with two kids and a man comes up and joins them as she and the kids are walking away. They were only able to talk to her long enough to find out her name, Lily Snow, and they think that their chance with her is gone forever.

I think that Lily is a lot bolder than you might expect a woman in that particular era to be. You tend to think about late Victorian women to be uber proper and all prim. Well, Lily is not that. That’s not to say that she’s just all free and bold all over the place, it’s just more that she doesn’t let things really inhibit her. At least, that’s what I think. It also appears that she has a really sweet, good heart, and is one who just seems to be friendly with everyone. I wish we got to know more about her, but the book is pretty short, and a quick read, so we don’t get to know her or the guys as much as we might otherwise.

Rye and Keane both seem to be honorable men. They definitely want to make sure that ladies in distress don’t stay in distress any longer than neceessary, as is obvious by the fact that they rescue her hat for her. They are both sweet too, they may have some alpha male tendencies, but they really seem to very sweet on top of that. I like both of them.

No spoilers today, because it’s a really quick and easy read with just enough sass, steam, and sweet. Go check it out!

Amelia Smarts-Taming Tori

Have you been aching for a historical cowboy spanking story? If you have, I have the perfect solution for you. Amelia Smarts is back with hot cowboys and naughty seamstresses in Taming Tori.

Victoria is the town seamstress. At only 19, she is a successful businesswoman and takes great pride in her work. She’s also standoff-ish, snippy, and just a little too full of herself. She also seems to only think of herself and just basically ignores the rest of the world. That makes it sound like Victoria is a bad person, and she isn’t, she’s just really disconnected from the rest of the town, and she has very definite ideas about things. When a new guy walks into her shop, she helps him to find a shirt and to find out more about the stranger. Of course, being Victoria, she’s a little rude to him, but they manage to figure that out.

Frank was a cowboy, but after a bad accident on a bronco, he got really hurt. He spent several days unable to move from the waist down. Now he’s mostly better, but he has a bum leg which means he can’t be a cowboy anymore or do anything that requires a lot of physical effort, because his body just can’t handle it. So, he goes looking in the paper to find a job. Only, instead of just looking under the physical labor kind of jobs, he looks at all the jobs and finds that there is an opening for a teacher. He may not have all the training to be a teacher, but he loves to learn, and he’s pretty sure that he can do it. So, Frank sends in a letter asking for the job. And he got lucky, the town offered him the job, and he decides to go to the town seamstress and spruce up his wardrobe, where he meets Victoria.

I like Victoria. She is prickly, but there’s a lot of fear behind all that prickle. She’s had to spend a lot of time taking care of herself, because her parents are dead, and she likes things just so. None of these are a bad thing, but when you put all of them together, you get someone who is a little prickly, sometimes rude, and disconnected from the majority of the people around them. I think that she has a good heart, she’s just forgotten how to let anyone see it because she’s had to be tough for so long. I do like her, at least most of the time.

Frank is definitely a good man. He really does want to make sure that the whole world is OK, and he’ll do everything he can to make sure that happens, from making sure that a hungry little boy gets some lunch to spanking Victoria because she’s rude. I think that he’s mostly got the adulting thing down, but things happen and he gets knocked off his pins for a minute, which makes him look at himself differently. Overall, I like him, but I did get a little mad at him at times.

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OMG, well. That had to be terrifying.

OK, that’s all on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Golden Angel-The Lady

The Disney movie Lady and the Tramp has one of my favorite songs in it. I like the song that the evil Siamese kitties sing. “We are Siamese if you please, we are Siamese if you don’t please…” I think the song was replaced in the live action version, because it was problematical, but I fully support that. So, why am I mentioning this, other than just giving you more random trivia about the wonderfulness that is me? Well, that’s because Golden’s is a step beyond the live action movie, it’s a Regency era romance based off of the movie. And Disney realllllllly doesn’t want to know about this one. Well, maybe some of them do.

So, here we are, Lady Delilah Darling is in London for her Season. Her father died, and friends of his are her guardians for her season, and they dote on her and she’s just loving life, because, why not? She’s young, beautiful, and the world is at her feet. Except, nothing ever stays that way. Her guardian’s wife, Lady Greene, becomes pregnant, which is good, but she gets sick, which is bad. They have to retire to the country for her health. Delilah is going to be left in the care of Lady Felton, along with her two granddaughters, Amy and Silvia. And everything goes to hell. Lady Felton is awful and her granddaughters are cruel.

Then we have Henry Trampine, the Tramp. He runs several fine gambling hells, and makes good bank on it. He also owns the debt of many of the nobility, ton, and upper classes. No one really fucks with the Tramp, because he is really powerful. One day, he’s out with his boys, and they see a fine lady running through the warrens of London. The Warrens would be the really, really, really not good part of town. They had seen that same lady walking in Hyde Park a few weeks before, and she had gotten into his head, and he hadn’t been able to get her out of it. So, when she comes running into his territory and she gets into trouble, of course he has to rescue her.

I like Delilah’s joyfullness at the beginning of the book. She just glows with it and it seems like she just brings joy and delight to everyone around her. There’s just something about her, even when she’s having the hardest time with Lady Felton that still makes her something special. That something never goes away, really, it just becomes something different and, I think, better, maybe.

Henry is a very strong character. He knows what he wants, and he’s going to do everything he can to get what he wants, and he wants Delilah. And he doesn’t want her just as a one time thing, he wants her all the damn time, and he wants everything from her. He may technically be a criminal, but I think that he is really honorable, in his way. What he says he’s going to do, he does. I can respect that.

OK, there is no spaghetti meal, but it’s the iconic picture from the movie, so…

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Lady Cynthia Starrett, lol.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out!

Laura Taylor-Redemption of a Slave

Well, you know how a couple of weeks ago I said that most MM Omegaverse was on the lighter side and didn’t have the dub/noncon that you see in MF Omegaverse? Redemption of a Slave by Laura Taylor is one of the exceptions to that. I wish I could remember who recommended this to me and where, because I totally want to thank that person. This book really knocked me out. There are things about it that have been stuck in my head since I read it.

So, the world in this one was really interesting. This particular book takes place in 1800s France. The way that the world works is that people are born as male or female, but they exist in a kind of limbo until they start to differentiate as Alpha, Beta, or Omega. That usually happens around the age of 15 or so. I don’t know how they can tell when it comes to women, but we get a pretty good look at how they can tell when it comes to the guys. Basically, the guy walks in, drops trou, and has his cock measured weekly, for about 2 months. If his cocks grows significantly, then he’s an Alpha. If there is no kind of growth at all, then Omega, especially if there is some lubrication going on. In a lot of the MM books I’ve read, Omegas still have a good size cock. In this one, Dante’s cock is only about 3 inches, which they say is pretty good for an Omega.

Once you differentiate as an Omega, you are basically disherited and kicked out of the family. You get sent to special schools where you learn how to please the Alphas or Betas who are going to fuck you. Then you end up as a slave. You can end up in a household or a brothel. If you end up in a household, you are going to have domestic type chores, as well as being an available hole. There are different levels of service there. You can be a housemate, who is open to any Alpha or Beta in the household, as well as any guests. You could be a personal Omega, which means that an Alpha has bought you to be their own personal plaything. You could be a breeder, which is exactly what it sounds like, and you are only bred by the head of the household or the designated breeding Alpha. Or, and this is perishingly rare, you can end up as a bonded Omega.

So, here’s how our story works. Dante was a breeding Omega of a Spanish nobleman, and gave birth 3 times. On his last heat, he didn’t get pregnant and since his last two children were girls, his master decides to sell him on. Instead of doing it himself, he sends a lackey out to do it. On the trip to France, the lackey lets the sailors have at him.

Several months later, Dante has been sold a couple of times, and he gets treated worse every time. He has been brutalized, doesn’t get into the sex at all, and the beautiful, pampered breeding slave has now been beaten and scarred. Then comes Antoine.

Antoine has been adopted by the Calvet family, and is the heir to the estate. The whole inheritance rules and set up around Alphas is really odd, because of the way that the differentiation works. Anyway, his father has decided that he’s old enough to have his own personal Omega and takes him to the market. Antoine’s father tells him to check into the certified Omegas, but instead, he sees Dante, and there just something about him. Even brutalized and nearly feral as he is, there’s just something that draws him to Dante. Antoine thinks that he can work with Dante, if he’s treated with kindness and with common decency, then Dante will be… tamed, for lack of a better word.

There is a lot of learning that goes on on both sides here. One of the things that really got me and which has really stayed with me and think is where Antoine and Dante have a discussion about the fact that Antoine always made sure that the Omegas he was with got off. Dante tells Antoine that it’s a biological function. The knot presses on a bundle of nerves which causes a male Omega to come. So, maybe he came because he liked it or maybe he came because of biological function and he was just well-trained in making sure the Alpha is happy. There are a lot of other things like that in the book, and which still get me.

I think that this is a fantastic story. I’m going to definitely be buying more of Laura’s work and reading them, because the world she created was very detailed, and really felt authentic. I wonder how much research she did into France of that period to get the feel she did.

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I felt so sorry for Dante as particular things come out. It just broke my heart.

I also find the whole separation of Alpha/Omega in certain things to be important.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Golden Angel-Marriage Training

Golden has given us a delicious Regency era spanking romance with Marriage Training. And I’m pretty sure that my marriage may benefit a little bit from this story, because it was pretty damn hot.

Vivian is the daughter of a country baron. Her family is rather poor, which is worrying, since she’s going to be making her debut soon. And a debut at this time is fucking expensive. There’s balls, luncheons, teas, all of which require new dresses. I mean, it’s worth it if you manage to make a good marriage, but first you have to get out there and get out in front of everyone’s faces. And Vivian is a shy, retiring, modest miss, who doesn’t relish being the center of attention. However, being the eldest daughter, she knows her duty. At her distant cousin Mary’s wedding, she meets a beautiful man outside of the retiring room. They only talk for a moment, but when he finds out her age, he tells her that he will see her in the future.

Gabriel wants a beautiful submissive wife, who will have the same kind of love that his father and step-mother have. When he goes to his good friend George’s wedding to Mary, he sees a beautiful young woman. After meeting her, he asks George about the Mrs. Cunningham’s Finishing School, which is where his Mary went.

Finishing schools are there to give young ladies a final polish and to make sure that they can run a household and be a credit to their husband. Except, Mrs. Cunningham’s school goes one further step. She has a very private curriculum for select students. She has a marriage training course, for men who want some very particular traits in their brides. It’s that course that Vivian is enrolled in, sponsored by Gabriel, as well as the rest of the classes she takes at this school.

I loved how Gabriel and Vivian are together. He’s so sweet and tender toward her, even when he’s is being all dominating and such toward her. It’s obvious when they are together, how much he loves Vivian, how much he wants to protect and cherish her. Vivian is a very sweet young woman, and you can see how much she wants to please Gabriel and make him happy. Every interaction between the two of them is beautiful, in my opinion.

This is a sweet book, filled with spanking, and romance. It’s totally possible to do that, and that’s definitely what Golden Angel does here. I would like to see more in this world, specifically Emily and Astoria.

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I love how Vivian set down Astoria the second time. It was impressive, and done in a way that I wish I could emulate. I’m not that subtle.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Lee Savino-Tamed by the Berserkers

It’s been a while since we have had the pleasure of a new Berserker book from Lee, and Tamed by the Berserkers was totally worth the wait.

Of all the Berserker books, even my all time favorite, Kidnapped by the Berserkers, none of the books have wrung me out the way that Tamed did. Seriously, Tamed totally destroyed each and every single one of my emotions and left me completely empty. Lee just absolutely killed it when it came to this book.

Sorrel is one of the spaewives who was rescued from the Abbey. She was supposed to be mated to Thorsteinn and Vik and even wore their mating marks, but they dropped her off with the unmated spaewives and then went out on a long patrol. After spending a long while there, she was found off the mountain with an empty sling and another spaewife who was unconscious and had a bloody head. Now, she’s about to go on trial for what she’s done, and she has no mates there to protect her since hers abandoned her. But, just in the very nick of time, up come Thorsteinn and Vik ready to save the day and their mate. The guys come up with a plot and life happens.

Of all the heroes in all the Berserker books, I have never outright and flat out disliked one. At least, not until Tamed. I really didn’t like Vik and Thorsteinn in the beginning, and frankly, it took me a long while to warm up to them. It did eventually happen, but it took them a lot to make me forgive them for everything they did. I think Sorrel forgave them before I did.

I really identified with Sorrel for so many reasons. One is that she never really felt like she fit in with the rest of the spaewives at the Abbey. She’d rather be out in a pair of breeches with her bow, hiking through the woods and hunting. She really feels like no one understands her and like no one is there for her. The majority of the other spaewives make fun of her, especially since her mates abandoned her, and her very few friends are either mated or just can’t be there with her all the time. I can totally relate to feeling like you don’t feel like you connect with anyone and that you don’t belong anywhere. I can also relate to feeling abandoned by the people who are supposed to love you, protect you, and keep you safe for the rest of forever. I mean, can you imagine how hard it is for Sorrel to see all of the other orphans mated off happily to their mates while hers have abandoned her? I can’t imagine how heartbreaking and gutwrenching that is. See why I don’t particularly like them at first?

I can’t wait for the next books in this series. I think the next one is Sister Juliet’s story, and that’s going to be a really interesting one to read.

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When Thorsteinn and Vik told the Alphas that Sorrel wasn’t their mate? Yeah, that right there is what made me really not like them. I was only annoyed when it turned out that they left her in the unmated spaewives house, but that? That moved annoyed to dislike. The fact that they took her out and let her blow up things made me start to like them more. I saw that they actually saw her, and they were trying really hard to tame her but not break her.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check out all of the Berserker books. I love them so much. Happy reading!

Addison Cain-A Shot in the Dark

We are back in Addison Cain’s sweet world today with A Shot in the Dark. Don’t get used to it. I’m pretty sure that we have to wait for the next planetary alignment for anything as sweet and light as this duet was. And you know what? I’m perfectly at peace with that. I’ll just read Addison’s dark and twisted stories between now and then. And be tortured by the word Soooooon.

Since this is the second book of a duet, it picks up right where the first one left off. If you haven’t read that one, well, first why not? And second, go read it and then read this one. Be aware that there will probably be spoilers for the first book in here. It’s the nature of the beast and I will try to keep them as mild as possible. Also, if you’ve looked at the series name, A Trick of the Light, and think it looks familiar, well, you’re right. Addison took the book A Trick of the Light, and expanded and broke it down into two books. I like where Addison broke the book up because it always felt like a natural break to me. Every time I read the book, I thought that it really felt like a Book 2 kind of thing, so it really works, in my theoretically humble opinion.

So, Charlie has run away because Eli is an idiot. Personally, I think that she should’ve just busted him in the mouth. God knows Matthew wouldn’t’ve had a problem with it. He might’ve stood in line after her to do it. But, she ran away back to Chicago and off to the Drake Hotel and Radcliffe. But that’s not going to work for Matthew. Nope, he wants her home, because that’s where she belongs. So, off he goes to Chicago, dragging his little lambs behind him, to bring her home. When he does find her at the Drake, Tommy, one of Beau’s boys is there with her, and he punches Tommy smack in the mouth, and walks off with Charlie.

I really like Charlotte. I truly relate to her because I’ve felt like I didn’t fit in sometimes, I think we all have, and finding that one person who could accept us is just amazing. And that’s Matthew for her. Even though she’s found that place and that person, it doesn’t mean that it magically made Charlie fit in. There are a lot of people shoved into Charlotte, depending on where she is, what she’s doing, and who she’s with, and trying to figure out who the true Charlotte is and where she belongs isn’t an easy task, especially when she has people who love her pulling her in a lot of directions. It’s a good thing that Charlie is good and strong, isn’t it? Of course, that doesn’t always make it easier, but nothing has ever been easy for her. I think that’s why she’s so willing to fight when she has to. And she will fight hard for the people she loves, even if they don’t really want her to.

Matthew is a good man. He’s a silent man, he just doesn’t have a lot to say and he’s not going to run his mouth to run his mouth. If Matthew says something, you know it’s important. He is much more of an action kind of person. His love language is making sure that the people he loves are safe and taken care of. Like doing things like going out and buying tea for Charlie and making sure that her favorite tea is supplied to her, or teaching her how to cook, or any of those things. It can make it hard to read him, but I think, overall, it’s something that Charlie does really well. He’s also really, really solid. He’s a rock and he’s going to be there to support everyone he loves and to give them someplace to hang onto. I really like that about him. Everyone needs to have a rock to cling to when things are crazy.

Yes, this is a light and sweet Addison Cain, but that doesn’t mean that it’s lost any of the strong emotion that Addison writes. There is a lot of that, and it will reach out and grab you.

Addison always does really well with worldbuilding, but she’s not creating a world from scratch with this one, but she does really well at catching all the changes that were going on in the world during this time period. I love how she catches the perceived glamor of people like Al Capone while also getting the muck that was the reality.

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One of the most epic things I’ve read in a while is Charlie just walking through and killing people as needed, no matter what is going on to either side of her. Seriously, that as just BAMF AF.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go read this, especially if you love historical romance. Happy reading!

Addison Cain-A Taste of Shine

I have a secret to tell you. Do you want to hear my secret? Here it is. Addison Cain has a book that isn’t dark. I know, it’s shocking, especially if you have followed my blog and seen me review all her new books. But it’s really, really true. And more than that, she’s just renamed and re-released her book. It used to be called A Trick of Light, and now it’s been split up into the Trick of Light Duet, and the first book is called A Taste of Shine.

Addison pulled the story to do some polishing and added in some things here and there, but, as of yet, the story isn’t significantly changed. There are a few little details here and there, but nothing big, and there are places where the writing is tighter. And, of course, breaking it up into a duet. Having read the original book several times, I think that where Addison broke the story up is the perfect place for it. That point really does trigger a change in the story, so, like I said, perfect.

The story takes place in the hills and hollers of West Virginia toward the end of Prohibition. And like the name suggests, moonshine has a lot to do with this book. Moonshine has always been really important to the culture in that area, but it got even bigger during the Prohibition because everyone still wanted their booze. As a little bit of trivia, stock car racing and later NASCAR came out of the prohibition too, because the ‘shiners would want to get their booze to their customers as quick as possible and stay away from the cops and revenuers, so they would get their best drivers and tweak their cars as much as possible. Once Prohibition ended, those drivers had to do something, so stock car racing was born. Now you know a new thing.

So, we open to Charlie, a bounty hunter, pushing a dead car up and down the hills and hollers. Charlie can’t just abandon the car, because that would mean dumping the bounty in the trunk as well, and that just can’t be done, for so many reasons, including an intensely personal one. Luckily, some men drive by and one of them tells his cousin, Eli, to get out and help push the car, and they all end up at the Devil’s Hollow Roadhouse, owned by Matthew Emerson, local ‘shiner, and run with his brother Nathaniel and cousin Eli. Charlie offers to make a deal with Matthew, for use of a car and driver so that the bounty can be delivered, but no go. At least, no go until Charlie shot and killed men who were attacking the roadhouse and then fixed up Nathaniel’s arm when he had been shot. Matthew then offers Eli’s service to Charlie so that the bounty can be delivered to Sing Sing.

Fast forward a few months and it’s time for a barn dance, and of course, the Emersons are going to be there because it’s a great place to sell and Matthew has plans. While he’s standing in his shadowy corner, selling off his shine, he sees the golden girl walk in. She’s all bright and shiny and definitely doesn’t fit into their little hamlet. But, she’s all smiles and cheerfulness and joy as she gets all kinds of men lining up to ask her to dance, except for the town drunk who eventually shows up with a black eye. Matthew stares and glares at her the entire time.

The next day, the golden girl shows up at the roadhouse and tells Matthew that she would like his permission to stay. Of course, he has no clue on god’s green earth as to who she is. Nathaniel knows who she is, he caught on to her secret way back when she helped him dig a bullet out of his shoulder. Matthew seems shocked when he finds out that golden girl Charlotte Elliot is the same person as Charlie the bounty hunter.

And thus, all kinds of actions are put into motion.

I love this story for so many reasons, but you get to see Addison’s skill in building characters really well. I mean, her secondary characters are as distinct as her main characters. Sure, you don’t get as much backstory, but you know what Eli and Nathaniel are like, and you get their voices very strongly. The story is also set in a very real era and place, and you get the strong flavor of 1920s rural West Virginia. I know I’ve talked about Addison’s world building before, and this is all just part of it.

Talking about the characters, I have to tell you how much I love Nathaniel. Yeah, he’s a perpetual drunk, and is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, but he accepted Charlie from the very first. Mostly, he doesn’t do things that embarrass her, and he tries to make her feel comfortable. Nathaniel smacks Matthew and Eli around a couple of times, to get their heads out of their asses. He’s also very loyal and can keep a secret like no one’s business. He’s great comic relief and just fun. Eli, he’s like an adolescent puppy, not quite full grown, but not a baby anymore, just all elbows and knees and eagerness. Because he’s an idiot sometimes, he makes some stupid mistakes, and he does hurt people, because he’s an idiot.

Matthew. I love Matthew, but he’s really hard to get a read on. He’s very taciturn and doesn’t talk about emotions, let alone actually talk a lot. His love language is definitely action. You can see how feels about Charlotte by what he does for her, you know, other than kissing her a whole lot. He is very solid and sturdy. He’s a rock and a shelter. That’s just who he is. He’s also a planner. He has big plans for what comes after Prohibition ends.

Charlie/Charlotte is fascinating. She’s tough and fragile, crude and innocent, and pretty much a BAMF. She’s a sharpshooter, and goes out hunting on her own. She can tell the crudest, rudest, dirtiest jokes, but can actually be very polite in the right company. Her history really sets her up to be a very unique person. I would love to think that Charlie and I would totally have been friends.

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I love the scene where some guys walk into the roadhouse wanting to start trouble and Charlie just casually knocks a couple of the guys on the head and then goes back to sitting in her rocking chair and lets the Emerson boys get back to their fight.

I love her relationship with Ruth, and how they are good for each other and help each other learn things they always wanted. And good for Ruth smacking Eli around as needed.

I can’t wait for the next part of this book. Go check it out! Happy reading!