THE LAST RENEGADE by Jo Goodman

PUBLISHER’S BLURB:

SHE HIRED HIM TO PROTECT HER TOWN As the owner of the Pennyroyal Saloon and Hotel, Lorraine Berry is privy to almost everything that goes on in Bitter Springs, Wyoming—including the bloodshed plaguing its citizens. With all of the good men dying at the hands of a local rancher and his three sons, Raine hires a shootist to be the town’s protector. But her handsome new employee is more than a hired hand; he’s a man who keeps his guns close and his secrets closer. BUT NOTHING COULD PROTECT HER HEART After a chance encounter on a train, Kellen Coltrane travels to the Pennyroyal to carry out a dying man’s last wish. But once he meets the hotel’s fiery-haired proprietor, Coltrane finds himself assuming the role of the shootist’s accomplice and agrees to protect Bitter Springs. And as he learns more about Raine’s own tragedy, Coltrane can’t deny his growing desire for the courageous widow, or the urge to protect her from the threat that draws near…

RHFL Classifications:

American Historical/19th Century

Heat Rating: 2

REVIEW RATING: 4.5 stars

REVIEW BY JILL:

Lorraine (Raine) Berry wants justice for her dead sister. When the marshal, prosecutor and jurymen start dying or disappearing, Raine corresponds with Nat Church, a gun-for-hire. However, on the train into Bitter Springs, Wyoming Nat Church is murdered. Kellen Coltrane is headed to Salt Lake City on the same train and is there with the dying Nat as he takes his last breath. Nat tells him he was heading to the Pennyroyal at Bitter Springs. Raine is the owner of the Pennyroyal Saloon and Hotel.

Out of sheer curiosity Kellen decides to alight at Bitter Springs, assuming the guise of Nat Church’s accomplice. Set in Wyoming in 1888, The Last Renegade is a cleverly plotted story with in-depth characterisations (and notably the two secondary characters of Finn and Rabbit) and a beautiful, realistic romance.

Historical western romances are one of my favourite genres and I love Jo Goodman’s stories. This may be my favourite of hers to date and possibly her best. The Last Renegade is a first-class western with a hero who is not quite what he appears to be. The baddies here are an intimidating and influential family, the Burdicks, a father and three sons who own a large cattle ranch and other businesses in Bitter Springs. Though there is not a great deal of action that you would normally associate with a western, this in no way detracts from the story. The mystery element is completely absorbing as Kellen reveals a killer and unravels the ties that bind the Burdicks together.

The Last Renegade is simply fabulous and highly recommended for lovers of historical western romance.

 

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