Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Historical Romance
(Received for an honest review from Signet Eclipse)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Lori Austin on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Beauty and the Bounty Hunter (2012), An Outlaw in Wonderland (2013), The Lone Warrior (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, The Lone Warrior, courtesy of the author's website.
The third book in the exciting and sexy "Once Upon A Time In The West" Series from Lori Austin.
Rose Varner needs a man…
But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne. Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary…
Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test…
The final book in Lori Austin's Once Upon a Time in the West series, The Lone Warrior is set against the back drop of the post Civil War frontier. Readers who are looking for a gritty romance with a Western theme will find just what they are looking for in this book. Austin is adept at drawing out the emotions of both her characters and her readers. With a hero, who might be a little on the crazy side, a courageous heroine who will stop at nothing to find her child and more twists and turns than a crooked road, this is a great final book in the trilogy.
What I liked:
Now, I will be the first to tell you that I love a tortured hero. One who has a lot to overcome and doubts about himself that are hard to explain even to himself, but I wasn't sure I would enjoy a hero that was perhaps a bit unhinged. The White Ghost, Luke had some serious issues when readers first meet him. He once lived with the Cheyenne and now become a recluse. I wasn't sure if Austin could pull this off, but I'm happy to report she did a fantastic job with this character. Taking him slowly from being a bit on the mental side to becoming the man he knows he wants to be. It kind of reminded me of the relationship between Quigley and Nora in Tom Selleck's movie, Quigley Down Under. I love that aspect of this one. It just goes to show that love often heals more than just a broken heart.
Rose had a lot of heart. She is searching for her daughter who was taken by the Cheyenne during a raid. Though she realizes that she needs help, when she doesn't get it, she doesn't give up. I liked that tenacious attitude in her character. Often courage isn't about not being afraid, it's about how you channel that fear, and I think Austin did a great job of showing that with Rose. I liked the fact that even though she missed Lily and she needed to get her back, she still took time for herself and her relationship with Luke. They both gave something to each other that the other needed desperately. Rose needed to feel like a woman who was cherished and loved. She was a great character.
Austin really knows how to wring the emotion from the characters and from the reader. She doesn't skimp or hold back when it comes to describing the tragedies and the horrific circumstances that her characters have to face, but she also doesn't beat around the bush when how they are feeling. These are strong, passionate characters who were living on frontier in desperate times. I liked the fact that Austin makes the dramatic moments count just as much as the romantic ones.
Personally, I just a good Western. I watched a million of them with my dad growing up. Read a ton of books that were really meant for a male audience because their weren't that many Western's written for women at that time and when I a book or a series set in the right time period that understands what a woman wants to read about... I'm hooked. This was a great end to the trilogy!
What I didn't like:
I did feel like the end was a little rushed, but that sometimes happens in a book with a lot of action. The pace could have been a bit slower to let the reader savor the ending more, but that didn't really take too much away from this very well written book.
I loved this one. If you are looking for a romance with some grit and some tenacious characters who have a lot of obstacles to overcome this one is for you. I thought Austin did a fantastic job with setting but it was mostly a character driven book. And these characters were remarkable.
The Lone Warrior is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Lori Austin is the pseudonym of two-time RITA Award–winning romance author Lori Handeland. She sold her first novel in 1993 and has written many since. Lori lives in southern Wisconsin with her husband, enjoying occasional visits from her two grown sons.
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