Western Romance

The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

the-stolen-suitorRating: 3.75 stars
Publication day:
 February 1, 2016
270 pages  
Dreamspinner Press

His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

My View: The Stolen Suitor is part of the Dreamspun Desires series, and delivers a good mix of traditional western tropes. It can be considered an insta-lust to insta-love, but it works as part of the series.

The story is well written and filled with supporting characters. It flows smoothly, but the six points of view were a little excessive.  Since two of the POVs were from female characters pronoun confusion wasn’t an issue.

I like the story, but don’t love it. Jeremy and Chris were right together, but it was more of a relationship of opportunity between the only single gay guys around. From all of the characters, I think Eric was the more appealing and interesting one.

Overall, an easy and entertaining read with three love stories for the price of one.

What I liked the most: For me, Eric, Jeremy’s brother stole the story.

I wanted more/less: Perhaps less POVs.

Who should read it: Fans of traditional western romances.

Dangerous Territory by Cari Z.

Dangerous TerritoryRate: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Western Romance, Shifters
Publication day: January 13, 2016
Length:  877 locations (.mobi file)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press

With his father barely in the ground and his sister married to a scheming bastard, Carter is on the verge of losing the family ranch. His only chance at holding onto his inheritance is to get his cattle to market before his brother-in-law. That means braving Mason Canyon, which on top of being snake-infested and easily flooded, is also shifter territory. Most clans would just as soon shoot humans as look at them.

His only hope of making it is to trust the shifter who’s agreed to help him, and pray that Rani won’t double-cross him. If Carter doesn’t go he loses everything, and if he doesn’t make it there his family is as good as dead.

My View: I absolutely loved this story– it was a pleasant surprise. Since the very beginning, the reader was pulled toward Carter and his situation. With every detail, we get to feel and stand in his shoes; almost as if experiencing the events through him. His solace and despair were very vivid, as well as his developing relationship with Rani.

Both MCs were interesting and multi-dimensional. Each had a unique personality that evolved through the story. They complemented each other and their journey together, even when short, was perfectly paced to engage the reader into their travels.

All the characters and events had a real purpose, and none were simple placeholders. From the start, we get the sense of a real western setting. The author did a great job combining the lexicon and atmosphere of the Ol’ West. As you read, you can almost hear the twang in the characters’ voices and the difference between the humans and the shifters.

The snakes, the canyon, and the Big Top arrival felt real. The characters were not the only ones in the journey; the readers experience everything with them– from the terrain to the high waters, and Carter’s recovery.

And, the characters relationship just added to an exquisite story. Even removing the romance aspect, Dangerous Territory was a great western read. Their scenes together and how they developed until their mating made the reader want more of their HEA.

What I liked the most: How their relationship transformed and the prospect of their HEA.

I wanted more of: Their future. I wanted to see them together as an everyday couple.

Cover: The cover for this story is beautiful and all encompassing. Everything in it is also part of the story.

Who should read it: Ol’ Western fans.

 ARC received via NetGalley, courtesy of Less Than Three Press, for an honest review.