The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas

When three woman appear at the Sheriff’s office confessing to the murder of a man that can’t be found, what is a sheriff to do? So he raffles them off to any man who can pay the fine with the understanding that the man will marry them.  The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas is the first in the The Wife Lottery series and tells the story of Bailee, sent off by her father to cross the plains and never return, Bailee is the practical one and finds herself married to Carter McKoy, a stranger.

Carter doesn’t like strangers and surprises himself when he enters his name for the wife lottery. When he takes Bailee home he is surprised at how well she fills the silence of his life but he finds it hard to say anything to her.  Bailee invites strangers into the house, causing Carter to worry about sharing everything with her. But when Carter is needed to communicate with the small child who is the only witness still alive from a train robbery, Carter and Bailee will need to pull together to combat the danger that threatens their very lives.

I love The Wife Lottery series but especially Bailee’s story. Bailee’s practicality and willingness to do what needs to be done is great but underneath she hides a vulnerability and a desire to be wanted forever.  Carter’s character breaks my heart and just makes me want to give him a big hug.  Carter, having almost starved as a child, rations his food like he will never have enough and the scene where she serves his entire ration of bread to a guest and Carter almost cries as he watches the bread disappear is incredible in its ability to make you feel all Carter’s feelings.  Jodi’s characters are sympathetic and entertaining.  The three woman are all so different, Bailee the practical one, Lacy the woman-child who speaks her mind and Sarah, the broken angel.  There is also a fourth book that is the story of Two-bits, the child who helps the three out of their danger and her Ranger, Dalton. I highley recommend the entire series.

Jodi Thomas

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Title: The Texan’s Wager

Author: Jodi Thomas

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 309

ISBN: 0-515-13400-7

Publisher: Jove Historical Romance

Release Date: November 2002

Reviewer: Jessica

High Lonesome by Louis L’Amour

Considine is a very cautious outlaw who has to decide whether to pull off the biggest bank robbery in all times or tofollow after the girl he might love as she travels with her father through heavy Indian territory. In High Lonesome by Louis L’Amour, Considine discovers that the girl he thought he loved isn’t the right one for him after she destroys an amazing friendship between Considine and Pete Runyon. When Considine runs from town with a broken heart, he turns to outlawry to earn money. With each heist he pulls, he plans for every event that could possibly happen to change the outcome until there is no chance that it could go wrong. When he is about to get back at Pete for stealing his girl, he meets Lennie and her stubborn father passing through the same region. The girl and her father are bent on making it through the Indian territory to a free land in California. Circumstances quickly change around both Lennie and Considine until he is forced to choose between revenge and love.

I really loved this book and I believe it contains all essential components to make a great western! It has a quickly moving plot involving a test of character, an intense fist-fight, a gun battle, and just a touch of romance. When reading this book I was reminded how much I love reading Louis L’Amour’s including the hundreds I read while in middle school. I have never grown out of them!

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Title: High Lonesome

Author: Louis L’Amour

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 152

ISBN: 0-553-25972-5

Publisher: Bantam Books

Release Date: September 1962

Reviewed by: Jillian

American Historical Genre

The Fourth of July always gets me thinking of American History so for the month of July we are going to be looking at books that fall within the American Historical genre. What exactly is American Historical you ask? Well, after giving it a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that it covers a wide range of books.

The first books to think about are the colonization of America and the American Revolution. Carla Capshaw, author of The Duke’s Redemption, a novel set during the American Revolution will be stopping by to discuss why she writes in this amazingly historical time period.

After the American Revolution we the expansion West and South. We can’t talk about the expansion West and the pioneers without thinking about Louis L’Amour so I will be posting a review of my favorite L’Amour book and Jillian will be posting a review of one of her favorite.

Following the expansion West and South, we have the Civil War, the event that turned brother against brother and father against son, almost destroying our country in the process.

Finally, we have the Second World War.  While America did participate in the First World War, it was the Second World War that really drew our nation together and impacted what was to follow with the Cold War.

I have decided to end the American Historical genre with the 1960s, while it could be argued that the genre covers through the 70s and the 80s, I have decided to stop the coverage of this theme with the 50s and 60s.

Do you have a favorite American Historical novel? Let us know about it!

Santa in a Stetson by Janet Dailey

Chains

Santa in a Stetson by Janet Dailey. Having read some of Janet Dailey’s previous work, and enjoyed it, I thought I would read her latest release.  I have to admit that I struggled to get through this book.  It was well written and I liked the beginning story where the characters met and fell in love but then I struggled to relate to the main character for the rest of the book.  Most of the book takes place in the desert of New Mexico and the main character, Diana, struggles to adjust to her new surroundings.  Having grown up in the Southwest Desert, I find the desert beautiful and don’t understand when others cannot see the beauty that I see.

I was able to relate to the Diana’s struggles to find purpose and happiness in a secluded ranch after living in a big city.  I do, however, have problems understanding women who don’t figure out that they are unhappy and then try to do something about it.  When Diana first started to dislike living there, I thought she should have found some kind of hobby but that is because I am a doer. In addition, I grew up around horses and cattle so I struggle to understand individuals fears of the animals.

The book was well written and the character development was great it just was not a good fit for me.  I debated about posting about the book since I didn’t love it and I decided to review it in the interest of showing that not every book is a perfect fit for every reader.

Rating 2

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