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Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes the first book in a compelling, emotionally resonant series set in a remote west Texas town—where family can be made by blood or by choice…
Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendent of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady… or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.
Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined.
Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters.
In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.
My take: Ransom Canyon is the first book in Jodi Thomas’s new series. I enjoyed meeting the people who live in and around Crossroads, Texas. After maintaining an almost aloof relationship for years Staten Kirkland and Quin O’Grady are faced with a life-changing decision.
Newcomer Yancy Grey is hoping for a second chance at life when he falls into a job that surprises him even more than the people who will come to rely on him.
There’s a budding friendship between two teens that may become more over the course of the next few years. That will have to wait if Lauren’s father has anything to say about it. He’s the sheriff, after all.
I loved the way Jodi Thomas wove her story with love, drama and humor. It’s why I enjoy her books so much. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Ransom Canyon series. Recommended to fans of the author and contemporary, small town romance.
With seven generations of my family in Texas, of course I write about the state I love. In this new series I’m going more modern-day western than I ever have. Step into the life of small towns and ranching with me. I promise, you’ll fall in love with the people of Ransom Canyon.
The idea for RANSOM CANYON came from living in the Texas Panhandle. I wanted to write about the real west of today. I wanted my people to be like the men and women I grew up with, honest and true. Not the cowboy on a book cover who has never been on a horse, but the cowboy who gets up at five to load his own horse and make it to the ranch before dawn. He doesn’t work by the hour, but by the day.
More than anything else I’ve always thought the people make the stories in books. I love characters who walk off the page and the reader falls a little bit in love as they discover not only passion, but a bond as deep as time.
As I began my first book in the series Staten Kirkland jumped off the page. He’s strong and good, a rancher everyone looks up to, but he’s broken and only one woman can calm his heart. Shy Quinn asks nothing of him. She offers understanding amid the storm of his life.
Ransom Canyon is about the beauty of people and how they interact with one another as friends, families and lovers. And, of course, the winners in life’s game are the people who love the deepest. So, saddle up with me and step into Ransom Canyon.
Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 41 novels and 13 short story collections. A five-time RITA winner, Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns to her Victorian-era roots and introduces a new, adventurous protagonist in Veronica Speedwell
Advance Praise for A CURIOUS BEGINNING:
“The intrepid Veronica’s witty narration and the sexual tension she shares with the equally eccentric and articulate Stoker deliver a fun read with promises of more to come.” Publishers Weekly
“Mastermind of the charming Lady Grey Mysteries series, Raybourn introduces her latest feisty heroine, deftly twining together suspense, romance, and cracking good dialogue….As Veronica and Stoker careen through dastardly plot twists, they match wits, bantering with skill worthy of Tracey and Hepburn. A thrilling—and hilarious—beginning to a promising new series.” Kirkus
“With wicked intelligence, Deanna Raybourn has created a fresh and fascinating sleuth. Veronica Speedwell is sure to join the greats of mystery fiction. Impeccably plotted and meticulously researched, A CURIOUS BEGINNING will leave you, as it left me, whimpering for more.” Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce series
A CURIOUS BEGINNING
by Deanna Raybourn
Veronica Speedwell is not your typical Victorian-era woman. Scoffing at the notion of marriage, she is a lepidopterist by training and has traveled the world searching for rare specimens of butterflies, leading to several series of adventures around the world. However, mere hours after burying the second of the two spinster aunts who raised her, she comes home to find her cottage being ransacked and is saved by the kind, yet mysterious Baron von Stauffenbach, who warns her of impending danger. Thus begins the aptly named A CURIOUS BEGINNING (New American Library; Hardcover; September 1, 2015; $25.95).
Packing her few belongings (most importantly her trusty butterfly net), Veronica follows the Baron to London where he leaves her in the care of the ill-tempered naturalist, Stoker. However, the Baron himself is brutally murdered and Stoker fears that they may be being set-up to take the fall, he and Veronica elude the authorities. Aided by her sharp wit (and tongue), the hirsute Stoker, and a well-placed hatpin, Veronica flees London. However, there are still mysterious men trying to single her out. And Stoker, keeping his oath to the Baron, tries to keep her safe at any cost. What follows is a series of adventures involving noble families, harrowing boat escapes, a stuffed mouse, and a traveling freak show.
As Veronica and Stoker get closer to uncovering the Baron’s killer, more details emerge about how this is related to Veronica, as there is still a threat to her safety. And that threat is tied to her true parentage.
Deanna Raybourn is the author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Lady Julia Grey mysteries and several standalone novels. She lives in Virginia with her family.
More Advance Praise for A CURIOUS BEGINNING:
“Deanna Raybourn writes with wisdom, sass and a rich texture that is a joy to read. I love this book! A CURIOUS BEGINNING brings us the powerful Veronica Speedwell who triumphs over diversity and danger with wit, charm and uncanny determination. This is a real find for mystery lovers!” —Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin River series
“A CURIOUS BEGINNING is a fantastic read, both wickedly clever and devilishly amusing. Like a grown-up Flavia de Luce, Victorian explorer and naturalist Veronica Speedwell is a joy—slaying rapscallions, scoundrels and dullards alike with her bon mots—or sharpened hatpin. She’s an unflappable, unrepentant, and thoroughly delightful butterfly of a new heroine—and I’m already impatiently drumming my fingers awaiting the next book.” — Susan Elia MacNeal, author of the New York Times bestselling Maggie Hope series
“I’ve been a big fan of Deanna’s for some time and this book was a treat to read. How could I resist a royal scandal, an Irish plot, and a really sexy hero who has a tendency to work with no shirt on? Deanna is one of the few writers who can make history feel immediate and exciting without losing a feel for the period.” —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Her Royal Spyness series and winner of the Agatha Award for Queen of Hearts
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