Rustler’s Moon by Jodi Thomas

  • Rustler's Moon (1:26:16)Title:  Rustler’s Moon
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #2
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  January 2016 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

About:  On a dirt road marked by haunting secrets, three strangers caught at life’s crossroads must decide what to sacrifice to protect their own agendas…and what they’re each willing to risk for love. 
If there’s any place that can convince Angela Harold to stop running, it’s Ransom Canyon. And if there’s any man who can reveal desires more deeply hidden than her every fear, it’s Wilkes Wagner. Beneath the rancher’s honorable exterior is something that just might keep her safe…or unwittingly put her in danger’s path. 
With his dreams of leaving this small Texas town swallowed up by hard, dusty reality, all Wilkes has to show for his life is the Devil’s Fork Ranch. Though not one to let false hope seduce him, he can’t deny the quiet and cautious beauty who slips into his world and changes everything. 
Lauren Brigman finally has freedom at her fingertips. All she needs is Lucas Reyes’s attention—a look, a touch, some sign that she’s more to him than a girl he rescued one dangerous night. But now it’s her turn to rescue someone, and the life-altering decision may cost her more than a chance with Lucas.  (publisher)

My take:  Angela, Wilkes and Lauren may find themselves at a crossroads but so do a few other characters in Rustler’s Moon.

As usual, Jodi Thomas’ newest Ransom Canyon book is filled with drama, mystery and romance. Will Angela be able to escape her past and build a future she never dreamed would be hers? If so, how will Wilkes figure into it? Lauren is finally at college but why doesn’t freedom feel as good as she thought it would? And what’s the deal with: A) her roomie; B) her best friend; and C)Lucas, her love?

One of the things I love about a Jodi Thomas novel is the multi-generational aspect. In this book a man is trying to find a place in the canyon that has haunted him most of his 70+ years. A few friends join him in his search which had me laughing or feeling sad for him at different times.

I enjoyed all the storylines and look forward to seeing arcs continue in future books. I recommend Rustler’s Moon to fans of Jodi Thomas and contemporary/small town romance.

Sunday Post

Wishing everyone on the East Coast the best – including my little sis who is in NYC celebrating her birthday this weekend. Stay safe and warm, all!

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

Once a Rancher (3:29)  Britt-Marie Was Here (5:10)

Last week on Bookfan:

Midnight in St. Petersburg (1:19) spotlight   Cover.Final-2

Currently reading:

Winter Street (kindle)


The Lie And The Lady by Kate Noble

  • Cover.Final-2Title:  The Lie and the Lady
  • Author:  Kate Noble
  • Series:  Winner Takes All #2
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  December 2015 – Pocket Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  John Turner thought only of winning a bet when he swapped identities with his friend the Earl of Ashby. He didn’t wager on winning the fiery Countess of Churzy’s heart with his lies, or on falling for her in return. Publicly humiliated when she learned of the betrayal, the impoverished countess fled, and John thought Leticia was lost to him forever…until fate brings her practically to his doorstep. Can he regain her trust—and her heart—this time as himself?

Determined to make a new life for herself, Letty knows she must avoid Turner—and his maddening kisses—in order to survive. But some things are too intoxicating to be denied. If she turns her back on her dashing rogue—again—will she lose her chance at love forever? (back of the book)

My take:  Lady Churzy was betrayed by Mr. Turner in a very public way that left her whispered about wherever she went. She couldn’t outrun the lie that scandalized the ton. That didn’t stop her from looking for a new life and security. When she met Sir Barty in Paris she thought she’d finally found the life she was looking for – the life she needed.

John Turner made a big mistake but he thought he could correct it so he kept looking for Letty (Lady Churzy). When he found her practically in his own back yard he couldn’t believe his good luck. But that feeling didn’t last long. Would he ever be able to convince her to trust him?

The plight of an unmarried woman without means at that time was at the forefront of the novel and I had sympathy for Letty for that reason. But to accomplish her goal she had to be calculating so she risked hurting people very close to her. I just knew that wouldn’t end well for most of them. I wasn’t sure how Letty and John would find their HEA but I soon knew the author would get them there.

The character that charmed me the most was Lady Margaret, the nineteen year old daughter of Sir Barty. She was quite introverted and chose to spend the majority of her time in the gardens and greenhouse. Margaret was beginning to evolve in the late pages of the novel and I hope we’ll see more of her at another time.

The Lie and the Lady was entertaining, a bit melodramatic, and, in some spots, laugh out loud funny. I enjoyed the main characters and the supporting ones – townspeople, servants, and such. Noble’s descriptions made it easy to envision the various settings and characters. This is the first of her books I’ve had the chance to read and I look forward to more in the future.

Recommended to fans of Kate Noble and Historical Romance.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett

Midnight in St. Petersburg (1:19) spotlight

About the book:  Faberge jewels, the mysterious Rasputin, and a priceless violin: Each plays a part in one young woman’s fight for survival, and for love, in revolutionary Russia.

St. Petersburg, 1911. Inna Feldman has fled the pogroms of the south to take refuge with distant relatives in Russia’s capital. Welcomed by the flamboyant Leman family, she is apprenticed into their violin-making workshop. She feels instantly at home in their bohemian circle, but revolution is in the air, and as society begins to fracture, she is forced to choose between her heart and her head.

She loves her brooding cousin, Yasha, but he is wild, destructive, and devoted to revolution. Horace Wallick, an Englishman who makes precious Faberge creations, is older and promises security and respectability. And, like many others, she is drawn to the mysterious, charismatic figure beginning to make a name for himself in the city: Rasputin.

As the rebellion descends into anarchy and bloodshed, a commission to repair a priceless Stadivarius violin offers Inna a means of escape. But what man will she choose to take with her? And is it already too late?

A magical and passionate story steeped in history and intrigue, Midnight in St. Petersburg is an extraordinary novel of music, politics, and the toll that revolution exacts on the human heart.

About the author:  Vanora Bennett studied Russian at Oxford University and in the USSR. She began her career as a journalist at Reuters and went on to serve as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, winning a U.S. Overseas Press Club award for her writing on Russia. She now lives in Britain and has won the Orwell Prize for political writing for her work at The Times. She is the author of four novels, including Portrait of an Unknown Woman, and two books of non-fiction.

Praise for Midnight in St. Petersburg:

“Compelling, heartbreaking, passionate.” – Simon Sebag Montefiore

“A tale of thundering passions set in the Russian Revolution…Historical fiction at its best.” – Kate Saunders, The Times

“A rich gorgeous broth of passion and danger…I was swept away by the meticulous set-dressing, epic plot and unashamed romanticism.” – Saga Magazine

“Bennett’s sophisticated grasp of historical realities and psychological complexity gives power and depth to what might easily have been a clichéd romance.” – Sunday Times

US Giveaway

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Midnight in St. Petersburg (1:19) spotlight

Giveaway ends: January 27, 2016