ROMANCE

The Last Renegade

Berkley Sensation: Penguin Group (USA). Sept. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 97804250250969. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL
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Hiring a fast gun to stop the murderous Burdick ranching family from destroying the town was a last resort for Raine Berry, proprietor of the Pennyroyal Saloon and Hotel in Bitter Springs, Wyoming Territory. When the man she hired is killed before he gets to town, his dying words send fellow passenger Kellen Coltrane to Bitter Springs in his place, placing Raine's hopes on this attractive, enigmatic stranger—and totally unexpected hero. A frightened town, a vicious family with a distorted sense of entitlement, an undaunted heroine on a mission of justice, and an insightful, canny hero with intrigues of his own come together in a beautifully written, cleverly plotted, sometimes disturbing story that is a rich, rewarding read and a cut above the rest.
VERDICT Simmering sexual tension, exceptional character development, and slowly revealed secrets make this a book to savor. Goodman (A Place Called Home) lives in West Virginia.

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