Published November 28th 2011 by Alinar Publishing
Abigail Thornton has found herself in a mountain of trouble. On the run from a mysterious man from her past, Abigail has become a mail order bride in order to escape the nightmare chasing her. Her intended groom is a no show, and out of money and ideas she now finds herself in the middle of a bar room brawl and carted off to jail by the handsome but obnoxious town Marshal.
Marshal Morgan Avery has just come in from a long, hard dirty man hunt and wants nothing more than a stiff drink and a night spent in the arms of one the saloon whores. Before he can even get to the bar, he is flattened by a pretty stranger that leads to a busted lip, a black eye, and more pain than he cares to endure. Having his evening thwarted, he throws the spitfire in jail until his temper cools and he gets to the bottom of the secret she is hiding.
As with all “new 2 me” authors, I always go in with a bit of trepidation. In this case I was also about to read a sub-genre that is not exactly in my wheelhouse. It has been quite awhile since I read a Western historical romance and I must say that I haven’t been enthralled by most of what I had read. Soooo not the case with this book. It had everything I deem necessary for a fantastic read.
First the hero (always my favorite element of any novel), Morgan was not a squeaky clean, self righteous lawman. He drank, whored, had a temper, and was not above using his position to get a little revenge on a smart mouthed, trouble causing lady. He was also kind, did his best as a Marshal, loved his family, and at the core of it all, a protector. Add to that the green eyes and (clears throat) his big gun, well Morgan is just about perfect.
Now onto the heroine, often the bane of my literary enjoyment. At first glance, Abigail struck me as your typical, scatterbrained, somewhat silly historical heroine, until I read for five minutes. When she struts into that saloon and causes that brawl, I was all “You go, girl!”. When she refuses to back down from the Marshal who throws her into a filthy, smelly jail cell, I admit I did a mental fist pump. No shy, silly miss, here. No siree, Abigail has many, MANY layers. The best layer, IMHO, is the fact that she is best friends with her sexuality and not afraid to let it run free.
Although relatively short, The Lawman spans several months without any conspicuous interrupting of the story flow. The writing was fluid, the plot itself intriguing, the characters (many of which I hope to see in future Willow Creek novels) were enjoyable, well developed and multifaceted. The dialogued had great wit, snark and had me chuckling at quite a few passages. The heat content was quite a surprise. Go on with your bad self, Ms. Graison! This book was nuclear! Plenty of down and dirty, up and dirty, on the table and dirty, I ate it up. Do I as a picky, picky reviewer recommend this? You betcha!