What starts out as a fairly traditional western — a middle aged bounty hunter named Keeper Tyree is hired by a young widow, Cathleen O’Donnell, to avenge the death of her only male child — quickly turns into much more when Cathleen insists on joining Keeper on the hunt with the intent that when they find the murderer, she be the one to kill him. As they pursue the killer to a distant hideaway, they are delayed to rescue a stranded lawyer and his child and then a madame with her group of soiled doves. Both groups are headed for the same Western location to set up their businesses and none of them have much knowledge of how to survive in the West’s lawlessness. Tyree and Cathleen agree to guide them to their destination, make sure they’re safe before returning to their original quest. The more time Tyree and Cathleen spend together, the more the aging bounty hunter finds himself falling for this beautiful obstinate woman with a core of steel and a kind streak that though well-hidden pops up when others are in trouble.
As with all of Sandra Cox’s Westerns, this one is fast-paced, filled with excitement, solid morals, and memorable characters you would want to ride the trail with. It didn’t take more than a handful of pages for me to respect and like Keeper Tyree. You can see why in these descriptions:
And, to my joy, Sandra Cox connected this story to at least one of her other westerns (Gwen Slade) for the start of a vibrant ecosystem of Western characters and events that I hope she will build on for future stories. Highly recommended not just for those who like Westerns but for those who love a well-told and exciting story.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature Summer 2021.