Release date: Out now
Shoot first. Ask her name later.
Wild State, Book 1
Infamy weighs heavy on Delaney Crawford’s broad shoulders, first as a supposed Confederate turncoat, then as a relentless hunter of Cheyenne dog soldiers. Summoned to the small mining community of Red Creek, the exhausted, embittered Del is doing what he does best—ridding the town of its savage scourge—when one of his bullets misses the mark.
Ex-nun Moira Tully has been working with John White Horse for months to integrate a band of peaceful Cheyenne with the local townsfolk. Now he’s hurt, and she’s been caught in the crossfire. There’s only one man to blame for her simmering anger and the inexplicable attraction that tilts her heart on its axis. Del.
When Del is forced to acknowledge the truth that the Cheyenne are no threat, his task just gets more complicated: fighting a wild attraction that catches flame at the most inconvenient times, and figuring out the treacherous motives behind his hiring.
But the most heart-wrenching challenge could be overcoming sordid pasts that won’t stay in the past—pasts that threaten to bury all hope of happily ever after.
Features a trigger-happy Southern gentleman, an ex-nun gone rogue and consistently thwarted desires that frustrate them both
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Delaney Crawford is in the town of Red Creek to help clear out a band of indian rebels who have been threatening and killing other neighbouring settlements. Del is a hardened ex-soldier and is an established killer for hire for the Government. Everything he knows changes drastically when he encounters, and accidentally shoots, at ex-nun turned school-teacher, Moira Tully. She is left shaken by their encounter and is definitely not impressed when a notch of her ear is lost due to the shooting. Despite this awkward meeting they both share an instant attraction, and in the midst of a town filled with racial tension between the town inhabitants and the local Indian tribe, both Moria and Del get caught up in a tense showdown.
I knew I was in for a real fun time with this book when within the first few pages, it opens up to an ex-nun who is accidentally shot by her gunslinger hero. This, dear readers, sets up a terrific romance! It also sums up the tone and atmosphere of the story, and I absolutely loved it because the build-up between Moira and and Delaney was beautifully developed. It’s one of those books you can close the page, or click off your reader, with a satisfied smile.
Delaney is a fabulous hero, and he made a great impression in the first few pages of his introduction. I loved his stoic, dispassionate and gruff demeanor, especially when the facade melts when he started to develop emotions for Moira. Del is running away from his past, and trying to forget the scars of the Civil War (he was a confederate soldier) and loss of his family and home. I especially loved the parallels this had with the sub-plot with the Indian tribe which Moria is trying to integrate into the town. But Del shares the same deep weariness over the conflict that was brought on due to war and high tensions over differences, and especially struggles over the land. This gave him an added dimension to his character, and this is my favourite type of romance, especially if the hero is such a hard-hearted and cold character. It made the romance more real and heartfelt for me.
Moira was also a wonderful heroine and a fantastic foil to Del’s hardened attitude which sparked up funny banter that flowed really well. I loved the chemistry that Edie Harris built up between them. It had a fun dynamic, and at the same time, sweet and tender. Moira is also connected to a dark past, which is due to a rape, and this is the reason why she leaves her order and the loss of her faith. I loved how Edie Harris dealt with this issue and the search for a safe place which is something that Moira craves. This really cemented their relationship because during the scene when they both confided to each other about their hidden and scarred pasts, their romance shines.
However, I did find the sub-plot with the Indian Dog Soldiers a bit of a let down towards the end of the book. I wished it was developed more because it did hold promise, especially with the parallels with Del’s past and the secondary character of John White Horse who helps him with his hunt. I hope John White Horse appears in future books. I found the ending of that story anti-climatic and rushed. It also didn’t hold much tension or danger but despite that, the the romance was solid on the forefront and it was the real highlight of the story.
On the whole, WILD BURN was a pure and utter satisfying gem of a Western Romance with a strong core of a romance with fleshed out characters who truly stand out. Edie Harris has a terrific voice and I think she will definitely be offering more memorable and fun romances in the future!
I give WILD BURN a B+
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