Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Released now
Reviewed by Has and Lou
Jo Goodman, a premier writer of western romance and the author of In Want of a Wife, is back with a sensational new novel for fans of Linda Lael Miller and Joan Johnston
He’s got a job to do…
Former army cavalryman Quill McKenna takes pride in protecting the most powerful man in Stonechurch, Colorado: Mr. Ramsey Stonechurch himself. But the mine owner has enemies, and after several threats on his life, mines, and family, Quill decides to hire someone to help guard the boss’s daughter. Only problem is the uncontrollable attraction he feels toward the fiery-haired woman who takes the job.
…but she’s a piece of work.
Calico Nash has more knowledge of scouting and shooting than cross-stitching, but she agrees to pose as Ann’s private tutor while protecting her. But between her growing attraction to Quill and the escalating threats against the Stonechurches, Calico will soon have a choice to make—hang on to her hard-won independence or put her faith in Quill to create the kind of happy ending she never imagined…
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
Lou: Can I just write, “This book was fucking awesome and I loved everything about the romance, including the heroine who kept wanting to shoot the hero because that’s how she rolls,” for my review, pretty please?
Has: Ha! The opening chapter for This Gun for Hire was just freaking sublime. I loooooved how Calico and Quill first met which set the tone and romance throughout the book. And yes! I adored that Calico kept threatening to shoot him, and he was like, “ohhh pretty awesome lady, I am so impressed and admire you wanting to do so.” The humour and wit was classic Goodman, but Calico was definitely one of my all time favourite heroines of Goodman’s because Calico was smart, resourceful and capable and I liked she had the badass reputation in the book.
Lou: The opening scene for the chapter had high stakes and it glued me to the pages. It made me fall in love with the western romance genre all over again. Calico was a bounty hunter who had earned the respect and fear from both the law and criminals. She was smart, wily and so full of confidence. I adored her. What made me love her that extra bit harder was her reaction to Quill and her horror at his unnatural smiling way. She made me laugh so much. She also wanted to shoot him numerous times. The humour in This Gun for Hire tickled my funny bone. Quill was equally awesome because Calico didn’t know it but she was his from the very first moment he laid eyes on her. He wasn’t possessive towards her (far from it) but he had this quiet confidence that was just as powerful as Calico’s powerful personality and nature.
Has: That is what I loved so much about their relationship and dynamic. It was one filled with mutual respect and partnership as well as a growing attraction. I was expecting a more action packed story with a gritty undertone. But instead there was a slow pace mystery that reflected the tone of the romance and I think that really added to the romance. Quill was not only supportive towards Calico, but admired her for her skills and traits and that helped draw Calico to him. I loved their quiet understated chemistry. It really illustrated the overall feel of the romance and plot.
Lou: It shows how talented Goodman is because the lack of tension between Calico and Quill didn’t lesson the romance or story whatsoever. The dialogue between them was full of banter, laughter and like Has said above, mutual respect. The love scene when it happened was a major surprise because I was expecting something to interrupt them because heroes and heroines are drawn together and then broken apart from outside or inner conflict. None of that happened here. Their romance blossomed and I was expecting Calico to retreat maybe or turn Quill away but NOPE. They had their smexy times and damn anyone else who might hear them. I loved that aspect about Quill. He didn’t care if people found out about them. And when danger comes knocking at Calico’s door, he didn’t turn into a caveman and shout and growl, “you are my woman, I’ll protect you.” He would never act that way towards Calico because he respected her too much and because she would never allow him to get away with it.
Has: THIS! It was a true partnership, and I love when a hero admires and supports the heroine by giving her space to let her do her own thing, instead of being the alpha protector if she is able to defend herself. I also felt the way their relationship evolved was realistic and I am glad there was no real obstacles because it would have felt forced for me.
However, I did find the mystery was a bit predictable. I guessed who was the villain from the beginning, but I was curious to see how Calico and Quill would tackle it.
Lou: I was torn because without revealing spoilers, I was hoping for a secondary romance between Ramsey and a certain character but halfway the mystery did become predictable and I knew no secondary romance was about to happen. Calico and Quill worked as a team and this is why their HEA will be a true partnership on equal footing. I was surprised by Quill’s sneaky reveal towards the end in his profession, and I must admit my first reaction was, “omg, this makes him so much hotter.” Yes, I am that shallow. I would loved to have seen more smexy happenings but alas, that is me being very greedy because I didn’t want Calico and Quill’s romance to end.
This Gun for Hire is a wonderful romance with one of my favourite heroines of this year. It made me want to read all of Goodman’s backlist titles. If you love a kickass bounty hunter heroine with a quiet but self-confident and humorous hero, then go read this book.
I give This Gun for Hire an A.
Has: This Gun for Hire was an enjoyable read, and I adored the relationship between Calico and Quill which was filled with witty sexy banter that underlined a wonderful romance. While I think the mystery and conflict was understated, the engaging leads and their chemistry made this book a truly memorable and entertaining romance!
I give This Gun for Hire a B+