Author: Beth Henderson
Genre: Historical Western Romance
SHE KNEW WHAT SHE WANTED – A MAN OF FIRE
HE THOUGHT HER THE EQUIVALENT OF A GUT SHOT – SLOW, PAINFUL, AND FATAL A person should be allowed to do what they do best, Harte Favre feels. Unfortunately, ladies of good family who are heiresses as well, are expected to forget that they were excellent card players (particularly when it comes to occasionally manipulating the cards) or being excellent shots. She is far more the expert than her cousin Yancy when it comes to either firearms or card playing. But it is being caught playing poker with her father’s friends that lands Harte on the next Eastbound train. As Yancy is equally in their black books, it is uncertain whether she is escorting him or he her. Sent to her staid relatives in Chicago, Harte is sure that the men cruising the ballrooms in search of complacent wifely material will no doubt be as boring as those she’s already run through their hoops in Virginia City, Nevada. She knows Yancy has no intention of seriously considering becoming a lawyer under their uncle tutelage. The trouble is she wants a man who interests her, who draws her like a moth to a flame. A man of fire. One quite likely dangerous. Possibly even an outlaw. A gun hand, indubitably. The sort of man her parents, her best friend, and no doubt her uncle and aunt feel is not the right sort to invite into the family. Yet, it is the night before she and Yancy are due to leave Virginia City that she finds such a man. Of course, at the time, he thinks she is a blood thirsty boy determined to protect her dangerously bored cousin’s back. When fate throws them together aboard the train the next morning, she finds it impossible to ignore him. Richard Thorton finds Harte dangerously intriguing and knows better than to associate with a woman of her class...and no doubt, clutches. She is a woman longing to be wanton, though he doubts she would feel the same should he give into the temptation. She wants him for more than merely physical education exercises, though. She wants him to protect her feckless cousin Yancy. A job just as likely to see him pushing up daisies as staying within her alluring circle, because Harte Favre isn’t merely dangerous. She’s the equivalent of a goddamn gut shot, slow, painful and fatal. In a story that boards an Eastbound, rather than Westbound, train and steams from Nevada to Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, and then on to Chicago (both the drawing rooms of the wealthy and the worst Red Light districts), Harte takes a chance to live the life she longs for, reinventing herself as Lucky Clover, a lady gambler. Thorton finds his past is intent upon dragging him back to living by his gun, something he’d hoped to avoid, and revisiting the streets he grew up on as a thief and a young pickpocket. His secrets aren’t his alone for there are others who recreated themselves, as he did, hiding as he is with a name of their own choosing. Disaster is but a shot away, but who will pull the trigger, and who will the victim be, are answers hiding in the shadows of Chicago. Reviewers say:
• “Beth Henderson creates characters that you might expect to see walking down the streets of the 1800s. They are so real with all the foibles that make us human. Lucky:… has it all: great promises and great disappointments, romance, and thrilling brawls. And everything is in counterpoint to the plotting of her villains.” 5 • “…an enjoyable read for me. The author did a great job with characterization, pace, and plot. The characters were believable and interesting. The historical aspect of the book was spot on.” 4
A woman good at cards and guns is either lucky or a bit crazy...Harte is living life the only way she knows how: full steam ahead. No self-respecting heiress from high society would be caught dead playing cards and shooting guns, right? Well, except for Harte Favre. Her latest card game lands her in hot water and on an eastbound train with her cousin Yancy. Shipped off to her relatives in Chicago, she's expected to be a dutiful heiress and secure a husband. Talk about boring. The kind of man she wants screams danger, a man who lights her whole being on fire. She meets handsome, daring, outspoken Richard Thorton and knows he's the right man for her. Both Harte and Richard are trying to outrun and outgun their pasts. If they can stay alive long enough, they just might find love is the greatest gamble of all.
Lucky is a heart-racing historical western romance from start to finish. Part old west, part adventure, part romance, this book has it all. I love a strong heroine, especially one who bucks tradition and knows how to handle herself. Harte is an adventurer born in the wrong era. Harte's transformation throughout this story is impressive and moving. The plot moves at a fast pace with plenty of action, old west charm, romance, and historical accuracy. Beth Henderson plunges the reader inside the story. The world-building is intricate and reminds me of old classic western novels with a twist or two. The action scenes are classic western while the romance is true to the old west. If you love historical western romance, pick up Lucky. Brilliant from start to finish, Lucky makes for great reading. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5+ stars
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BETH HENDERSON spent a decade writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s, but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now 30 years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte.
Today she divides her time writing urban fantasy comedic mystery as J.B. Dane, and Steampunk and Dieselpunk adventure as Nied Darnell. She also continues to dapple with romantic suspense and historical romantic adventure. For the past decade she’s been at the front of various online workshops, sharing her experiences and offering helpful – she hopes – hints to other fiction writers. As each of those workshops is retired, it morphs into an e-book, so the info is still circulating. Let’s say Beth is diversified, hmm?
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N