Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Devil's Own Desperado **Review**

By Lynda Cox
Review 4.5 Stars

Then stay. Stay and learn to dream again.”

Located in Wyoming, 1887, ‘The Devils Own Desperado’ is a historical romance novel. The story starts right in the action, where a troubled gunman named Colt Evans is shot by the younger brother of one of his past victims. Injured with a bullet wound to the shoulder, Colt takes off on horseback headed in no particular direction but away. Away from his latest victim, who was just a fifteen year old kid. Away from the rest of the Matthews Clan who would most certainly be gunning for him now. Away from his past that would keep him looking over his shoulder & never allow him to sit with his back to the door. Because unfortunately for the (now up to two) Matthews brothers, when you draw on Colt Evans you die. Half dead and unconscious Colt travels a few towns over, and finds himself in the house of a young woman named Amelia. Amelia lives with her younger brother and sister, Saul and Jenny, raising the two as if they were her own, since their parents had been robbed and shot to death almost a year prior. To say that she has a problem with guns is an understatement. But with little to no questions asked, Amelia opened her home to help the wounded man. Along with calling for a doctor, she nursed him back to health herself. However, immediately the personalities of both Amelia and Colt clashed. They’re both stubborn as hell and hardened by the harsh ways in which they were forced to grow up fast. Colt had a rough childhood with an awful stepfather who threw him out at the young age of thirteen, leading him to pick up a gun and become very good at using it in order to survive. Amelia from raising two children, her brother who is nearly a teenage boy, and her seven year old sister, who hadn’t spoke since personally witnessing the murder of her parents.
 But in a matter of a couple days Colt & Amelia warm up to each other, the kids adore him from the start, and eventually they all fall completely head over heels for one another. Colt finally has the opportunity to have a family. His dreams come true. But the nightmare that comes with his past ends up being too much. And when his past hunts him down, in the form of the remaining members of the Matthews clan, it’s time to face what he’s dreaded: His past finally ending him, as soon as he began to dream again. 

As stubborn and frustrating Colt Evans was, it’s hard to not find him endearing. When the doctor is trying to help him, Colt goes as far as pointing a gun at them man and threatening him.  The doctor’s reaction was too casual, considering he had a gun pointed to his face.  He should have at least warned Colt that he’d let him die if he pointed a gun at him again. Thankfully, as the story progresses, Colt improves his attitude toward people and how he speaks to them. For such a hardened exterior, he’s very sensitive, almost overly. The younger brother Saul looks up to him, to a fault, and he handled the kid looking to him as an idol appropriately. The last thing Colt would want is another kid, especially the younger brother of the woman he loves, picking up a gun and dealing with the repercussions that come with using it.
The youngest sister, Jenny, opens up to Colt from the moment she lays eyes on him, which was a bit premature considering all she’s been through. But their relationship will melt your heart.
Amelia is a tough young woman with a lot of her plate, but she handles her responsibilities with an impeccable amount of grace. The way she stands up for herself and what she believes in is admirable.  Sure, she has her bad days and can be a little on edge, but who wouldn’t be? But when Colt gets better, and starts helping out around the house, with chores & the kids, it’s obvious that she needs help. She needs a husband, a man to help raise Jenny and especially Saul, who was about to be a young man himself. She didn’t know the love like she felt for him existed, that a man like him existed, but now that she did it would change her forever. There would never be another man for her and she ached for him to stay and be hers. To be theirs.

The love story and all of the elements that went in to the relationship was beautiful. Not only was there a love story between Colt & Amelia, but the whole family fell in love with Colt & each other. There could have been more action, and the storyline was a bit slow at times, but overall it was a great read. The author did a fantastic job of capturing the time period. From the reaction of the town & all of their gossiping about an unwed young woman harboring a gunman with an over exaggerated reputation, to the way people conversed with one another and handled things, I felt like I was in an old western movie!

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