Bitter Springs Series, Book 1
This is the first book of a trilogy, and I read the second and third books a while ago and really liked them. Like most romances, order isn’t all that important but I was happy to finally get the background of this trilogy.
These are historicals, set in the Old West around 1889, and I have learned that the difference between Western Romance and just plain old westerns is the happy ending. Romances must have a happy ending, and westerns often end with somebody riding out of town.
Bitter Springs is a small town in Wyoming, a train stop on the western route. When a man named Nat Church gets murdered on the train, Kellen Coltrane is there. Nat hides his guns in Coltrane’s bags, and gives him some letters, asking him to stop in Bitter Springs and see “Penny Royal.”
Turns out Pennyroyal is the name of the hotel and the owner, the Widder Berry, is expecting him. Her sister was raped and murdered and the man sentenced to jail for it has escaped. His family runs the small town with bloodshed and fear, and the Widder wants to put an end to all the bloodshed.
Meanwhile, one by one the jurors and the marshal are killed so this is more mystery than romance. But Coltrane and Berry gradually fall in love and the mystery is solved, all ending with a happy ending.
5/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE LAST RENEGADE by Jo Goodman. Berkley; Original edition (September 4, 2012). ISBN 978-0425250969. 384p.