February 25, 2022

Book 1

I started reading this series in the middle, as I often do, back in 2018. The first book I read was SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER, and I wasn’t thrilled with it. I picked it up during a Droughtlander (the years between the books in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and/or the eponymous TV series.) But when the next book, THE HIGHLANDER’S PROMISE, came out, I read it and liked it a lot. I read the next couple, then somehow forgot about this series.

The most recent book is HIGHLAND WOLF, which I read a few weeks ago and really enjoyed. So I started looking around at the series and realized what I had done, reading those four books in the middle. I found the rest of the series through my library. I received egalleys, advanced review copies, from the publisher for the other books in the series that I read.

These books are historical romance but also romantic suspense. There is some element of danger in all of them, and there is graphic sex in all of them as well. Mostly the same sex scenes, in fact. Only the names are changed, or at least that’s how it appeared to me. I probably wouldn’t have noticed except I read five books over the past week, one after another, so it was quite obvious. There are some gruesome descriptions of torture and murder in some of the books as well, but not overly long and usually just once in each book, if that.

These do not have to be read in order. Like many romance series, each book centers on two characters, at least one of whom we have met or heard about in a previous book. So if you haven’t read the books in order, you may not get the reference but it makes no difference to the plot or understanding the characters, who are all well developed. The later books have a few more references to previous ones, but again, not that you’d notice if you haven’t read them. All that said, they are probably best read in order.

There aren’t a whole lot of historical references other than the fact that Edward III is on the British throne, which puts these books in the 1300’s, and the English and Scots hate each other. Oh, if you didn’t get it from the titles or the book covers, these are all Scottish romances set in the Highlands of Scotland, with occasional forays into England. Amazon calls them “Medieval romances” and I guess that’s true. I did learn a lot about how people lived in that time period: what they ate, how they dressed, how they shopped, their morals and beliefs, all of which I found fascinating.

I really enjoyed this series and I’m sorry I didn’t read them in order. But I am very glad I read them all. And I hope there are more books coming!

Finally, I wanted to add that I read the first four books on Hoopla, and book 9 on Cloud Library, apps that are available through libraries. If your library doesn’t offer these options, ask for them! I don’t love reading in these apps, it’s not nearly as seamless as my Kindle but it works and I read these all on my iPad. Hoopla offers ebooks, audiobooks, comics (graphic novels,) movies, TV series, and music; pretty much any kind of streaming material. Cloud Library has ebooks and streaming audiobooks. My library allows patrons to borrow twenty items per month from Hoopla and seven items from Cloud Library, but your mileage may vary. Oh, just FYI, Hoopla changes their content at their whim; libraries have no say in it beyond making suggestions. So just because I found all these books there now, they may not be there next month or next year. What I like best about Hoopla is that whatever they have is always available. If you are used to borrowing ebooks through Cloud Library or Overdrive, you know you have to reserve popular items and wait. That doesn’t happen on Hoopla – what you see is what you get. All of these books are also available as audiobooks.

The series in order:

1. An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

From New York Times bestselling author of The Husband HuntThe Heiress, and other beloved historical romances, comes Lynsay Sands’s An English Bride in Scotland, the first book in a new series set in the wilds of the Highlands.
Annabel had planned to become a nun. But when her mother arrives at the Abbey to bring her home to marry a Scottish laird—her runaway sister’s intended husband—her life takes a decidedly different turn.
And though Annabel isn’t the wife he’d planned for, strong, sexy Ross McKay is taken with his shy, sweet bride.
Annabel knows nothing about being a wife, running a castle—or the marriage bed. But her handsome new husband makes her want to learn. When Annabel’s life is threatened, Ross vows to move the highlands itself to save her and preserve the passion that’s only beginning to bloom.

2. To Marry a Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!

Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn’t count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.

Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn’t fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she’s never known?

3. The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands

A bold, seductive laird meets his passionate match in a scintillating Highland romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands

Sword fighting, swearing, and riding astride come naturally to Saidh Buchanan. Simpering and holding her tongue— definitely not. Raised alongside seven boisterous brothers, Saidh has little interest in saddling herself with a husband . . . until she glimpses the new Laird MacDonnell bathing naked in the loch. Though she’s far from a proper lady, the brawny Highlander makes Saidh feel every inch a woman.

She has an angel’s looks, a warrior’s temper, and seeks out his kisses with wanton eagerness. Little wonder that Greer is intrigued by his comely guest. When reckless desire overtakes them, he’s more than willing to make an honest woman of her. But Saidh is the target of a hidden enemy, and Greer faces the battle of his life to safeguard the woman he wants above all others.

4. Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands welcomes readers back to the Scottish Highlands, where a gallant warrior vows to protect a beautiful runaway . . .

Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.

Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love.

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5. Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ captivating romance, a lass targeted by an unknown foe is saved—and seduced—by a bold Highlander

Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.

Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies, and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace. . . .

6. The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands

In a spellbinding new Highlands story from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, the laird of the Buchanans finds the one woman who is his equal in passion and courage

Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife…

Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?

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7. The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

A laird’s daughter kidnaps a Highlander—and loses her heart… in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new historical romance

Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.

Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.


8. Hunting for a Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Four Buchanan brothers have found their brides…only three more to go in this scintillating romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands…

Lady Dwyn Innes feels utterly out of place among the eligible women who’ve descended on Buchanan Keep, vying for the attention of the last unmarried brothers. She isn’t long-legged and slender like her sisters, or flirtatious and wily like other lasses. Since her betrothed died, Dwyn has resigned herself to becoming an old maid. Yet a chance encounter with a stranger in the orchard awakens her to a new world of sensation and possibility…

After weeks away, Geordie Buchanan returns to find his home swarming with potential brides, thanks to his loving but interfering family. But one lass in particular draws his attention from the moment he spies her climbing a tree. Lady Dwyn is not nearly as plain as she thinks. Her lush figure and eager kisses delight him, as does her honesty. But the real test lies ahead: eliminating a hidden enemy, so that he and Dwyn can seal their Highland passion with a vow.

9. Highland Treasure by Lynsay Sands

A Buchanan brother finds a love to treasure in this scintillating historical romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands…

After escaping from the English soldiers who attacked her home and imprisoned her in a dungeon, Lady Elysande de Valance is grateful for the rugged Scots who are escorting her to safety in the Highlands. Even with danger dogging their every step, she hadn’t expected to welcome the strong comforting embrace of their leader, Rory Buchanan. They say he’s a healer, but she finds the heat of his touch does so much more…

Let his brothers get married—Rory is too busy tending to the sick to be bothered with wooing a bride. But when he is tasked with accompanying a family friend’s “treasure” to the Highlands, he is surprised to learn the treasure is a beautiful woman on the run—and even more surprised to discover bruises hidden by her veil. Rory makes it his mission to tend to her injuries and protect her, but the thought of losing her makes him realize that perhaps it is his heart that is most in need of healing…

10. Highland Wolf by Lynsay Sands

New York Times Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands delivers another sexy historical romance set in the wilds of the Highlands

In all her daydreams about her wedding day, Lady Claray MacFarlane never once imagined being dragged to the altar by her greedy uncle and forced to marry a man she didn’t know. But that’s what happened, or would have, had a Highland warrior not snatched her up at the last minute and ridden off with her in his arms.

They call him the Wolf. The mercenary’s courage and prowess in battle are known throughout the Highlands, and with his handsome face and black-as-sin hair, he is as intelligent and deadly as the wolf he was named for…

But the Wolf is also Claray’s betrothed. Thought to have been killed as a child, he’s been in hiding all these years. Now he’s determined to earn enough coin to rebuild his home, reclaim his birthright, and honor his marriage contract to Claray. For he’s fallen for the tender-hearted lass…and he will do anything to protect her and their future together. 


December 13, 2021

Book 1

I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed an entire series like this before, but there is always a first time, so here it is. I found this series when another librarian was trying to help her patron find this and she asked on a readers’ advisory listserv I frequent. The patron didn’t remember the author or any of the titles, only the barest facts about it: a small town setting in Wyoming, military veterans, romance. Another librarian suggested this series, and I was intrigued. I recently read another series set in a similar area, Wranglers of Wyoming by R.C. Ryan, which I loved, so I thought I’d check out this one.

I read them all in about two weeks. Sometimes that is not a good thing – I think I would have enjoyed them more with some time between each book. As it was, these books were addicting for me, even though I have some real criticism about them.

The setting is a small town in western Wyoming in the Wind River Valley (a real place.) In the books, this is a small, impoverished town with a few families that are well off; one is quite wealthy. They are about 50 miles from the very wealthy Jackson Hole area, which is referenced regularly.

There are some characters that are in pretty much all the books. Maud and Steve own the largest ranch in the area, over 100,000 acres. Maud runs the ranch, and Steve is a world renowned architect. They mostly hire veterans to work for them. Shay owns another ranch, but a much smaller one that is in bad shape. She inherited the ranch from her mother, who died when she was young. Her father is an alcoholic and quite abusive, and he has run the ranch into the ground. When he has a stroke, Shay gets a hardship discharge from the armed services to go home and take over the ranch. She decides to only hire veterans like herself who are suffering from PTSD.

Most of the books take place on one of these two ranches. There are occasional pointed jabs at the VA and the lack of help they provide for our veterans, but these books are not political in nature, and the author has lived a lot of what she puts her characters through. She’s a veteran, among other things, and you can read all about her here: https://lindsaymckenna.com/about/

While I have a lot of respect for the author, I have some issues with this series. All the characters are the same. Pretty much everyone is a veteran, which I really liked. Almost all have been Black Ops in Afghanistan, which makes them super vigilant and extremely observant. All the men are kind, have old school manners, calloused hands, and are afraid of relationships mostly because of their PTSD. They often display “sour smiles,” whatever that is. They are all tall and well built (these are romances!) and pretty much everyone in these books (and frankly, in most romance novels) have blue, green, or gray eyes with just a couple of exceptions. That’s been bugging me for a while, so I did some research.

Can you guess the rarest eye color in the United States?

The [American Academy of Ophthalmology] surveyed more than 2,000 Americans to determine what color eyes they have. Below are the results of that 2014 Harris Poll survey, weighted to reflect the United States population at that time.

Of the 2014 U.S. population:

45% have brown eyes

27% have blue eyes

18% have hazel eyes

9% have green eyes

1% have eyes a color not listed above (i.e. gray or amber)

American Academy of Ophthalmology

The women are mostly tall and thin, usually underweight due to their PTSD. They are also afraid of relationships, same PTSD issues. They appreciate the gentleman-like manners. I loved that all the men treat the women as equals. There is so much respect for the military that it carries through to relationships these veterans have in civilian life. Every man and woman is a team player, works hard, never asks for help, hated and stopped taking the drugs prescribed by the VA, and are open to the physician’s assistant in town who is studying PTSD and offers them help via more natural methods.

Most of them have experienced homelessness, even if they come from good families. Some of the men are divorced due to PTSD, a couple are young widowers. All these veterans experience flashbacks and nightmares, making them feel like they can’t live at home with civilians who don’t understand their symptoms, not to mention they feel like they disturb the household too much to live there. They are all incredibly anxious and find salvation working with animals on these ranches. And they all acknowledge their sexual attraction to one another by feeling “warmth” or “tightness” in their “lower body,” which I found weird.

While some of the female vets did mention how badly a lot of the men in the armed services treated them, it was mostly glossed over. No mention whatsoever of the prevalence of sexual assaults, either, and of course all the men in these books totally respect women, especially those in combat, which I found quite aspirational rather than believable.

After the first book, both ranches offer their employees their own homes to live in on the ranch. At Shay’s ranch, all the wranglers are men. The homes are two bedrooms and when she hires a new wrangler, all women, she assigns them to one of the houses to live with the man who already lives there. How convenient it is that every one of these women and men fall in love with their house partner.

All the relationships take most of the book to come to fruition due to their fears and lack of communication. They all realize they have feelings, usually very strong feelings, for the person they are living with, but are hesitant to express those feelings because they are afraid they are not reciprocated. They are also afraid the other person is dealing with too much stress/psychological issues/PTSD to want to have a relationship.

A couple of these books have strong elements of suspense as well. There is a family in town who are the bad guys. The father abused his entire family. There are four sons and a mother, and all are drug users and violent criminals. Some or all of them feature prominently in a few of the books, are briefly mentioned in others.

A couple of the books center on women who aren’t working on one of the ranches. Kassie’s Cowboy is a novella, hence the addition of “6.5” in the series, and is only available as an ebook. Kassie owns the diner in this small town, and hires veterans for her staff. She is one of the few characters that doesn’t have PTSD, but all her staff do so she understands and knows how to deal with it. Wind River Lawman centers around the sheriff of the county, an odd title considering that Sarah is the sheriff, elected after her father retired. She is a veteran with issues and her love interest is a wrangler hired to work on her family’s ranch.

Finally, sex. Most romances have sex, and while these books definitely lean towards the sweet side of romance, all have one sex scene towards the end of the book. It is not very explicit, and in every book it is as close to being the exact same scene as in every other book in this series. It is the type of sex that I thought indicated a man actually wrote this series. Then, as I learned about the author, I thought ah ha! I’m right, he’s writing under a pseudonym. But her website indicates she is a woman, and the one photo I found is of a woman. Maybe it is an age thing? But that really isn’t an excuse to write bad sex scenes. All the men in these books are assumed to be great lovers by all the women in these books because, from what I can tell, of their good manners?

Worst of all, these are the type of sex scenes that make me want to stop reading; kissing leads to simultaneous orgasms from intercourse over a page or two, and that’s all she wrote. Literally.

Besides the instantaneous & simultaneous orgasms, my other big issue with the sex is that every single character hates & refuses to use condoms. One of the women is on the pill, but everyone else is “clean” and the women are all in a “safe” time of the month. I really wanted to suggest they drive by the nearest parochial school and ask the moms picking up those kids how many of those kids are there despite the “safe” time of the month.

There are so many coincidences sprinkled throughout these books that it makes the mind reel. So many of the veterans in this town were people who served together in Afghanistan. According to the Washington Post, 775,000 men and women served there. Not sure what the odds are that so many of these soldiers would end up in this little town many years later, with some of them having served together, too. It all seems pretty far fetched to me. But what do I know.

There is also a bit of confusion about the wealthy family in town. Early in the series, we are told that over the years they fostered some children who are now grown, and are still helping them out. Later in the series, it turns out these children were adopted. There are four of them, and we really don’t learn anything about them until book 8 when the oldest daughter comes home. Then we learn that three of them are in the military, and the fourth is in drug enforcement (DEA.) He shows up in the last book.

That’s a whole of complaining about a series of books that I still managed to read. I believe these books are best read in order. They are formulaic as hell; change the names, swap out the ranch or occupation, and everything else pretty much stays the same. I never thought I would like a series that is so formulaic with such bad sex scenes, but I overlooked all that because I did like these stories. I liked the respect for the military. I liked how strong these women were, even if they occasionally lapse into helpless female on rare occasion. I always like small town romances, and I really liked this small town that revolves around helping veterans. I liked the men; how strong they were, the work they do, the way they treat one another and their women. There was enough good there to keep me picking up book after book, even if I can’t quantify it exactly.

That said, I doubt I’d read anything else by this author (or any of her pseudonyms.) There is one storyline that hangs over all these books, concerning Shay’s abusive father. As he starts recovering from his stroke, he is determined to take back the ranch from his daughter. He files a lawsuit but it is not resolved; it’s just hanging over all these characters and books. I’m hoping there will be another book that finally resolves that. But it’s looking doubtful – the last book in this series was published in 2020.

Finally, I wanted to add that I read all of these books on Hoopla, an app that is available through libraries. If your library doesn’t offer it, ask for it! I don’t love reading in the app, it’s not nearly as seamless as my Kindle but it works and I read these all on my iPad. They offer ebooks, audiobooks, comics (graphic novels,) movies, TV series, and music; pretty much any kind of streaming material. My library allows patrons to borrow 18 items per month, but your mileage may vary. Oh, and the content changes at the whim of Hoopla, libraries have no say in it beyond suggestions. So just because I found all these books there now, they may not be there next month or next year. What I like best about Hoopla is that whatever they have is always available. If you are used to borrowing ebooks through Cloud Library or Overdrive, you know you have to reserve popular items and wait. That doesn’t happen on Hoopla – what you see is what you get.

The series in order:

1. Wind River Wrangler (Wind River Series Book 1) by Lindsay McKenna

First in the series from the bestselling author. “The ever-present sensuality is a magnetic force that propels the novel forward amid simmering suspense.”—Publishers Weekly

From the moment Roan Taggart picks up the pretty redhead at the Jackson Hole airport, his training and experience tells him she is spooked. She’s left New York City to visit the Wind River Ranch, where Roan is a wrangler, and just as he can pick up a horse’s mood, he can feel the tension coming off her body. And that vulnerability is triggering all his protective instincts . . .

Wind River Rancher (Wind River Series Book 2)

2. Wind River Rancher (Wind River Series Book 2) by Lindsay McKenna

A Marine veteran finds a chance for redemption and romance in this novel from the New York Times–bestselling author of Wind River Undercover.

Not so long ago, Reese Lockhart was commanding a company of Marines. Now his life is spiraling out of control. The Bar C ranch outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming may be his last chance to save himself . . .

Shaylene Crawford, an Afghanistan veteran herself, knows all too well the demons of PTSD—that’s why she’s determined to turn her family’s cattle ranch into a place where wounded warriors can work, find a home, and rebuild their souls. Her embittered father nearly drank and gambled the place away, but with help from a small crew of vets—including the newest arrival, the quietly compelling Reese Lockhart—she intends to hold on to her dream. And when someone tries to destroy that dream, Reese will do whatever it takes to defend her . . .

Wind River Cowboy (Wind River Series Book 3)

3. Wind River Cowboy (Wind River Series Book 3) by Lindsay McKenna

Two veterans reunited at a Wyoming ranch reignite their passion for each other—from the New York Times–bestselling author of Wind River Undercover.

Kira Duval was part of a Special Forces team that got caught in an ambush—leaving only two wounded survivors: herself and Weapons Sergeant Garret Fleming. Losing her team was traumatic, and in the chaotic aftermath, as the Army moved them from hospital to hospital, she lost Garret too. But she never lost her secret yearning for him.

Finally, she gave up trying to track him down back in the States. But as she settles in at the Bar C cattle ranch in Wyoming, a place where veterans can find a home and a place to heal, she’s introduced to her sandy-haired, hazel-eyed housemate: none other than Garret Fleming.

They’re a long way from Afghanistan—and a long way from the people they used to be before tragedy changed their lives. But as Kira earns her keep by caregiving for the ranch owner’s bedridden, alcoholic father—a task that sometimes feels more challenging than any black ops mission—she finds that even in peacetime Garret still has her back, and that in this warm, welcoming place, the passion she resisted in the heat of battle may finally have a chance to flourish… 

Wrangler's Challenge (Wind River Series Book 4)

4. Wrangler’s Challenge (Wind River Series Book 4) by Lindsay McKenna

Two military veterans find solace, and each other, on a horse ranch in this romance from the New York Times–bestselling author of Wind River Undercover.

For Noah Mabry, it’s easier sometimes to relate to the dogs and horses he trains than to other people. Ever since his marriage became a casualty of the war in Afghanistan—torn apart by the PTSD he brought back with him—he prefers to be on his own. At the Bar C Ranch in Wyoming, where he works with a crew of fellow military vets, his gentle patience helps tame even the rowdiest mustang—but he’s about to meet a woman who needs a healing touch he’s not sure he can give.

Dair Wilson, a half-Comanche ex-Marine who lost a foot to an IED, has been hired on to assist Noah, but her deepest wounds aren’t visible. Growing up in an abusive home, she learned not to trust men, even ones who seem nothing but kind. After a wild horse sends her sprawling, the attentive care she receives from the Bar C family—and especially from Noah—is enough to convince her she’s found a place she can finally breathe easy. But one angry, damaged man poses a threat not only to Dair and Noah, but to everyone who’s built a new home at the Bar C…

Lone Rider (Wind River Valley Book 5)

5. Lone Rider (Wind River Valley Book 5) by Lindsay McKenna

A Wyoming ranch holds the future for a combat medic and a photographer in this romance from the New York Times–bestselling author of Wind River Undercover.

As a combat photographer in Afghanistan, Tara Dalton saw things she won’t ever forget, as much as she would like to. And after returning Stateside, she can’t fight her way past the PTSD that’s haunted her ever since. Desperate to make a change, she joins her old friend Shay at the Bar C Ranch, where a group of ex-military vets are putting their lives back together one step at a time—including one strong, gentle bear of a man who makes her feel safer than she has in years.

Harper Sutton fell farther than he ever imagined after his tour of duty as a medic was up, and he’s not proud of it. But at the Bar C, he’s doing work that means something, and he’s training to be a professional paramedic. That’s enough to concentrate on, until Tara comes to share his place at the ranch. The shadows in her eyes are darker than simply memories of war, and every moment he spends with her opens up parts of himself he’d thought long dead. But as Tara’s troubled past threatens the present, it will take trust in each other to fight for a future together…

Wind River Lawman (Wind River Series Book 6)

6. Wind River Lawman (Wind River Series Book 6) by Lindsay McKenna

A small-town sheriff gets some backup in more ways than one from a Navy veteran turned rancher in this romance from a New York Times–bestselling author.

After serving as a Navy medic, Dawson Callahan is back in the States and ready to start over. Leaving his native Texas, he heads for the wide-open spaces of Wyoming, where he finds work as a wrangler. True, he’ll mainly be wrangling chickens—and wrangling Sarah Carter’s granny, who’s still spry, but in need of a little caregiving. But ranch work is ranch work, and it’s hard to turn down a job offer from the beautiful Sheriff Carter—especially when she deputizes him as one of her lawmen.
Sarah loves her grandmother, but with her law enforcement career keeping her busy, they could both use some help from a strong, steady man. And policing Lincoln County has only gotten tougher since a merciless drug lord arrived in the area. When Sarah takes a bullet on the job, it’s Dawson who comes to her rescue—and though they both thought they left war behind in Afghanistan, they’ll do whatever it takes to protect what’s theirs, even if it means facing down traumas they’ve buried for years. Because love isn’t for the faint of heart…

6.5 Kassie’s Cowboy (Wind River)Novella by Lindsay McKenna – Kindle Edition

A Christmas blizzard reunites a Marine veteran with his high school sweetheart in this romance novella from a New York Times–bestselling author.
A brutal blue norther is battering Wind River Valley in Wyoming just in time for Christmas when retired Marine Travis Grant spies a driver spinning out of control on black ice. It’s probably a tourist who doesn’t understand the deadly conditions, and Travis knows he has to help. The last person he expects to find behind the wheel is his childhood love, Kassie Murphy. She’s injured, but alive. And now, for Travis and Kassie, this snowy silent night will be one last chance to put the painful past behind them—and treat the wounds only love can heal.

Home to Wind River (Wind River Series Book 7)

7. Home to Wind River (Wind River Series Book 7) by Lindsay McKenna

An ex-Marine and an Army nurse discover the strength to love again on a Wyoming ranch—from the New York Times–bestselling author of Wind River Undercover.

After a harrowing tour of duty in Afghanistan, Army nurse Lily Thompson escapes to Wind River Ranch to find herself once more. Working as a caregiver to foreman Jake Murdoch’s elderly mother, Lily almost feels at peace—except for the unsettling presence of Jake, a tight-lipped, intimidating man everyone calls Bear. But one look in the powerful ex-Marine’s eyes and Lily glimpses a vulnerability that shakes her soul: a hurt she understands all too well—and longs to heal . . .

Jake is ready to rail at the fates when Lily moves into his home. Everything about this captivating woman calls to him, demanding that he abandon his solitary stance and start to live again. But Jake is a man who knows that no one can save him from the past that stalks his heart and mind. Not even sweet, achingly beautiful Lily. Still, that doesn’t stop his longing to pull her into his arms—and keep her there forever. Will time, and patience, bring them the courage to make their connection real?…

Wind River Protector (Wind River Series Book 8)

8. Wind River Protector (Wind River Series Book 8) by Lindsay McKenna

The new novel from the bestselling author of Home to Wind River.

Real love is worth every risk . . .

Ex-Air Force pilot Andy Whitcomb loves nothing more than the wide blue skies, but when a helicopter crash fighting forest fires in California leaves her injured and shaken, she’s ready to return home to the peace of Wind River Ranch. The good news is, there’s a chance for her to fly helos for the county sheriff’s department. The bad news? The person in charge is none other than Dev Mitchell, an ex-Army Black Hawk pilot—and the rugged, sharp-eyed man Andy has never forgotten after five days together running from the Taliban after a nerve-wracking near-miss in Afghanistan.

Dev can’t believe his eyes when Andy walks into the interview. She’s as strong and sexy as he remembers, and every bit qualified for the job, which she clearly wants. Unfortunately, if he’s going to be her boss, their relationship has to remain strictly professional—a regret Dev fights to keep hidden as they begin to work together. But when a chance encounter with violent drug traffickers forces them into survival mode, both of them will fight to hold on to the connection they can’t ignore—and the chance of a future together.

Wind River Undercover (Wind River Valley Book 9)

9. Wind River Undercover (Wind River Valley Book 9) by Lindsay McKenna

)The new novel from the bestselling author of Wind River Protector.

Hide in plain sight.

For native Guatemalan Anna Navaro, nothing is more satisfying than capturing drug traffickers for the  U.S. DEA. Her career has always been her focus, but just as she’s beginning to yearn for something more, she’s given a brand-new assignment with DEA agent Gabe Whitcomb. In his well-worn Stetson and boots, he’s part cowboy and part law enforcement, a combination Anna finds irresistibly sexy. But desire has no place on a job as dangerous as this one, because the drug lord they’re after is the violent fugitive who killed her father . . .

Gabe’s worked some treacherous assignments in the past, but this one raises every alarm—and not just because his partner is a gorgeous woman with the grace of a cat and a sniper’s deadly aim.  He and Anna are being sent to the Wind River Valley where he grew up—and where his adoptive parents still own a ranch just eighty miles from the Elson family, who have been recruited into the ruthless Gonzalez cartel.  Posing as new ranch-owners and ingratiating themselves with the Elsons to uncover evidence, Anna and Gabe can only fight the heat flaring between them until they realize that building a life together, here in Wind River, is worth risking everything for . . .

HUNTER KILLER by Brad Taylor

January 7, 2020


From the publisher:

Pike Logan tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

Pike Logan and the Taskforce were once the apex predators, an unrivaled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the United States, but they may have met their match. While Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill prepare to join their team on a counter-terrorist mission in the triple frontier—the lawless tri-border region where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet—they are targeted in Charleston, South Carolina. A vicious explosion kills a friend, and the perpetrators have set it up to look like an accident. While the authorities believe this was not foul play, Pike knows the attack was meant for him.

When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike is convinced he and the Taskforce are under assault. His men are the closest thing to family that Pike has, which means he will do anything, even ignore direct orders to stand down, to find them. Pike and Jennifer head to Brazil to investigate their disappearance and run headlong into a crew of Russian assassins. Within days they are entangled in a byzantine scheme involving Brazilian politics and a cut-throat battle for control of offshore oil fields.

Forged in combat, the Russians are the equal of anything the Taskforce has encountered before, but they make a mistake in attacking Pike’s team, because Pike has a couple of elite Israeli assassins of his own. And Pike will stop at nothing to protect his family.

Those who already addicted to ex-army Delta Force operative Brad Taylor’s novels involving Pike Logan and his Task Force team will find that the newest book in the series follows suit. The Task Force is a group of military operatives that was set up by the United States president to hunt down and neutralize enemies of the country in any way they see fit. Pike Logan is a leader of one of the teams and has spearheaded many successful ventures with them. And they report directly to the president with no affiliation to other clandestine organizations.

The novel opens as two of Pike’s men are in Brazil on assignment acting as the lead in a planned counter-terrorism operation when the Task Force is suddenly ordered to stand down from all activity pending investigation of whether or not they are acting legally. Pike’s immediate supervisor brings him the news directly but in an accident obviously aimed at killing Pike is murdered in Pike’s car when it blows up when the motor is turned on. Findings seem to indicate that it was a freak accident but Pike is of the opinion that it was a planned hit against him.

At the same time, word is received that the Task Force men in Brazil are aboard a ferry stopped by terrorists that then wired it with explosives. With no direct contact with the men in Brazil, Pike makes the logical assumption that he and his squad are under attack. Against orders he and his girlfriend and fellow Task Force member Jennifer Cahill along with several other men anxious to help those in Brazil fly down to South America. The area is actually the triple frontier between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay and is basically a lawless zone.

Once arrived the group finds that they are right in the middle of the activities of a team of highly skilled Russian agents whose goal is to gain control of a lucrative Brazilian offshore oil field. Without backing and against orders Pike and his team begin the action they deem suitable to save their men on the Ferry and rectify the entire situation. The action is constant, the planning and execution of their plans well done and we have another mesmerizing novel by Brad Taylor to keep us awake until finished.

1/2020 Paul Lane

HUNTER KILLER by Brad Taylor. William Morrow (January 7, 2020). ISBN 978-0062886026. 432p.



TASK FORCE BAUM by James D. Shipman

November 30, 2019

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The novel is a war story and a very good one. It has all the action, movement, and planning of other great war novels. One big exception is the fact that it is a true incident occurring in the month prior to the cessation of hostilities with Germany.

General George Patton commanding the troops in the area described makes a determination that his army is within striking distance of a POW internment camp. For reasons known only to him, Patton sends a small armored force to take the camp, free the prisoners and bring them back to the American side. The general is under the impression that the camp is a relatively small one holding about 300 prisoners and they can be liberated by sending a force of about 500 men with several tanks to work their way about 50 miles into German-held territory and accomplish the mission.

The captain commanding the force, Abraham Baum, tries to argue that it would be easier and faster to send a division size force with accompanying tanks to make the raid. General Patton disagrees, stating that he has intelligence that the camp is held by only a few troops and sends off the raiding party as originally planned. Baum’s group immediately runs into trouble when the German force turns out to be much larger and better equipped than thought.

Shipman paints a well thought out and researched story of the actual fighting around the expedition and the German troops both stationed in the area as well as those guarding the camp. There is bravery and a willingness to sacrifice on both sides. Soldiers are killed and wounded. There is a maniacal sargeant involved in guarding the prisoners. The anguish felt by men that cannot leave the front to return home to face an emergency there is well described. And, of course, the constant fear of death or devastating wounds is always with the soldiers on both sides.

The question of what Patton had in mind when he ordered an undersized force into a situation that becomes almost impossible is brought out as well as the reactions of the Americans when they realize that they are in over their heads, but cannot give up and turn back. There are no heroes but certainly many people just willing to do their duty. Task Force Baum is a novel that you cannot leave until finished, and certainly the work of an author whose books should be sought out as he writes them.

11/19 Paul Lane

TASK FORCE BAUM by James D. Shipman. Kensington (November 26, 2019). ISBN 978-1496723864. 304p.



THE NUGGET by P.T. Deutermann

October 16, 2019

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World War II Navy Series, Book 6

is a retired Captain of the U.S. Navy who has found a brilliant second career as an accomplished author. Many of the books he has had published concern action by the Navy in different areas and also various periods. He also has a set of equally well written novels that do not concern the military, which are just as engrossing as the military novels. All in all, a man with a superb background and obviously a gift for telling a story, keeping his readers pinned to the book, and assuring his place as a writer in constant demand.

The Nugget is a story set during a period beginning with the outbreak of World War II for the United States. Bobby Steele is a graduate of Annapolis, the U.S. naval academy.  He has had a two-year assignment, after which he is sent to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii where he is assigned to an aircraft carrier. We meet him as he is awakened from a sleep aboard a ship by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and with this is run full tilt into high action.

Deutermann describes the first days of the war in the Pacific against the Japanese and the first victory against them at Midway. Bobby Steele plays his role in much of the action that actually took place during the first several years of the war. He is shot down twice, rescued each time, but eventually ends up in the Philippines. It is there that Bobby and the copilot that flew with him unable to return to U.S. forces work with the Philippine resistance forces against their Japanese invaders.

The Nugget is a book that successfully keeps the reader glued to a plot involving plenty of hair raising action with the incredible dangers of war, making sure that the reader must finish the book before attempting to go to sleep. A definite five star novel for an author who has plenty of them to his credit, with the certainty that more will follow.


10/19 Paul Lane

THE NUGGET by P.T. Deutermann. St. Martin’s Press (October 8, 2019). ISBN 978-1250205889. 320p.



NOTTINGHAM by Nathan Makaryk

August 19, 2019

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Not surprisingly, Nottingham is a novel about Robin Hood and his merry men. But not your ordinary tale of Robin, Little John,Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck and the chaste and beautiful Maid Marion and their struggle against the evil that permeated the county they live in. The author has written quite an interesting version of the legend of Robin.

Instead of complete evil being faced by overwhelming good, Makaryk postulates a story involving people with real motives and why their actions could have led to the tale of Robin being what it is.

In the first place, there is no evidence that Robin Hood and his band ever really existed although the author has done research into the mid 1100’s in England, the period ascribed to Robin Hood and used some of the facts he unearthed in the story.

The story begins at a point where Robin of Locksley and his friend William are serving in the army of king Richard during his crusade in the holy land. They are taking part at the siege of the city of Acre, and planning a near future attack on Jerusalem against the forces of Saladin. During the fight at Acre, it is discovered that a shipment of new weapons needed by Richard if he is to continue to fight has been lost in transit. Robin and William are sent back by Richard to find these weapons and deliver them to the army.

The men detached, on the temporary assignment, find themselves in the midst of problems in and around Nottingham with the current Sheriff unwilling to do anything about it. He is too nice and does not want to offend anyone. Robin and William decide that they have to take care of the problem and dive right in. Robin meets up with his long time lady love Marion and as before they talk about marriage when there is time. William also meets a young lady whose family has become destitute and she must take a servant’s position at Locksley castle. Robin attracts a group of citizens that want to help solving the problems facing Nottingham and follow him into Sherwood forest where they begin robbing rich people riding through. Since Marion is there the author comes up with the basis for the term merry men in relation to Robin’s band. Since Marion had a hand in organizing them they became known as Marion’s men. This is one of the examples of possible fact turning into the source of glorified fiction and creating the legend. There are many other instances where what did happen turns into what is thought to have happened.

Nottingham is a novel that will keep the reader interested and is appropriate for anyone that has read the books and seen the movies dealing with the Robin Hood legend. The length of the book keeps it from being an all nighter and there is a bit too much description of the events that could have turned real life into legend.

Recommendation – read the book, it is different enough in its presentation to the legend making it an interesting read.

8/19 Paul Lane

NOTTINGHAM by Nathan Makaryk. Forge Books (August 6, 2019). ISBN 978-1250195609. 496p.




August 2, 2019

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A Silas Quinn Mystery, Book 5

This is the fifth Silas Quinn novel written by the author. While much of the fleshing out of Detective Quinn was done in the previous books it will not deter the reader to come across the character as he appears here. Quinn is picked up just after his previous assignment in which he was required to go under cover in a lunatic asylum in order to solve a case. He arrives back at his headquarters just at the time that England has entered the first World War. The country was in turmoil gearing up for the war with thousands of men volunteering for the army. Quinn’s previous assignment has been changed and he is put under the supervision of another detective who is depicted as incompetent for the job.

Making use of the plot of the book “The Four Feathers” by A.E.W. Mason, Morris sets up the handing out of white feathers to men not in the uniform of their country and deemed cowards during the opening period of WWI. A young girl is found murdered and a white feather is found set into her mouth. Quinn’s new supervisor is shown to be incompetent when he arrests a butcher, innocent of the crime but having a German parent. The man is placed in prison and subject to extremely harsh conditions until Quinn manages to get himself involved as supervisor to the case.

The novel becomes involved with the solving of the crime working within the turmoil of the first two months of WWI. The description of the period shows a great deal of research with several factors built into the novel. There is first, the use of taking fingerprints, a science only a few years old. There is also the introduction of Vernon Kell who is credited with the founding of MI6. Kell notes the fine detective work by Silas Quinn and will probably take a more active role in future novels featuring him.

The writing style does not lend itself to grabbing on and finishing it in one read, but is sufficiently interesting to make it an attractive draw and a well done portrait of detective work in a setting 100 years before our time.

8/19 Paul Lane

THE WHITE FEATHER KILLER by R. N. Morris. Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (August 1, 2019). ISBN 978-0727888853. 288p.


RED METAL by Mark Greaney & H. Ripley Rawlings IV

July 22, 2019

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The authors, one whom is an experienced combat officer, have combined to present a picture of what real war is like. There are no descriptions of computers fighting one another, but of real men and women doing battle with modern weapons with many casualties as a consequence.

Several years prior to the opening of the book Russia was driven from possession of three Rare Earth Mineral mines located in Africa in the country of Kenya. The Russian prime minister now feels that it is time to retake those mines and orders two troop movements. The first is an attack across Poland and into Germany drawing the United States and NATO allies into defending those countries. Using this assault as a means of taking attention away from her real target the Russian military will than utilize a second assault into Kenya in order to capture the mines.

The authors utilize back and forth reactions by both sides on the two fronts to tell a masterful story of war. First, the Russian attack driving through Poland brings reactions from a poorly outfitted Polish army, but than occasions the decision by armed citizenry to fight the invaders. A young Polish girl whose normal occupation is as a barista in a coffee shop becomes a hero as she begins to lead other citizens into the defense of their country. The Russian side is depicted by military officers who are in tune with the war and want to make sure that they stand out for recognition for their efforts.

The second phase is a defense by American forces of the mines in Kenya. At the point of undertaking this defense the U.S. navy is engaged in a “show the flag” contest with the Chinese and are forced to sail across the world to take part in the defense of the mines in Africa. Individual, and realistically described moments of courage are described on the part of both sides during the battles. A U.S.submarine commander manages to destroy a crucial part of the Russian fuel supply by brave movements against the Russian invasion fleet. An American aviator manages to do a good deal of damage to Russian air support, while brave men and women move into precarious positions in order to maximize their efforts against Russia’s tanks.

The book is an all nighter due mainly to it’s use of personal experiences encountered by characters that are fleshed out sufficiently enough to be believed as active participants in the horrors of a shooting war. Very well done indeed.

7/19 Paul Lane

RED METAL by Mark Greaney & H. Ripley Rawlings IV. Berkley (July 16, 2019). ISBN 978-0451490414. 656p.



THE COMMODORE by P.T. Deutermann

August 7, 2016

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Ex-Naval Captain Peter Deutermann spent his career as an officer with the United States Navy. Upon retirement he commenced an equally successful career as an author of adventure novels, including several based on events during wartime.

The Commodore is his latest book and is based upon the sea battles surrounding the invasion of Guadalcanal by the Marines. Harmon Wolf is a naval officer born on a Minnesota Indian reservation. He has never been thought of as an acceptable career officer since he does not fit into the traditional image of a by the book sailor.

The navy has been taking a pounding by the Japanese fleet and admiral “Bull” Halsey, a maverick in his own right, is looking for non-traditional answers to that problem.

Wolf is appointed commander of a destroyer and immediately demonstrates an ability to bring aggressive solutions to problems. He quickly earns promotion by Halsey as Commodore of an entire destroyer squadron. Applying original answers to questions about naval tactics gains a much sought after victory over a Japanese fleet bringing reinforcements to Guadalcanal.

As always, Deutermann’s descriptions of naval engagements, military tactics, weapons and armament are couched in easy to understand language for the reader. His gift for language keeps his audience glued to the book, and easily picturing the situations populating the novel. When Wolf is injured during the battles and cannot be safely sent to sea, a unique solution to continuing making use of him is set up.

Very well done indeed.

8/16 Paul Lane

THE COMMODORE by P.T. Deutermann. St. Martin’s Press (August 2, 2016).  ISBN 978-1250078070.  304p.



Audio CD


WARNING ORDER by Joshua Hood

June 28, 2016

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Search and Destroy Thriller

Second in what should become a popular and successful set of novels about the US army in battle with elements of radical Islam, Hood’s book is nothing short of an adrenaline rush. Combat is present from start to finish keeping the reader glued to the pages and mesmerized by the action.

Mason Cane, on the US government’s Black List, strikes a deal with the CIA to clear his name and throws himself back into action. He finds that he is up against a radical cell of terrorists with possible roots within the US president’s inner circle.

Moving against the cell, Cane is joined by a group including Renee Hart, a DOD operative, and Special Forces soldiers. Action is constant with no let up. Renee was apparently set to become a love interest for Mason Cane in the first book by Hood, Clear by Fire, but there is no time in this novel for any private contact for the two.

The ending finds Cane wounded in action and taking a leave in order to recuperate from his wounds.  He is contacted by the individual that guides his actions, and the book ends as Mason is ordered into his next action.

The book is for any reader that appreciates combat action written by a veteran of war who has the knack to describe military action and the weapons used in the fighting. This is a well done novel of war.

6/16 Paul Lane

WARNING ORDER by Joshua Hood. Touchstone (June 28, 2016).  ISBN 978-1501108280.  352p.