There’s just something about a cowboy that makes us swoon. They’re throwbacks to another era. A time when horses roamed the prairies and men worked long hours in the saddle to tame the land.
Thanks to Sandra Cox and her engrossing stories, I’ve rediscovered my love of the wild frontier!
This week’s book reviews are from a new-to-me author, and one I’ve loved for many years.
One of my first Janet Dailey books was This Calder Range, the story of Benteen Calder, founder of the Triple C, Montana’s largest cattle ranch.
Calder Grit is written by the Dailey family and a close associate of Janet’s using her notes and research to create a story that is worthy of the Calder legacy.
Honeyockers (homesteaders) are flooding the prairie around Blue Moon, planting their crops and ruining the land according to ranchers like the Calders. Blue Moon is flourishing under the growth boom but despite that, tensions are rising, and people are getting hurt.
Blake Dollarhide, owner of the town’s lumber mill, sympathizes with homesteaders. They’re only trying to do the best they can for their families. It’s no different than his rancher father or Benteen Calder did when they staked their claims on the land. But his viewpoint isn’t popular, and locals (like his half-brother, Mason) make it clear he needs to choose a side or suffer the consequences.
When Mason charms a homesteader’s daughter into losing her virginity, increasing the bad blood between the two groups, Blake steps in to offer his name in marriage to the pregnant girl, thereby changing the course of their lives.
Hanna is lonely. At least in New York the children went to school and had a social life. Here, there’s nothing but work from dawn to dusk, little to eat, and no one to flirt with. Then, at a dance held in the small town of Blue Moon, she meets Mason Dollarhide and is swept away by his charming smile and tempting lips. But when Mason tricks her into more than she’s willing to give away, it’s his brother, Blake, who does the right thing and restores her family’s honor.
Meanwhile, trouble is brewing between the ranchers and the honeyockers and if something isn’t done to stop it, lives will be lost.
I wish the Calder family played a bigger role in this story, though there are a few good scenes between Webb, the Calder heir, and the homesteaders that reminded me of the original series.
The tension is high and there were many times I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Though this isn’t written by Janet, the story carries enough of her love for these characters to make it a worthwhile read.
“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”
After their father deserts them for a sheriff’s job in California, it’s just Cooper and his sister. No wonder he’s heartbroken some years later, to come across her and her husband’s remains amid the debris of an overturned carriage. It’s been made to look like an Indian assualt, but Deputy Cooper has his doubts and is determined to get to the bottom of his sister’s murder.
The investigation is muddied by continued attacks on their town of Tightwater, leading Cooper to a railroad baron and his beautiful daughter. Can they be behind the killings?
This is a fast-paced, sometimes gory, read that’s highly entertaining!
Are you a fan of westerns? Modern day or classic? Let’s talk…