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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Western Wenches

Western Wenches (Historical Western Romance)

By Holly Newman, Diane A. S. Stuckart & Denise Domning
624 Pages
Price $0.99
Rating 5-Stars

This Kindle format includes two novels and one novelette. TREAIL OF DREAMS by Holly Newman, DESERT HEARTS by Diane A. S. Stuckart, and AN IMPETUOUS SEASON by Denise Domning. (The File sent to me did not contain the novelette.)

TRAIL OF DREAMS by Holly Newman. Savannah Escalante Pemberton is the child of an American white woman, and a Mexican gentleman. When the child witnesses something bad on their family farm, it leaves her mentally troubled, and her mother sends her to live with her family in the East, where she’s raised as a sophisticated lady. But Savannah wishes to return to her Mexican family, to learn of her heritage. Her brother sends her a letter requesting her help with his daughter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but it’s 1824 and she has a problem traveling there. Eventually tying up with her stepfather’s caravan taking goods to Santa Fe, she meets Zachariah Connelly, the trail boss, but her presence among a caravan of men brings only danger and hardship. Rough men, and wild Indians might be too much for a lady.

DESERTS HEARTS by Diane A. S. Stuckart introduces us to Jessamine Satterly, the bank owner of Brimstone, Arizona Territory. The Black Horse Gang led by Rory Devilbiss robbed the bank the previous year, and Devilbiss killed her husband. When Jacob Hancock arrives, claiming to be a bank examiner, she learns that the Black Horse Gang may be back in the area. Indeed, they are, and in no time the bank is robbed again, and the sheriff and his deputy are killed, while Jess and Jacob are away. They’ve taken her aunt as hostage, and now Jess plans on trailing the outlaws and rescuing her aunt. She discovers that Jacob is also following them, and he may not be the man he claims. Outlaw or Pinkerton agent, his real name is Nick Devilbiss, brother of the leader of the outlaws.

TRAIL OF DREAMS was well written and had good characterization, but it was badly paced. The author should have tightened it more. Readers do not need to be told something over and over again, such as the repeated information about the main character’s sophisticated upbringing, to understand it. The men and women that settled the west had grit or they wouldn’t have survived. Yet Savannah Escalante Pemberton never shows her Mexican courage, and Zachariah Connelly, who we are told is big and tough, never follows through in a fight, leaving me to wonder if either would have survived in the West. I was also disappointed in the slave girl, whom we are told loved Savannah and liked being her slave. I don’t believe history has ever proven that any slave liked being owned by someone. DESERT HEARTS was also well written, and moved at a fast pace, with never a dull minute. The characters were tough and determined, with grit and courage. Nor do we have a slave in this one; of course it was after slavery had been abolished. There is a young Chinese girl, and she is portrayed as a smart and an independent woman. I liked that. I want to see strong female leads, even for secondary characters. As for Doc Holliday, the biography I read of Doc Holliday did not paint him as a gentleman.

The stories were a fun read, and despite my personal gripes I think fans of Historical Romance will like these two novels set in the Old West. Highly Recommended.

Tom Johnson

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