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Gambling on the Outlaw (Nevada Bounty, #1)

“I love you. I can’t help myself, as much as I’ve tried. I know you don’t want me to, but I do.” – Beth Caldwell

It’s been a while since I got my hands on a historical romance – especially one that was also a western. Either I’ve turned into a military romance junkie, or the genre doesn’t appeal to me as much as it used to. Still, this story wasn’t that bad, and it did keep the pages turning.

Beth Caldwell is a young widow, whose dead husband was a gambler and left behind a huge debt that needs to be paid. She has only some land in her name, where she lives with three other female outcasts. Add to her problems the town’s rich bachelor who’s obsessed with marrying her, and you can see why she has no time for romance. But when a wanted outlaw named Isaac Collins takes refuge in her barn, Beth finds that perhaps it’s not too late to find a place in a man’s heart after all…

While, like I said, I’ve been finding historical western romances duller and duller lately, I feel like Mrs. Madigan did a thoroughly good job with the beginning of this series. Her characters were carefully described, and I really liked how this all happened not by telling, but by showing. The reader wasn’t given the “how to” about each character’s personality – I found it fun to experience their quirks and discover for myself how they behaved or thought by their expressions or actions.

Another thing I loved was the unexpected ending and the way the whole story lead there. One would think that Isaac’s solution would be the only way to get rid of the problem Clay posed, but Beth proved us all wrong and took matters into her own hands, in a true “badass lady” fashion.

And while I did get frustrated with Lydia – someone needs to tell me what’s up with so many fictional women sharing my name and being either annoying or the story villains – I can’t wait to read her book. I wonder what kind of man will break past that woman’s prim and proper walls…

“I love you, Beth Caldwell, more than anything. I should have told you sooner and more often.” – Isaac Collins


***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***