Notorious Woman by Annabelle Weston


Notorious Woman by Annabelle Weston
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (148 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Kate has a bad reputation. Since her pa’s murder, she’s been a whip-wielding, ball-busting hellcat, determined to prove she can run a ranch just as well as any man. Then her little sister goes and hires a new foreman—a foreman who makes Kate tingle in places she shouldn’t be tingling, not if she wants to keep up a tough façade. When Jake takes liberties by kissing her—never mind where he kisses her—she clocks him in the chin then hopes he’ll kiss her some more. What’s happening to her?

Jake isn’t just at the ranch to help run the place. He made a bet he could tame Kate, a bet that would give him the money he needs for his own piece of land. He never expected her to be so ornery…or taste so sweet. And he never expected to like her more when she’s cantankerous. Unfortunately, it’s a bet he can’t afford to lose, even though he’s already lost his heart.

Notorious Woman is the third book in the Desert Heat trilogy. It is a fabulous story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I adored the heroine of this story. Finally, a story that featured a woman who could stand up for herself. Kate was a hell raising wildcat. That gal had a whip and she wasn’t afraid to use it. She’s been running her ranch since her pa got gunned down with a bullet in his back. Unfortunately, her stubborn streak had earned her a reputation that begged for trouble. Known for being the orneriest woman in Tucson…trouble always seemed to find Kate.

I gotta say this again…I really loved Kate. She was tough and she was fearless. She stood her ground…. even if she was shaking in her boots. She was loyal to her sister and her pa, and she really loved the land she was fighting to hold. So with all that affinity for Kate, it was gonna be a long hard ride before Jake would earn my affection.

Arrogant man that he was, Jake took a bet that he could tame Kate. Ha! He would have her purring like a kitten for the sum of two thousand dollars. More than enough to buy him his own piece of land ,where he’d settle down with a sweet little woman and have a bunch of little buckaroos. He took that bet and got himself hired on as foreman at Kate’s ranch. Then the fireworks began.

I loved everything about this book. The plot was engaging and the story flowed easily. Very character driven…and yes, Jake did succeed in winning my heart. But it took him a while because of his arrogance. I felt a lot of empathy for Kate each time she cringed because she knew people were pitying her. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that much emotion about a character in a story. It’s a rare thing and I thank the writer for giving me such a strong heroine to identify with. Yes, I wanted to slap Jake for deceiving Kate the way he did. But he helped her and gave her something that she hadn’t even realized she was missing. A helpmate and a strong shoulder to lean on. And he recognized that even a wildcat has a softer side. He proved that he was the man for the job. Instead of taming the wildcat, he got lassoed instead. Ha! I knew Kate was the woman for that job. That is how he won my heart.

The story had some interesting secondary characters as well. I felt that Kate’s little sister Jolie was very immature and downright disloyal in the bargain. Running up debts when Kate was barely keeping a roof over their heads. Scolding Kate when she stood up for herself. Carrying on an affair with someone her sister distrusted. A big slap in the face when she invited their mother to the wedding even though she knew Kate wanted nothing to do with the woman. And what did Kate do when confronted with these betrayals ? She swallowed her angry words for her sister’s sake. Personally, I thought she should have pulled out that bullwhip and gave them all a taste of her temper. I’m just saying….

Now for the dirty part. There were plenty of steamy love scenes between Kate and Jake. Their chemistry together sizzled right from the beginning. I don’t know how Kate kept from fanning herself as Jake displayed his wares at that first meeting. He’d just seen her unleash that infamous temper and it turned him on. He knew he was tempting her and he knew she was interested. And the loveplay kept on getting hotter each time those two got together.

I liked the ending although it was a little abrupt. Especially endearing was the difficult choice Jake had to make at the end. In the end they both had to throw away their stubborn pride and that was what made the story so sweet.

Notorious Woman is wildly romantic. It is a fantastic western romance that made me take a second look at this author. And now I simply must read the first two books that I somehow overlooked. My bad….I’ll get on that right away. If you enjoy reading about a woman that can stand up for herself, who’s fearless and independent….then this is the book for you. Kate was a hard one to tame and I wasn’t quite sure who did the wrangling. But it sure was one entertaining ride.

Notorious Woman
is one book that you do not want to miss.


  1. Thanks so much for the review. Kate was fun to write–so glad you enjoyed her story.


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