Paradise Valley by Rosanne Bittner

VALLEY
Paradise Valley by Rosanne Bittner
Publisher: Source Books Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (341 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

“Stop! Or I’ll shoot your hat off.”

Maggie Tucker has just gone through hell. Outlaws murdered her husband, looted their camp, and terrorized Maggie before leaving her lost and alone in the wilds of Wyoming. She isn’t about to let another strange man get close enough to harm her. Sage Lightfoot, owner of Paradise Valley ranch, his hunting for the men who killed his best ranch hand. But what he finds is a beautiful, bedraggled woman digging a grave. And pointing a pistol at his heart. From that moment on, Sage will do anything to protect the strong-yet-vulnerable Maggie. Together, they’ll embark on a life-changing journey along the dangerous Outlaw Trail, risking their lives…and their love.

Maggie Tucker’s life completely changed when rowdy cowboys killed her husband, took her mules, and raped her before riding off. When she’s burying her husband, another cowboy rides up and she almost shoots him before discovering he’s not a danger. He says he wants to help her. Does she dare trust him?

Ms. Bittner set this story in Wyoming when it was first becoming settled by ranchers. The line between bandits and ranch owners was fairly thin. Maggie’s rescuer is part Indian, has been a bandit in the past, is after the same three men that abused her because they killed one of his ranch hands and raped the man’s wife. This gives them a common cause. Maggie is going after those men herself and if Sage doesn’t take her along, she’ll go alone. He can see her determination and they become a team.

This story hit me right in the gut because Maggie gets impregnated by one of the rapists. This is one of my worst nightmares. I can’t imagine the horror of that realization. Even worse, she can’t tell Sage or he’ll leave her behind. There were several ways this situation could have been worked out, and I was surprised at the one the author chose.

The story line is accurate about the old west, Ms. Bittner’s characters are human and each has some baggage they need to work out, and while you might have expectations about the ending, you aren’t sure until the very end. There is tension, danger, anger, and love all combined in this story and the characters are compelling. I enjoyed it, why don’t you give it a try?

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