Sterling’s Way by Sarita Leone

Sterling’s Way by Sarita Leone
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (172 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rated: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Jack Sterling isn’t having a good day. A swindler has stolen family property from his elderly grandmother and Jack has taken the law into his own hands to steal it back. Only the stagecoach he intends to rob is under fire, forcing him to rescue the very occupants he’d planned to rob. One glance at the beautiful woman inside nearly has him forgetting why he’s there in the first place.

Kristen March has fled Boston to avoid an arranged marriage between moneyed families. She’d rather take her chances on the untamed frontier than marry a man she doesn’t love. But the Wild West proves to be more adventure than she anticipates when her stagecoach comes under attack.

Not only does handsome Jack come to her rescue, he makes it clear he plans to court her. But both are keeping secrets that could tear them apart for good.

Jack Sterling is tough, confident and abruptly, unintionally falling for the steely, blue-eyed Miss Kristen Marsh. He makes a good impression, holding off the ‘bad-guys’ when the stage-coach is attacked and behaving as a gentleman. Mind you, he’s had in mind to ‘twirl’ a lady on occasion , and I think, any lady meeting him would not find that adverse at all.

Kristen is hellbent on becoming a whole new person when she arrives in the rough west of 1874 practically straight from a certain prestigious ladies’ academy. She’s determined, she’s motivated (for a reason she tries to keep secret) but she’s ‘more vinegar than honey’ at some points. She’s possibly not the most admirable leading lady, although Leone establishes early on that Kristen is very good looking. She doesn’t lack courage though, and more and more, readers will find they like her.

The recurring highlight in Sterling’s Way are the light moments: subtle touches of humor, sometimes because of events, sometimes revealed in conversation. This reader simply adored Jack Sterling, start to finish. A clip from a conversation:

“…as you so delicately pointed out, I may have nearly knocked you onto your—” He raised an amused brow before he continued. “Well, let’s just say I almost knocked you down.”

Jack’s good humor and courage are well established at the start; Ms. Leone keeps the story moving, keeps the humor coming, and indeed, doesn’t let her readers down.

Cover expectations led me to expect some echo of a cheesy western, with images like the sunset-colored hair, or perhaps the ocean-blue eyes, and sure enough: At times, descriptions delve into almost a parody of the old time western, offering an element of the cheesy that seems unintended … the moments don’t spoil an otherwise good story, but the over-the-top does tend to distant the reader from the action.

A fan of the western romance will find a lot to like here, especially the truly admirable hero.

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