By Patricia Preston
Courtesy of NetGalley
ebook, 74 pages
Published January 10th by Carina Press
Rancher Austin Cade rides into Liberty looking for his old comrades, the James-Younger gang. He needs their help tracking down the horse thief who's stolen his prized mare. In town, the former gunfighter is reunited with Darcy, the first girl he ever kissed—and never forgot.Young widow Darcy Branson owns a shop full of fashionable ladies' attire, but continues to wear mourning black so she won't forget her role in her husband's death. Austin stirs a passion inside her that has long been dormant, but can Darcy learn to believe in Austin—and love—enough to let go of her tragic past?Time is rapidly running out... As a cousin to Jesse James, Darcy has attracted unwanted attention, thanks to her rumored association with the gang. Soon Austin and Darcy are faced with confronting not only their growing desire, but danger in the form of a deadly bounty hunter...
Set in the old west, the story centers on a close family member of the notorious James-Younger Gang, Darcy Branson.
He rescued her from death during the war, he was her first kiss and her first love but she never thought to see him again. Eleven years later though, the darkly handsome, Captain Austin Cade walks into her dress shop asking a favor.
He might have been known for being a war hero in the south and for running with the Boys but now Austin Cade is just a horse rancher whose prize mare, Midnight Dancer, has been stolen and he won’t stop until her finds her and makes the thief pay. But the beautiful widow distracts him from his purpose even though he knows that loving a woman whose heart belongs to another only leads to heartache; all he has to do is remember his mother’s relationship with the Marshal.
When a murder shows up seeking the large bounty on Jesse James and threatens the women the Boys hold dear Cade finds himself back in the action and falling hard for the girl he once knew.
Almost an Outlaw is a short and sweet western historical romance that was a heart warming and fun read.
I loved the historical aspects of the story following the James-Younger Gang and who doesn’t like hot gunslingers? I enjoyed the main couple Darcy and Austin, they had great chemistry and previous history that made for a fast moving relationship perfect for this short. There were two loves scenes, the first one being pretty steamy. Both characters showed development and growth. One small problem I had with the story though was that the author never gave reason to why Darcy was one minute set against jumping in the sack with Austin and then the next between the sheets with him. Also, there was some odd phrasing here and there that distracted from the story a bit, but these were few and far between.
Over all Almost an Outlaw is a charming story of second chances, the perfect lunch time read.
Rating: 3 Wine Glasses - A Good Read