Title: CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH
Series: Cardwell Ranch #1
Author: B. J. Daniels
Format: Nook Book
Published : Harlequin Intrigue (February 15, 2013)
ISBN : ASIN: B00ATMP8JW
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Purchased from Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses!
After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way—to investigate a decades-old crime.
Five years ago, Hud left town with a heartload of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And this time he wasn't walking away. Because now Dana's life was on the line—as the unsuspecting target of a killer who still walked the canyon. Hud would do whatever it took to keep Dana close. Even if it meant risking his own heart for a second chance for both of them….
A half mile down the hillside, he could see Warren's pickup stop in a cloud of dust. Hud watched Dana get out. She was still beautiful. Still prickly as a porcupine. Still strong and determined. Still wishing him dead.
CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH by B.J. Daniels heralds the start of the author's Cardwell Ranch series. I can count on B.J. to weave an excellent western romantic suspense story with well-defined, genuine characters and high stakes action set amidst beautiful scenery. This book is not an exception! Once I started it, I didn't want to put it down! This is the story of Hudson Savage and Dana Cardwell.
I have read this series out of order. as I had already read the fourth book in this series, CHRISTMAS AT CARDWELL RANCH. I credit it with making me want to go back and read the series from the beginning. All of B.J.'s books work well as standalones, if that is your preference, as the romantic relationships and the development of the danger plot are fully contained within each novel. However, there are interconnected characters and a common awesomely beautiful western setting with sexy cowboys that will make you want to read them all!
I loved both Hudson and Dana even though I wanted to shake Dana a few times. They're both very strong, independent characters with a love of the land. This was a second chance at love story for them both as they were previously affianced, but when Dana caught Hud in bed with her sister, their engagement abruptly ended and Hud had left town. That was five years ago. Now he's back serving as the interim marshal in Gallatin Canyon and is the law officer who shows up when a body is discovered in an abandoned well on Dana's ranch on her birthday.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
"Hud? Back here? Oh, man, what a birthday present," Hilde said, giving her another hug. "I'm so sorry, sweetie. I can imagine what seeing him again did to you."
"I still want to kill him," Dana whispered.
"Not on your birthday." Hilde frowned.
These chocolates made you close your eyes and moan and were right up there with sex. Well, not sex with Hud. Nothing could beat that.
Brick stood silhouetted against the frozen lake through this front window. "Be careful. It sounds like you've got at least one killer out there. Someone who thought they'd gotten away with murder. It's easier to kill after the first time, they say."
My copy, which was not an ARC, could have used some minimal editing - which is a first for me with B.J.'s books - but the errors did not affect my enjoyment of the story in the least.
If you enjoy western romantic mysteries with a solid plot, strong characterization, fast-paced action and riveting suspense, you need to check out B.J.'s books. As with all B.J.'s books, CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH is heavy with the danger and thrills and light with the romance. As a who-done-it mystery, this story kept me guessing until the very end. The ending is a direct setup for the sequel, which I already have on my nightstand. :-) I highly recommend CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH to be a must-read for fans and as an excellent start for a newbie to B.J.'s books with depth, spice, passion and danger galore!
Suggested Reading Order:
CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH (Book #1)
JUSTICE AT CARDWELL RANCH (Book #2)
CARDWELL RANCH TRESPASSER (Book #3)
CHRISTMAS AT CARDWELL RANCH (Book #4)