Title: Renegade’s Pride
Series: Cahill Ranch #1
Author: B.J. Daniels
Format: Kindle, 384 Pages
Published: March 1, 2017 (HQN Books)
ISBN: ASIN: B01JBQ3HW6
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Trouble has come back to town, and this time, he's not leaving without her
In the nine years since Trask Beaumont left Gilt Edge, Lillian Cahill had convinced herself she was over him. But when the rugged cowboy suddenly walks into her bar, there's a pang in her heart that argues the attraction never faded. And that's dangerous, because Trask has returned on a mission to clear his nameand win Lillie back.
Trask gets the showdown he's after when his boss's body is recovered from a burning house. Hawk, Lillie's marshal brother, believes Trask's homecoming isn't coincidental to the murder, but Lillie isn't so sure. Something is urging her to give bad boy Trask a second chance, even if it leaves her torn between her family and the man she never stopped loving.
Getting over her had been impossible. A day hadn’t gone by that he hadn’t thought of her, yearned for her. Sometimes he felt as if he couldn’t breathe if he didn’t see her again. He’d had to come back to make things right no matter how it ended.
Renegade’s Pride is the first installment in B.J. Daniels' intriguing new Cahill Ranch series centering around the Cahill family in Gilt Edge, Montana. The Cahill family is certainly interesting. It consists of Ely, the family’s reclusive patriarch, who spends much of his time in the mountains panning for gold; It should be noted that Ely is famous for his claim of being abducted by aliens in 1967. Ely has five sons and one daughter. The oldest brother, Tucker, left home shortly after his high school graduation. The next brother, Flint, is the town’s sheriff. Two more brothers, Cyrus and Hawk, run the Cahill Ranch. Finally, twins Lillian and Darby own and run the Stagecoach Saloon, a pub/café which is housed in an historical old building restored from an original stagecoach stop. Much of the family is introduced in this first book.
The main story revolves around Lillian Cahill and Trask Beaumont. As the story opens, Lillian is bailing Ely out of jail … again. As she brings him back to The Stagecoach Saloon, she surprisingly sees Trask, her first and only love. Lillian and Trask had been a hot item nine years ago. Trask had been an arrogant, hot-headed cowboy from the other side of the tracks. But, when he started seeing Lillian, he’d changed. They had grandiose plans of building a life together. Then…Trask had an argument with his boss, Gordon Quinn, who was later found dead. Trask ran away rather than facing the music, leaving Lillian alone. Lillian hasn’t heard anything from him in all that time. Now, he’s back, a changed more mature man, to set things right. He wants to clear his name and reclaim the one woman he’s not been able to forget. But, will Lillian give their love a second-chance?
Both primary characters were genuine and likable. I found myself pulling for them against seemingly outlandish odds to solve the decade-long cold crime. Ely was a hoot and some of his fears put goosebumps on my arms while I read. We have to wait until the third book for Flint’s story, but I already want to send his manipulative ex packing.
As with many of the author's other books, there are multiple plot lines that B.J. seamlessly interweaves into the story. Interestingly enough, one of those narratives involves an aliens' subplot featuring Minuteman nuclear missile silos from the sixties. The silos were and are real – just under a half of the original thousand are still maintained by our government - so it will be interesting to see where the author takes this development. If you believe in extraterrestrials, it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that they would be interested in these silos. Or is it in truth a government conspiracy to play on Ely’s fears? Or ???? I can’t wait to see this thread play out.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Renegade’s Pride:
It was on a night like this in 1967 that he’d first seen them. The memory was too fresh. He cursed himself for letting his thoughts take that particular path.
“Don’t be a damned fool,” he said out loud, needing to hear something, even his own voice. “They aren’t out there.”
And yet every fiber of his being knew better. They were here again. It was his only thought as he turned and tried to run, knowing it was a fool thing to do in the dark …
As she reached the stairs, she made a quick detour and stepped outside.
A crescent moon hung in the midnight blue sky along with trillions of twinkling stars. Out here there were no streetlights to wash out the view. She loved being able to see the stars.
Tonight, the mountains were etched deep purple against the night sky. The white snowcapped tips gleamed silver. Nearer, silhouetted pine trees swayed in the breeze as if in a slow dance.
“You are such a romantic,” Trask had once told her. “Are you sure you want to open a bar? You should be writing poetry.”
She’d laughed. “How do you know I don’t?”
Lillie woke to darkness an instant before a large warm hand clamped down over her mouth…
I thoroughly enjoyed Renegade’s Pride though, at times, the story was burdened by the need to introduce all the characters and setup the multiple storylines in the series. Unfortunately, the series setup also slightly overwhelmed Lillian’s and Trask’s romance. That said, this series shows a lot of promise and has some really intriguing characters and story threads. I’m excited for the already-announced next two books which will be releasing this year: Outlaw’s Honor, Darby Cahill’s story, and Cowboy’s Legacy, Flint Cahill’s story!
I always learn something reading B.J.’s books. Besides refreshing my memory on the silos, thanks to B.J., I now know what ‘catfishing’ is, and, here’s a hint: it doesn’t involve water. Renegade’s Pride has a bit more romantic sizzle than I’m used to in B.J.’s books - I'm not complaining! I do enjoy some steamy with my suspense! However, the big question to be answered herein is will Lillian and Trask unravel the mystery of Gordon Quinn’s death before they also get caught in the killer’s net? Fans of heart-racing romantic suspense will want to check out B.J.’s new Cahill Ranch series to find out!
Suggested Reading Order:
Renegade’s Pride (Book #1) – Lillian Cahill & Trask
Outlaw’s Honor (Book #2) - Darby Cahill & Mariah – Coming June 2017!
Cowboy’s Legacy (Book #3) – Flint Cahill & Maggie – Coming Nov 2017!