Mountain Wild / Stacey Kayne. 2009

Today is TBR Day. I totally forgot.

Over the weekend I read an older Karen Ranney that I downloaded from Fictionwise. My Wicked Fantasy has a paranormal bent as a ghost is involved. Rather different and since this was first published in 1998, it would have been before everyone else jumped on the paranormal bandwagon. I was going to write a review because of the way the ghost is used and the hero's insistence on the cold light of logic. But then I decided I'd rather make more stars. So I sewed instead of wrote. It'll be a Phave though.

Then on Sunday I started Karen Rose's latest, I Can See You. That was a mistake because on Monday after work I was supposed to be doing a boatload of PTA stuff. Instead, after supper, I buried my nose in the book and didn't come up until nearly midnight when I finished it. There were lots of dead bodies, an incredibly sick, twisted villain, a scarred heroine, a determined hero, and Karen's trademark tight plotting. This is the start of a new series involving the detectives of the Minneapolis "Hat Squad." Oh yeah, another Phave.

So, after the ghost story and all the dead bodies (and 6 more stars--picture to come), I needed something lighter. Hey lookie here-- Kristie, Sybil, and Wendy declared it to be Western Week. OK, I'll bite. I like Westerns well enough, although I rarely go out of my way to read them. But I did have Mountain Wild checked out from the library and I figured I should read it in honor of Western Week.

It turns out that Mountain Wild by Stacey Kayne isn't exactly "light," but it was a refreshing, fast read and quite engrossing. I was intrigued by the story line that included a heroine who had been living the reclusive life of a mountain trapper all on her own for something like 7 years or more. Maggie (or Mad Meg as she's known by people nearby) meets the hero when she rescues him and his dog during a blizzard and nurses him back to health. The story of how Maggie came to be living on her own in the mountains is told in the prologue. She is betrayed by her brother who sells her to a trapper named Ira when she is 13. Fourteen years later, Ira is long dead and Maggie spends her days up in the Wyoming mountains avoiding people--until she meets Garret Daines, a rancher who lives in the valley below her home.

The first half of the book is the story of Garret's rescue by Maggie and how they get to know one another and even begin to fall in love. But when the storm ends and Garret has recovered he must go back to his ranch. Maggie stays in her home with Garret's dog until the spring a couple months later. She goes down into the valley to discover Garret is being threatened by her brother who has become a rather nasty cattle baron, determined to drive out the smaller ranchers. Maggie decides to confront her brother and exact revenge for what he did to her. And she wants to protect Garret from her brother.

These two want to protect one another and eventually must agree to work together in order to eliminate the threat hanging over their heads. I liked Maggie's determination and her ability to live life on her terms. Garret is a fairly typical hero who wants to protect his woman, but learns to accept that she will not side idly by while he rides to the rescue.

As I said, this was a quick enjoyable read and I recommend it.

Oh, I must say--I really like the banner at the top of Stacey Kayne's website. I often buy fabric in those colors.

There. I did my part for Western Week. My next western read will be in 2 weeks when Jo Goodman's newest, Never Love a Lawman, is released. Keep your eyes peeled--Wendy has exciting news regarding Jo in an upcoming blog post.


  1. I read Kayne's debut novel some years back didn't work for me. But as you know, historical westerns don't exactly grow on trees, so I vowed to give her a second chance.

    Mountain Wild was the second chance. Loved Garret. Loved Maggie. Thought the villain was fairly one-dimensional - but still, a good solid romance. Well worth the "second chance."

  2. I totally agree about the villain. Nonetheless, I'll read this author again.


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