Today, I’m reviewing Rosanne Bittner’s Ride the High Lonesome, book one in the Outlaw Trail series, a historical romance.
Title: Ride the High Lonesome
Series: Outlaw Trail #1
Author: Rosanne Bittner
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book Length: 320 Pages
A man bent on revenge
A woman determined to survive
A land that knows no mercy
Meet the Men of the Outlaw Trail
Blurb: When Kate Winters is left stranded and defenseless in outlaw country, she knows there’s little chance she’ll make it out alive…until she stumbles across a ruthless gang hanging a cowboy for his cattle. She waits until the outlaws are gone, desperate enough to claim the dead man’s horse to make her escape—only to realize he’s not dead after all.
Those outlaws should have made damn sure Luke Bowden was good and gone. Now he vows he’ll have his revenge no matter the cost. But they’re miles away from the nearest town, and the woman who saved his hide won’t survive the ride back. He owes her his life—he owes her everything—and it doesn’t take long before he’s faced with a terrible choice: stand by Kate…or claim his revenge?
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Being a huge fan of Rosanne Bittner’s works, when I heard she was starting a series that takes place on the Outlaw Trail, I bought this book as soon as it came out. It took me a while to dig my way to Ride the High Lonesome in my TBR pile, but I finally had a chance to read this wonderful novel.
As always, Rosanne’s characters are sympathetic people trying their best to survive in a wild country.
I can’t think of any female lead Rosanne has written that I didn’t admire and like. Kate Winters is no exception. She shows her hidden inner-strength at the beginning of the novel when she survives an attack on her wagon train and meanders through the outlaw trail for a few days on her own before she comes across four men attempting to hang Luke Bowden. She shows more strength and much compassion when she cuts Luke from the noose where the men have left him to die.
Luke is a bitter man hell-bent on revenge. The civil war has left many inner-scars in his soul, and he’s trying to start over by heading for California with the cattle he’s bought before the men dared to try to hang him.
This is a wonderful chance meeting. Probably one of my favourite “meets” I’ve come across in romance. After all, Kate’s taking a HUGE chance in outlaw country when she cuts down Luke to save him. For all she knows, he could be a rapist, a murderer, or a thief.
Right from the start, even though Kate is hesitant, trust and faith are established with the risks these two take by travelling together. Luke owes Kate a big debt for saving his neck, and Kate needs his help to get to the next town because she hasn’t eaten in days after she lost everything in the wagon train robbery, and she’s used up the last of her water.
I enjoyed the plot and the character arcs of the hero and heroine. I especially loved that Kate is a widow of thirty-two. It was refreshing to see an older woman. Because this is a historical romance, thirty-two in the old west is not the same as the twenty-first century’s thirty-two. Even knowing how old Kate is, Luke still finds her very attractive, when a man his age in those days (thirty-six) will always look for a much younger potential bride. This says an awful lot about the hero.
They had wonderful chemistry, not just sexually either. Together, they build a partnership based on trust. I was a bit irked about how Luke made Kate pay for what another woman did to him in the past. But being a man of the west, I’d say this was in reason with his way of thinking.
As always, Rosanne paints a setting of the old days as if she lived through this time period and saw the outlaw trail as the outlaws did well over a century ago.
Rosanne provides the reader with romance, action, adventure, character arcs, and sweet sex. Everything expected in a Bittner novel. I wasn’t disappointed at all, and when the next book in the series is released, I’ll again be standing in line ready to purchase myself a copy.
I highly recommend Ride the High Lonesome. Do yourself a favour and purchase yourself a copy.
What about you? Have you read Ride the High Lonesome? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read the book, are you willing to now?