Into the Sunset
How refreshing to have a heroine who is a “fallen woman!” Combine that with a hero who trembles for her, throw in a few major obstacles for them to overcome, and the result is a emotionally satisfying and enjoyable romance.
Antoinette Sutton is pregnant, in serious trouble, and on the run. She has killed a well-liked and respected man, who also happened to be the father of her child. Annie was not his wife however, but his mistress. After suffering the loss of the child she so desperately wanted through a miscarriage during the stage ride out west, she ends up in Eminence, Colorado. For the first time in her life, she develops friendships and a community of people who care for her. She knows she is not far enough away from Missouri, and those who will be hunting her, but she cannot bring herself to leave the open arms of the townspeople, and the tiny grave in the cemetery.
US Marshal Lucas McKenna is seeking retribution for the death of his brother. The scheming, malicious woman who shot his brother in cold blood will pay for what she has done. Lucas is an excellent tracker and vows not to rest until Antoinette Sutton is brought to justice. It takes months, but he finally locates her in Eminence, Colorado. All hell breaks loose upon his arrival.
The plot line is familiar, but the author has done an excellent job in creating the characters. Lucas and Annie are both loners and have scars on their souls. Their relationship develops over a long period of time, and it is not easy for either of them. Lucas, who sees the world in black and white, must learn to accept the gray tones that are so much a part of life. Annie must learn what it is to live life and be happy. They will both have to make sacrifices to love each other.
Both Annie and Lucas are capable and strong characters. There is true emotion between them, and Lucas actually trembles over Annie. (This reviewer is a marshmallow for men who tremble for the heroine.) Annie makes no apologies to Lucas over the life she has led. It is up to him to come to terms with her actions and identity. The townspeople are excellent secondary characters without overshadowing Annie and Lucas. The town doctor, Daniel, is almost a tortured soul in his own right, and I wouldn’t mind a sequel that portrayed him as the hero.
There were a couple of minor quibbles with the story. The reader is left dangling over the purpose and motives of those involved in a small subplot, and the ending revelation of the story is almost too convenient. However, neither of these problems ruined my overall enjoyment of the story. This is a much better offering in the western romance department than many I have read, and if you’ve been looking to try a novel in this genre, I’d recommend this one. For those that have been afraid (as I have) of westerns, this is an good book to ease some of that fear.