Morgan’s Woman is an average read. There’s nothing horrid about it, but nothing really sets it apart from the pack either. It’s a road romance with a fairly well developed hero and heroine, but the plot contains few surprises.
When Tamsin MacGreggor’s husband dies, she is left with nothing but two valuable thoroughbred horses. She’s determined to make a new life for herself, so she leaves her Tennessee home with the intention of settling in California.
Trouble strikes in Sweetwater, Colorado. Her horses are stolen, and when she goes to retrieve them, their new “owner” is not exactly hospitable. When she goes back at night to steal her horses back, she finds that the rancher who took them has been shot in the back. Just as she’s about to flee with her horses, the dead man’s brother (who also happens to be a judge) walks in and proclaims her a murderess. Tamsin grabs her horse and runs, dodging bullets as she goes.
Ash Morgan is a successful bounty hunter who takes on the task of finding Tamsin. It doesn’t take him long to locate her, but once he does he is really in for some trouble. Tamsin knows she is innocent, but she doesn’t trust the people of Sweetwater to give her a fair trial. She makes repeated escape attempts and runs into trouble every time. Ash does lose patience with her, but he’s attracted to her too, and he begins to believe her claims of innocence. Still, he feels his highest duty is to the law, and he is determined to remand her to Sweetwater. Tamsin is frightened for her life, but her experiences with Ash in the wilderness bring them together, and soon she knows she is in love with him. But can she escape Sweetwater’s version of justice? And if she does, will Ash be able to overcome the demons of his past and seize his opportunity for happiness with Tamsin?
You can probably guess what will happen, and so could I – pretty much every step of the way. Predictability isn’t the worst flaw a romance can have, but it does tend to make a story drag now and then, which is what happens here, especially during the beginning of the story.
Tamsin and Ash are both fairly interesting characters, and the road romance aspect of the story pushes them together. They talk a lot and get to know each other, which is nice to see. What’s also nice is that both main characters have reasons to be bitter about their pasts, but they don’t wallow in their misery as some characters are wont to do.
In addition to predictability, the story has two other problems. One is that it would be absolutely crazy for a woman to go on a journey by herself across the country in 1866. In fact, I’ve never seen any woman attempt to travel west in a novel without the benefit of a wagon train. It was just too dangerous, a point which Tamsin proves repeatedly when she gets in trouble. The second problem is that Ash seems to hold justice as one of his highest ideals, yet he seems remarkably unconcerned about taking a woman back to a town where she is likely to receive a very unfair trial. The town’s sheriff is a total jerk – something Ash knows – and the judge is none too nice either. While everything does work out in the end, I still felt that a man so concerned with justice would have been a little more reluctant to work with men in authority whose motives and honesty were suspect.
If you love road romances and westerns, then you might want to try this one. It’s not bad, even though it’s nothing new or innovative. But if your budget is tight and your time is limited, I wouldn’t recommend expending a special effort just to find Morgan’s Woman.