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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Skylar's Outlaw by Linda Warren

Skylar's Outlaw by Linda Warren
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Western
Length: Full (246 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Camellia

Skylar, the youngest Belle daughter, is known as the rebellious sister. But her days of sowing wild oats are over—now her life's about running the family ranch and keeping her four-year-old daughter safe. And Skylar doesn't feel very safe around Cooper Yates, High Five's foreman…and a former criminal.

Cooper can't shake his reputation as an outlaw. Being framed for a crime he didn't commit is one thing. A stubborn boss lady making him feel he doesn't belong on the ranch—the only home he's known in years—is another.

But when danger threatens her child, Cooper has a chance to show Skylar what really separates the good guys from the bad.

Misconceptions and a fierce need to protect themselves from more emotional hurt make Skylar Belle and Cooper Yates’ working relationship difficult. He remembers her as a “stuck up” party girl. She thinks he is a danger because he was convicted of a crime and spent time in jail.

Kira, Skylar’s four-year-old daughter, has no preconceived notions. She adores Cooper that she calls “Coo”. Little Kira copes with juvenile arthritis but she does not allow it to keep her from playing dress up with her great-grandmother nor does she let it stop her from wiggling her way right into the heart of the loner Cooper Yates. I loved her unconditional love for others and her perserverance when others would have long given up.

Skylar and Cooper are both survivors, which is something I had to admire. They come from very different backgrounds socially, but the less-than-ideal conditions of their childhoods leave wounds that have never healed. They each protect their hearts with such determination that they strike sparks off each other, but those sparks ignite a longing for love that each of them tries to deny. Before they can move on to a more positive life, they must stand their ground and fight for respect and overcome bigotry and the monumental greed of people that have designs on Kira.

Some secondary characters with “elephant-like” memories stir up a whirlwind of trouble for both Skylar and Cooper.

The climax revs up the heartbeat—it is SO scary. Linda Warren does a masterful job of bringing heretofore enemies together for a common cause while exposing the truly “bad guys” for what they really are. The action in this part of the book is spellbinding.

SKYLAR’S OUTLAW is captivating. It is a wonderful story of redemption. If you have read the other books in the Belles of Texas series, you will find some old acquaintances that you'll be glad to see again. Most satisfying reading!