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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wild Texas Wind by Nicole McCaffrey

Wild Texas Wind by Nicole McCaffrey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (364 pags)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

All Raz Colt wants is land, a quiet peaceable existence and to put his life as a hired gun in the past. When the chance to earn a sizable fortune by rescuing a kidnapped heiress comes his way, he seizes the opportunity. Trouble is, the heiress doesn’t want to be rescued. Offsetting Arden O’Hara’s beauty is a rattlesnake personality and shrewish temper. Despite her claim that she faked the kidnapping so her fiancé would ride to her rescue, Raz knows someone is out to kill her. And if anyone gets the pleasure of wringing her lovely neck, it’s going to be him.

Arden O’Hara is desperate to go home. Her fiancé was supposed to ride to her rescue, proving it’s her–and not her father’s money– he loves. Instead an arrogant stranger, with weapons strapped gun-fighter low and a decided lack of sympathy for her situation, shows up spouting a ridiculous tale about someone trying to kill her. It’s infuriating when Raz Colt’s claims prove true after not one but several attempts are made on her life. She has no idea who this fast gun with the deadly aim is, or why he makes her feel as wild and untamed as the Texas wind. But like it or not, if anyone is capable of getting her home alive, it’s Raz Colt.

Arden O’Hara and Raz Colt strike sparks off each other at first sight. Both, with strong personalities, plot to reach their individual goals even if they do have to do some “giving and taking” while they zigzag their way across West Texas dodging bad guys as they work their way back to Arden’s home. Raz, a “mix-breed” gunfighter and Arden O’Hara a rich, spoiled “daddy’s girl” could hardly be any farther apart socially. Raz, of Indian, Mexican, and Anglo heritage and reared by prostitutes, finds a welcome in few places. Moreover, he makes a living with his fast gun. Conversely, Arden at age four years lost her mother and was reared by a doting, rich father and by the men on the ranch. She is welcomed everywhere—even if her father had to buy that welcome at times.

Arden’s failed plan to find out if her fiancé loves her puts her at the mercy of the gunfighter -- or so it seems -- but she is no shrinking violet. Raz, may have the upper-hand physically, but Arden does not give up easily. Her maturation as the trip progresses is remarkable.

An undercurrent of humor lightens the desperate mood some of the characters feel as they try to make a meaningful life for themselves. Kit Cooper and Dusty are two secondary characters that grab the attention of the reader. Raz’s tolerance of them and understanding of needs that drive them shows a different aspect of his personality. Another part of his personality is evident in his love for Arden and his sense of not being good enough for her. It is evocative. Wild Texas Wind is a love story that touches the heart.

Nicole McCaffrey creates a hero and heroine, along with diverse secondary characters that take the reader on a lively trip from New Mexico Territory to the O’Hara ranch near San Antonio, Texas. Along the way and amid some scary encounters with bad guys motivated by greed, the reader get to know Raz and Arden and their hopes, fears, motivations, insecurities, and finally their capacity to overcome all obstacles to reach for their happy-ever-after. The special twist at the end of Wild Texas Wind is terrific.