Ella is young woman who is alone in the world. Her prostitute mother is long dead and her brother has just been shot when we meet her. She is riding into a town to deliver the body of the man she shot after he killed her brother. Ella had traveled with her Bounty Hunter brother for a number of years, and this was the last man they had sought. She is disguised as a man. She has worn men's clothing and acted as a man for more than 7 years, it was a means of protection from those who though she would follow her mothers line of work. Occasionally you see glimpses of the woman she longs to be, such as the nightgown she covets. She is searching for Tigger Grady as her brother had made a deal with him for a property deed. She wants the deed to continue to fulfill her and her brother's dream of having a home.
John Snow is a lawyer who has been seeking vigilante justice for 5 years. He is also seeking Tigger Grady but to kill him. He didn't win the court case that would have convicted Grady of the murder of his fiancé and her father. He has been boxing and working as a bounty hunter while hunting Grady, who he plans to kill.
After John discovers Ella secret and then keeps her from being arrested they ride together. Much to Ella dismay she is drawn to him and finds she is not only attracted to him but enjoys his company. The two continue to search for the same man and grow closer together. Along the way they escape an avalanche, Ella is arrested for murder, they become lovers and the relationship comes to a head when they finally meet up with Grady.
Disguised as a man, Ella Brown rode into the small Idaho town with the body of a wanted man over her mule. She and her Bounty Hunter brother had hunted the man. But now her brother was dead. As his last request, he asked her to collect the reward, and find a man named Tigger Grandy who was supposed to purchase land in her brother's name. John Snow is also looking for Tigger Grandy. But his reason for finding Tigger it to kill him. Tigger was responsible for the death of John's fiancee and John is seeking vengeance. He's looking for a bounty hunter to help him out.
John soon discovers Ella's secret. He also discovers that she is looking for the same man as he is. They travel together through small mining towns, searching for the man who could help Ella fulfill her brother's dreams, or give John the peace he craves.
This was a very interesting historical romance. Although Ella tries to lose John at the beginning of their journey, she soon comes to think of him as a friend. When she is accused of murder, John does everything in his power to help her. The actual trial was very amusing. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
The book is about:
When Ella Brown rode into Idaho mining town, she had a dead outlaw slung over her pack mule. With her buckskin trousers, hat pulled low, and mannish ways, even the sheriff who handed her reward money didnt know she was a lady. Later, in a hotel, she saw in the mirror what she really was - a young woman with no one left to love or to love her. But that night John Snow broke into her room. His face was hard, his eyes were mocking, and his mood was black. He had come looking for a bounty hunter. Instead he came face-to-face with the woman who would be his destiny. Her beauty reminded him of a life long past, a time long gone, when he was not a gunslinger. Ella's instinct told her that John Snow's passion could set free the femininity she'd hidden so well - if she dared to ride beside a man bent on vengeance, whose soul only her love could save.
SHE'S FEISTY, I ENJOYED HER SPIRIT. HE'S TOO COOL, BUT HAS ENJOYABLE CHARACTERISTICS.
LOTS OF ACTION. DEFINITELY RECOMMENDABLE.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
A stunning Western romance about a lone woman living a man's life--and the one man who could set her passion free. "A thrill-a-minute Western romance that is a delight to read!"--Jill Marie Landis, bestselling author of Past Promises.
Published in 1994; she was a loner living a man's life. John Snow was looking for a bounty hunter; instead he came face-to-face with the woman who would be his destiny.
Stef Ann Holm is a great writer, but this isn't a great example of her talent. For that, I'd recommend her four-part series, "Brides for All Seasons" (HARMONY, HOOKED, HONEY and HEARTS). This novel does not show the humorous dialogue for which later Holm books are known.
When the reader meets Ella Brown, she is turning the body of a criminal over to the sheriff for the bounty. For the past seven years, she has been traveling with her half-brother, Cal, who was a bounty hunter. Before that, Ella and Cal grew up in a brothel in St. Louis. Lily, their mother, lacked maternal instincts, so Cal raised young Ella. Fearing that she would become her mother, Ella hid behind men's clothing and the only person in the world that she trusted -- Cal. Now, she is alone because Cal was killed while trying to apprehend a fugitive.
Before he died, Cal told Ella to find Tigger Grandy, who was holding the deed to land Cal bought with their earnings. While traveling in Idaho mining towns, Ella meets John Show, a lawyer, bent on vigilante justice. He is also looking for Grandy -- to kill him. John decides to travel with Ella, even though she doesn't want or need his help.
This is one of Holm's earlier works and the pacing needs work. Perhaps, if the book were shortened, it would take care of the pacing. I gave the book 3.5 stars.