The Fall Of Rome
Medallion, Jul 2008, $7.95
Rome Garrett was renowned for bringing hardened criminals to justice; his fame made him a legend in dime-store novels. However, the Wells Fargo detective fell from grace over six years ago when he killed a man while overextending the law and was with his pants down and gun un-holstered with a married woman. His beloved Kat Simmons left him and simply vanished.
Rome falls apart, but now in 1878 he has started to regain his equilibrium with a position as a detective for the President Hayes sponsored Peacemaker Alliance (PMA). His assignment is to bring down train robber Bulls-eye Brady and to insure Kat's niece Frankie is safe from him. Kat resurfaces to bait Bulls-eye Brady but will need a totally responsible Rome, not the drunken womanizer she remembers, to help her.
The return of PMA agents and their spouses (see ROMANCING THE WEST) enhances an enjoyable second chance at love western romance. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as she left him when he fell from grace; in her mind due to his cheating; others because he crossed the ethical line when he killed a man; in his mind he let down people especially his beloved. With a chance for redemption and love, the rise of Rome seems precarious as he knows defeating Brady and rescuing Frankie is not enough; winning back Kat is everything, but failure means the freefall of Rome. Beth Ciotta provides another excellent Reconstruction Era tale (see LASSO THE MOON).