Monday, September 10, 2012

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter-Lori Austin

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter

Lori Austin

Signet, Oct 2 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451238276

In 1870 Abilene, Cathleen “Cat” O’Banyon pretends to be a whore in order to catch Clyde. She ties him up before asking her question “you or her?’ Alexi Romanov arrives and kisses Cat. She knows he saved her life when someone murdered her husband Billy. She became a bounty hunter with a goal to catch the killer. Alexi taught her how to play various roles. He warns her men seek Cat. Two men enter the room asking for Cat. Alexi tells her to meet him St. Louis as he gets the men to chase after him while she delivers Clyde to her brother-in-law Ben the Rock River sheriff.

Cat takes the train to St. Louis dressed as a woman but leaves the train dressed as a boy. She finds Alexi the con artist claiming to be “Count Sukhoruken! Famed Healer of Balshika!” to sell Black Sea elixir. His assistant is brain damaged Mikhail. He tells her there is a large dead or alive bounty on her. Alexi asks her to travel with him to Denver City where Cat’s body is to be delivered as they begin a final confrontation with her past as a wife of a murdered farmer and his as a Civil War sniper.

The characters are refreshingly unique as the Civil War impact on vets is powerful with the male lead suffering from battle fatigue and his “brother” from a brain injury. The engaging storyline focuses on Cat’s mission of vengeance as she gets them in and out of trouble. Although the climax is a bit of a letdown, the road getting there is fabulous.

Harriet Klausner

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