"4 1/2 Hearts!...This is a well-written western historical romance...There was an abundance of suspense and intrigue in this book. There were no sexual scenes, per se, but the attraction was electrifying!...I really enjoyed this book; Ms. Crigger has a unique way of expressing herself which is endearing. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical romance, especially with a western slant. You will definitely not be disappointed."--Brenda Talley, The Romance Studio
"5 Angels!...A dynamite tale. The intricate plot pulls the reader in like a magnet. With a well-rounded cast of characters this western historical is filled with mystery and intrigue...C. K. Crigger creates a spellbinding read that this reader enjoyed. She takes a town afraid of standing up to a corrupt man and gives them the strength to regain their backbone in this excellent story."--Linda L., Fallen Angel Reviews
"9 Gargoyles!...This was one of the best westerns I have read in a long time! The author kept a good pace with the story. The characters had depth and what I call 'breath.' These were not one dimensional stick-people, but multi-dimensional 'real' characters. I could feel the anxiety, pain, frustration; whatever emotion was on the table...every page is jam-packed with action and feeling. This is one story I will want to read again!"--Kathy Martin, In The Library Reviews
...A nerve alongside Osgood’s mouth jerked. “I uphold the laws of the land, Mr. O’Doud, and the rights of its citizens. My job is to preserve the peace and protect the folks who live in Black Crossing. Nothing more and nothing less. When I arrived yesterday, I found a situation that looked to step over the edge of justice. I corrected the situation. That’s all.”
O’Doud’s face reddened. He started from his chair, changed his mind and sat again. Jensen had risen with him, his left hand going to his coat pocket, but O’Doud made a slight negative motion of his head. Jensen subsided, watching Osgood with the unblinking eyes of a predatory bird.
A buzzard, Osgood thought wryly. One who wore a gun at his boss’s table.
Mrs. Fane poured coffee into his cup, the lip of the pot rattling slightly on the rim. Although she wasn’t touching him, he had heard her indrawn breath and felt her body tense. A subtle indication he’d overstepped his bounds, perchance? He could have added that O’Doud’s actions went beyond decency as well, but remembered in time that he was sitting at the man’s dinner table and eating his food.
“Are you saying I was wrong with what I did?” O’Doud asked.
“Yes, sir. I reckon that’s what I’m saying.” He looked up at Mrs. Fane. “This is good berry pie, ma’am. Never had this kind before. What is it?”
“Huckleberry,” she murmured.
“Well, that’s plain enough.” O’Doud’s thin lips pinched a smile. “You should know the law better than I, I suppose. Seemed a good idea at the time. Discourage the rash of stealing we’ve had around here. I don’t expect Gilpatrick was the only one out to steal his employer blind.”
“I didn’t know Isaac worked for you, Daddy,” Selah said.
“Yes. For a while. I know he charmed you, Selah, but when I found him to be both a liar and a thief, I fired him. Believe me when I say we’re better off without his kind in our fine town.”
A glass slipped from Mrs. Fane’s hand, shattering on the hardwood floor and making everyone start.
“Ione!” Selah exclaimed. “Now look what you’ve done.”
“That was one of a set,” O’Doud said coldly. “I shall take the cost of it out of your wages.”
“Sorry.” Mrs. Fane knelt, began collecting the shards. Her hands, Osgood saw, were shaking harder now.
“Putting a man’s body on display smacks of vigilante justice.” Osgood spoke to O’Doud, although his glance included Jensen. He calculated the note of disapproval in his words would draw attention away from the distraught housekeeper. “A dangerous thing to get started. Better to follow the letter of the law.”
He watched as Mrs. Fane reached blindly for a jagged bit of glass. Blood started from a cut, although the woman seemed not to notice.
O’Doud shrugged. “Well, then, after this, I’ll depend on to you to take care of such things.”
“That’s what I’m here for.” But Osgood’s response was absentminded. Selah had called the woman Ione. An unusual name. Too unusual to be a coincidence. That was Mrs. Gilpatrick’s name. What was she doing here?