Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gunpowder Tea (The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch #3) by Margaret Brownley

What a cute and entertaining read. I really enjoyed this historical story: a mixture of romance and western with some funny moments that had me chortling aloud.

The plot: She's a Pinkerton agent. He's a Wells Fargo detective. But neither of them knows the other is what they are...instead, they suspect each other of being in cahoots with the Phantom gang. You could say they distract each other from finding the real Phantom--train and robber extraordinaire.

She's at the ranch where the outlaw is said to be hiding under the guise of an heiress to the woman who owns the place. He's posing as a cattle hand when he's not robbing trains...you just have to read it to see what I mean.

I think the mystery could have been stronger. That has to be my only quibble. While I hate knowing whodunit by page 5, some hints along the way are nice. The clues are so sparse or vague, they never led me to point the finger at anyone, which took some of the fun out of it for me. I like to be "Oooh, I know whodunit..." and then "Shoot! I was way off."

The romance and humor is clean. I appreciate that. Though a Christian romance, the book is in no way preachy. I appreciated that too. I learned some things about running a ranch--I seriously had no idea that salt could poison cows. I loved the heroine and especially the old lady running the ranch. Her brusque attitude, humor, and sarcasm made me laugh while at the same time hid a warm heart.

I'd like to add that while this is the third in a series, I never once felt lost. I hate it when I pick a series book and have to go dig up all the titles that became before it to know what in the world is going on. No problems here, at all. Matter of fact, I'd like to add a pleading note here for the author...

Ms. Brownley, 

Please consider writing another series based on the detective agency that comes to be in the end. I'd like more adventures of the people involved. Please. 


Book Babe aka Tara

And I'm going to sign off here by sharing my two absolute favorite parts of the story. I received this from Netgalley, so passages may be different in the final book.

"I should specialize in stubborn patients. They're a pain the gluteus maximus but they seldom die, which does wonders for a doctor's reputation."


"Plan on shooting anything with that toy?"

"John Wilkes Booth managed and his was a Deringer with one r. This one has two."

She was right in that regard. The original derringers were spelled differently and had only one shot. Imitations such as hers had two shots. 

"You might be interested to know that this is a Peacemaker--with one r--and I've got a good mind to arrest you. I believe that's two r's."

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