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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Sam’s Creed (Hell’s Eight, Book 2) by Sarah McCarty
Historical Western Romance published by Harlequin Spice 24 Jun 08

I love alpha men in my romances. Really alpha. The kind that take what they want when they want and know how to love a woman like she’s never been loved before. Of course, another part of my loving these alphas in my romances is seeing them fall for the one woman who stands up to them, makes them shiver with a touch, pulls the emotion from them while never letting them be less than the men they are. Sarah McCarty is doing all that and then some in her Hell’s Eight series. The men of Hell’s Eight grew up together after suffering the loss of their loved ones during a massacre, all feeling guilty about not being able to help save their families and all vowing to never love again to keep the pain of loss at bay. In the intervening years Sam has become a Texas Ranger and is a hard man, a man who kills with no remorse, a man who knows he’s best alone. His loyalty lies with his Hell’s Eight family and he’s content enough with that. Until he meets an Hispanic spitfire by the name of Isabella at the wrong end of a pistol.

She’s bossy. She’s been gently reared, a princess who needs pampering. But she’s also as sexy as all get-out and he’d love to have his hands all over her. But he knows she deserves better, so he’s not about to take her innocence, even though she throws herself at him at every turn. She’s running scared and even his assurances that he won’t let Tejala, the local bandito who everyone fears, get anywhere near her again don’t pacify her. Her answer to her problem is to give her virginity to Sam so Tejala won’t want her any longer. As much as Sam would like that, he just can’t let himself ruin this woman who fascinates, irritates, and tempts him with her fiery nature.

Isabella does her best, however, to push Sam over that sensual, sexual edge. I have to give Sam credit for the length of time he does hold out against her semi-clumsy, innocent wiles. Finally he’s at the end of his rope and there’s no going back for either of them when he snaps. Isabella even pushes him so far for him to lose his control, to show her the true passion between a man and a woman, not the slow and easy foreplay that Sam wants to give her. Isabella is a great match for Sam.

She doesn’t take any guff from him, but she also learns to follow his instructions when danger seeks them out, which happens quite a bit. Although she does save his bacon a couple of times when she ignores his dictates. That pisses him off to no end, but at least he’s still breathing to give her a good talkin’ to.

The quick and snappy banter between these two is a lot of fun. We meet up again with Tucker, another Hell’s Eight brother, and we’re set up nicely for the next book, Tucker’s Claim, due out in April of next year. The only thing that I didn’t get and would have really liked was a visit with Caine and Desi from the previous book, Caine’s Reckoning.

I know the storyline doesn’t allow for that, but I still would have liked it somehow anyway. For most of this book the only two characters we get are Sam and Isabella, which you’d think would get a little boring after a while, but that never happens. Ms. McCarty has a way with these characters and they keep the pages turning as fast as you can flip them.

SandyMGrade: A


Known for making up his own rules of right and wrong. Texas Ranger Sam “Wildcard” MacGregor takes what he wants when he wants it, especially when it comes to women. But seduction is the last thing on his mind the moment he stumbles across an Hispanic beauty racked with grief crouched beside a burned out wagon. And it doesn’t take long before he realizes the woman the townsfolk call “cursed” is hiding secrets too dangerous to face alone.

Isabella may look feminine and unassuming, but she’s hell in a bodice, with gun-slinging skills to match any man’s. But though she knows not to give Sam her heart as readily as she offers him her lush body, Isabella is certain she sees in Sam what he can barely glimpse in himself— a virtuous man dropped deep into a hard country bent on breaking him. A man who, under it all, craves a passionate woman willing to risk everything…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Caine's Reckoning