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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman
Historical Western Romance published by Zebra 1 Sep 09

Wow. I picked this book up just to skim the first few pages, and I could not put it down. I’ve not read Ms. Goodman before. Have a feeling I’ve been missing quite a number of good books. But I’m now determined to find out what it is I have been missing all this time. Any book I come across by Ms. Goodman is being promoted to the top of the TBR pile.

The first thing  I have to mention in reading this story is how things are not what they seem, as evidenced by the prologue right out of the gate. I was amazed somewhere in the middle of the book that what I got is not anything like what I thought I’d be reading about.

Next are the characters, especially Wyatt and Rachel of course. From the moment I met them in the pages of this book, I was hooked. I was totally invested as their personalities were revealed, along with their situation and the resolution thrown at them by Rachel’s benefactor. Rachel is confident and sassy and has stayed pretty much to herself in the fifteen months she’s been in Reidsville, moving there when life became too volatile and dangerous due to her circumstances. Wyatt is the town sheriff, and I fell in love with this man instantly. He’s intelligent, has a way with people, is alpha when he needs to be, loyal to the core, and eventually Rachel falls for him just as hard as I did.

But with the death of the owner of the railroad and part owner in the town’s very lucrative mine, both of which keep Reidsville afloat, suddenly folks want to get to know Rachel, but it’s Wyatt who’s the bearer of the amazing news she never expected. Their banter is just marvelous. Rachel holds her own with Wyatt and he has to appreciate and respect her for it, and I love the fact they never lose ease and camaraderie between them, even after their forced marriage and subsequent growing feelings for one another. Their attraction steadily grows, Wyatt making his wants known, and when Rachel finally decides he’s what she wants, these two are even better than before once they become one in all aspects of their life.

The townspeople of Reidsville are many and as varied as can be. They take care of their own, including Rachel once it’s revealed how she’s now connected to all of them. This is the kind of town I always pictured in the Old West, and Ms. Goodman gives it life, living and breathing around and through its inhabitants.

Ms. Goodman’s writing is so rich. She takes her time weaving every layer of the story together, then just as slowly pulling that one thread that will unravel every question raised until you end up with such a beautiful tapestry, you don’t know which part you like best. It’s nearly impossible to like one part over another anyway, though.

This is one of the best books I’ve read lately. I’ve been telling everyone I talk to about it. Have you read it yet??

SandyMGrade: A+

Read Syb’s review here.


Rachel Bailey may seem like just a beautiful newcomer to most of Reidsville, Colorado, but Sheriff Wyatt Cooper knows she’s much more. Through a twist of fate, Rachel is the inheritor of a very valuable commodity: control of the railway that keeps the isolated mining town connected to the world. That is, she will be, if she agrees to the surprising stipulation in her benefactor’s will-that she marry Wyatt.

Rachel has no choice: refusing the marriage could put all of Reidsville in the hands of an outsider, and not just any outsider but the cruel tyrant she has come here to escape. Yet living with Wyatt will be her greatest challenge. For he has a tempting way about him that makes Rachel forget theirs is a marriage in name only- until her frightening past shows up to remind them exactly how much they have at stake…

Read an excerpt.