I always know in advance when I start a Jo Goodman book that rather than skim like I do many a book, I’m going to have to set aside more time than usual to read it. Her books are full of witty dialogue and excellent story telling. So I prepared beforehand for A Touch of Frost and set time aside. Mind you, my house feels the neglect.
Going in I’m want to say that while I thoroughly enjoyed her books set in England, I’m overjoyed that she has returned to her roots in historical westerns. I prefer them to books set ‘across the pond,’ and there can never be enough authors who write in the genre.
The book opens with a train robbery and a rescue. Both Phoebe Apple and Remington Frost are riding on the same train when it’s held up and robbed and Phoebe is taken hostage. Remington (and isn’t that a great name for a hero, by the way) had been on the train watching out for her and heads to her rescue when she’s kidnapped. He’s the son of the man who married Fiona, Phoebe’s much older sister, who was dispatched to make sure she made it safely from NYC.
They meet, sparks fly, and they fall in love. It’s a simple premise, but in the hands of a great story teller like Jo Goodman, it’s so much more. As with all her heroines, Phoebe is smart, a bit stubborn but gives in when she really needs to, and is a delightful character.
Remington is self-assured, fine to look at, and protective – a delicious hero. I love the banter between these two. I always get the sense the hero and heroine truly like each other before they love each other. This is one of Ms. Goodman’s strongest traits when penning a book and one of the reasons I don’t want to miss a single word in their conversations.
And there are a few surprises where I was thinking “I didn’t see that one coming.” That’s another one of this author’s strengths. She slowly peels away more and more layers to her characters, and that happens again in this book. There is a very dislikable secondary character, and slowly over the course of the book we learn more and more about this character, to the point that by the end of the book, the reader is truly rooting for her. For me it’s a real talent to be able to turn a character 180 degrees in a believable manner.
I don’t think this author is for everyone. He books are lengthy and richly detailed and, as I said, they aren’t quick, light reads. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But for those who love detailed, well-written westerns, well, this one gets a recommendation from this reviewer.
After his train is robbed at gunpoint, Remington Frost awakens from a blow to find the bandits gone…along with the woman he was shadowing for protection. No stranger to risk, Remington will do what it takes to bring Phoebe Apple to safety and her kidnappers to justice. But ransoming Phoebe is just the start of trouble…
Phoebe is shocked to learn that her mysterious rescuer is none other than Remington Frost, the son of her sister’s new husband. Home at Twin Star Ranch, she falls happily into western life–and cautiously in love with Remington. But danger hides close to home, and their romance illuminates a web of secrets and betrayal that may put the rancher and his intended bride past the point of rescue.
No excerpt available.