Publication Date: 12/27/2016
Imprint: HQN Books
Genre: Western Romance
(Received for an honest review from Harlequin HQN)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes
Diana Palmer on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
1. Wyoming Tough
2. Wyoming Fierce
3. Wyoming Bold
4. Wyoming Strong
5. Wyoming Rugged
6. Wyoming Brave
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Wyoming Brave, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
The Wyoming men are back! In their quest for true love on the range, are these ranchers bold enough to open their hearts to the women under their protection?
Ren Colter may own an enormous ranch in Wyoming, but he scorns his wealth. He's closed himself off since his fiancée left him months ago, so he's shocked when he allows Meredith Grayling to stay with him. He tells himself it's only to protect the blonde beauty from a stalker, but Ren's alpha instincts soon kick in.
The last thing Merrie wants is a devastatingly handsome man like Ren lurking around her. He's too experienced, too appealing for her already shot nerves. What she needs is just to get away from it all: the man haunting her waking dreams and the one hunting her like an animal. But no woman escapes this Colter cowboy!
Diana Palmer is a prolific author. She has written over 100 novels. That's a huge accomplishment in the publishing world. She was even named one of the top one hundred romance writers in America and for some reason I never reviewed one of her books, though I have read several. The last few years her books have followed a more prescribed pattern that allows the reader some comfort in knowing what to expect, but unusual and sensitive characters are able to transform each book into a separate adventure. Her latest novel in the Wyoming Men series, Wyoming Brave is somewhat of a continuation from her previous novel Defender, a part of the Long, Tall, Texan's series. The crossover aspect of this book was intriguing and allows readers who have read each series to appreciate the other. A very good book, by a master in the western romance subgenre.
What I liked:
I'm a sucker for a brooding hero and Diana Palmer does not disappoint with Ren Colter. This guy has alpha male written all over him. He's very protective and sexy, if a bit overbearing at times. Ren has a broken heart that has turned him hard as stone and cold as ice. I loved his very realistic and hard nosed approach to life, but it was certainly hard to handle in the area of love. When he is faced with an innocent woman in need of his protection he relents but not very quickly and not very easily. Merrie and Ren don't find love at first sight, but it definitely grows on them.
I don't usually go for the sweet, pure heroine. I like independent, strong female characters, but there is something to be said for innocence. That idea of first love and the first sexual experience of a woman was enticing in this one and I found myself very taken with Merrie. She had a great moral compass and she had been through some tragedy in her life. To have her first experience at love with a man like Ren, experienced, wealthy, and very hesitant was maybe not the best but it was satisfying to see him let down his guard and let her in. It happened too quickly, I wanted the angst and anticipation to last, but I still loved every second of it.
One of the best parts of this book was the suspense. Merrie has a stalker, a man determined to end her in one way or another. The story starts out in Defender and ends up in Wyoming Brave. I would advise reading Defender for background on the story and for more insight into Merrie's life. There is everything from passion and love to moral dilemmas and physical danger in this one. Palmer might be known for typical small town romances but this one had a different feel to it. There was a sense of urgency that I don't usually find in her novels. It was a nice change of pace.
What I didn't like:
I have read several of Palmer's romances over the years and have enjoyed them all. However, they often follow a pattern or formula. That is perfect for some readers who want to know what they are getting when they buy a book. But a little tedious for those who want to be surprised. In most of Palmer's books you have an experienced hero and an inexperienced heroine and we do find that here in this book as well. They are usually set in small towns, most usually western in nature. We had all of that here. Her hero's are often alpha male and can be seen as overbearing. We also got that. I think what made this one different for me was the suspenseful nature of the book and I liked the coming of age, innocence of Merrie. Though, the book is similar to Palmer's other offerings I don't think that should deter every reader. Just be aware of it and know what you want to read.
I liked this book. It was enjoyable, albeit a little like most others I have read from this author. I liked the story crossover from a previous series and felt like I had something to go on before starting this one. I loved Ren, even though he might seem a little over the top to some. I like that manly man attitude. He was cynical but that paired well with Merrie's innocence and sweetness. Too much of that is just an overload for me. Pick this one up. It's a keeper!
Wyoming Brave is available now from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
I was born in south Georgia(USA), graduated from high school in Atlanta, married my husband, James, in Habersham County, and graduated from Piedmont College(Demorest, GA) summa cum laude in history with minors in anthropology and Spanish in 1995.
I worked for over 16 years as a newspaper reporter on both weekly and daily papers. In between reporting jobs, I had a son, Blayne, my greatest creative achievement. I love iguanas and most other animals, and am the biggest geek on earth. If it's electronic, and non-lethal, I probably have one. I was always the kid who was out of step with the rest of the world, and I still am. My father was a college professor, so my sister and I grew up not quite understanding what prejudice was.
I traveled a lot when I was more mobile than I am now, and I never met a person I didn't like. Writing books is more than a job to me, it's my life, next to being a wife, mother and grandmother. I am a person of faith, but I respect all religions and all cultures.
I write romantic suspense for HQN books, mass market and series contemporary romance for Harlequin, and science fiction novels for Luna Books. In my spare time, I sleep. :)