Three for One! And a New Favorite Author!

A Stranger in the Family
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #1
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 3rd, 248 pages
Published April 3, 2011, (first pub April 1, 1995)

GoodReads Summary:
A sexy, intriguing stranger arrives unexpectedly at her Wyoming ranch, threatening the one thing Cambria protects more fiercely than her heart - her family.

Bodie's discovery that he fathered a son 17 years ago starts a search that leads him to the warm and welcoming Weston family. But his response to one member of the family is far more than he ever expected. The sparks between him and Cambria are real ... and so

My Review:
First response: I think I might have just found a new favorite author. Full review soon.

Yup! I gave this first book in the trilogy a 5-star rating, and then I read the rest of the three books! I really enjoyed the way the books were written. I looked through my Kindle library and discovered that I have a half a dozen or so more books by this author, so I must like the story lines in the summaries for her books. I guess you'll be seeing more reviews of her books. But for now, I'm going to do a review of the trilogy all in one. 

The story takes place in Bardville, WY. That's where the Weston Ranch is with its Guest Quarters. Downtown, Jessa Tarrant owns a store called, Nearly Everything, but people mostly just call it Jessa's place. Near to the Weston Ranch(near is relative in WY) is the Circle CR owned by Dax Randall and his son, Will. There's a sheriff that keeps the peace, named Tom Milano. Sheriff Milano talks out of two sides of his mouth, but he makes sure that people are taken care of and they are safe. Those that need the law, get the law and those that need help, get help. He's just waiting to retire while the new sheriff he's picked gets himself elected. But I can't say more about that 'cause that would be a spoiler.

In the first book, Boone Dorsey "Bodie" Smith comes to Bardville looking for the son he didn't know he'd fathered by his high school girlfriend before he went into the Army. He's not much of a people person, so he steps all over things and makes quite a mess. He wants a reservation at the Guest Quarters a couple weeks before they even open for the season. He wants to stay a month when most people stay a couple of days. And he's driving a shiny, top-of-the-line four-wheel-drive vehicle that he parks next to a ramshackle pickup truck that belongs to the ranch. Ted and Irene Weston's daughter, Cambria, knows he's up to something from the very beginning, but she can't figure out what. So she won't give him an inch, even though the two are having a hard time resisting each other. Well, book one has its HEA for the couple. Bodie just has to learn that he can't have everything his way all the time.

These characters and situations were drawn with such skill, I read this book in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and I don't usually like the "western" or "cowboy" romances. This one was set in a small town and had cowboys on horses, so it definitely was a cowboy romance, but it just had something that made it so readable, I just didn't want to put it down even to stop to eat. Mr. Blue Cat was kind enough to bring me a mug of soup with some crackers so I could keep going. So sweet! Romance lives!

**This was a Book Bub purchase on Amazon. The following two books were purchased on Amazon at full price after reading the first one. I am providing honest reviews, but am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.**

A Stranger to Love
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #2
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 256 pages
Published Nov 9, 2010

GoodReads Summary:
She's been a stranger to love for so long ... Now, because she will not abandon a boy who is both trouble and troubled, she's tied to this intense, stubborn man who arouses her in ways she's never known ... and who could break her completely.

He's everything she doesn't want, especially a former cop who still has law enforcement in his veins. And she told him that once before, so surely he's not interested in a second chance romance. And, yet, there's that undeniable pull... As well as her recognition that he truly wants what's best for his nephew, even as they disagree on how to accomplish that. And she has a feeling that he's very good at his job. Not that she'd ever need protection in peaceful, small-town Bardville, Wyoming ... will she?

It all comes down to can she take the risk of finding a stranger to love?

Finalist for Virginia Romance Writers' HOLT Award

And my take on book #2?
I only gave the second book a 4-star rating. This one didn't flow as well for me. There was too much interference in it. The sheriff was meddling in things a lot trying to get Cully to stay in Bardville and run for sheriff. And I felt like I was always looking into the dark, out on a dark night, into a dark room, up a dark ladder. I felt like I was squinting and needed to turn on a light. But it was a good story. I liked Jessa's defense of Travis, Cully's nephew. Cully saw him as a bad seed and Jessa saw him as a kid who needed a chance.

I think Ms. McLinn allowed us to see into Jessa more than she allowed us to see into Cully. We got his story objectively and from third parties. Cully never really opened up too much. He just wasn't as three-dimensional as the other main characters.

This book definitely had a darker aspect to it than book one did. But the HEA was there where I needed it, so that's just fine. Cambria got to keep her "bestie" close, Boone got to keep his childhood buddy, and the sheriff gets to keep being mysterious.

The Rancher Meets His Match
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #3
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 227 pages
Published Nov 8, 2010

GoodReads Summary:
For his teenage son, Wyoming rancher Dax will do anything - even become a role model in the dating department. Enter the perfect stranger: an Easterner, visiting for just two weeks. But soon Hannah, no longer a stranger, becomes the greatest danger of all to a stubbornly solitary heart.

And book three...
I gave this one a 5-star rating as well. I think this one might have been my favorite of the three books. Somehow, this one seemed the most personal to me. Personal in that I felt closer to the characters. They felt most real to me of all the characters in the story so far. The situations and emotions were family-related to things I could understand and empathize with. There was a warmth to this one, very much like a going home feeling.

Dax Randall and his son Will own the Circle CR out by the Weston Ranch. Dax's sister, June Reamer runs the car rental for the small airport that services Bardville, so she knows who's coming into town before anyone else. She mentions Hannah Chalmers to Dax.

Will has always used his father as his role model, including the way he avoids getting involved with women. But Will is a young teen and should be getting involved, so Dax is going to have to show him how it's done. By doing! Hannah seems the perfect choice because she's a stranger and isn't staying for long. She won't expect forever. Dax and Hannah both get a whole lot more out of her two weeks in WY than either of them anticipate, but he has to drive all the way to North Carolina to bring her back to get their HEA!

This is quite the trilogy. Of the three books, I think that the first and third could be read as standalones, but I think that the middle book is more a series book. All of them will leave you with a good feeling. Give Patricia McLinn's Bardville Trilogy a try and you may get hooked on her style. I strongly recommend her to romance readers who like a good storyline, a hot romance between strong men and women, family life and hometown echoes.

~Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review


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