Sunday, August 22, 2021

Review: Hitched to the Gunslinger by Michelle McLean

Hitched to the Gunslinger by Michelle McLean
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Historical Romance 
Hitched to the Gunslinger cover
ISBN: 9781649370358
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Entangled

Gray “Quick Shot” Woodson is the fastest gun west of the Mississippi. Unfortunately, he’s ready to hang up his hat. Sure, being notorious has its perks. But the nomadic lifestyle—and people always tryin’ to kill you—gets old real fast.

Now he just wants to find a place to retire so he can spend his days the way the good Lord intended. Staring at the sunset. And napping.

When his stubborn horse drags him into a hole-in-the-wall town called Desolation, something about the place calls to Gray, and he figures he might actually have a shot at a sleepy retirement.

His optimism lasts about a minute and a half.

Soon he finds himself embroiled in a town vendetta and married to a woman named Mercy. Who, judging by her aggravating personality, doesn’t know the meaning of her own name. In fact, she’s downright impossible.

But dang it if his wife isn’t irresistible. If only she’d stop trying to steal his guns to go after the bad guys herself.

There goes his peace and quiet…

All Gray “Quick Shot” Woodson wants to do is find a place to retire where he can settle down and take a nap. Needless to say, naps aren’t in Gray’s future in Hitched to the Gunslinger. Author Michelle McLean pairs a grumpy gunslinger motivated by food and peace and quiet with a spitfire orchard owner whose cooking leaves something to be desired. It’s a rollicking rom-com as these two strike sparks then slide into love faster than Gray can pull a pistol.

Gray is grungy, grumpy, and being bested by his nag of a horse when he arrives in Desolation. Mercy is defending her land against the book’s villain who wants to snatch it from her by fair means or foul. Gray’s surprise arrival gives Mercy the opportunity to buy time by claiming the fearsome gunslinger is her fianc√©. Gray goes along with it in exchange for a place to rest his head and some cooking to fill his belly. From the start, Gray and Mercy strike sparks off one another, but for me it took until halfway through the book for Hitched to the Gunslinger to hit its stride. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the story other than I didn’t find Gray or Mercy particularly compelling until the halfway point. I just wanted more from them, Mercy especially. McLean’s gives readers glimpses into Gray’s past that help fill out his character (the reason he’s so fond of daisies stood out in particular) and I only wish Mercy had been given the same attention.

Hitched to the Gunslinger found its footing for me as Gray became part of the town of Desolation. I loved the town residents and the way they banded together, always supporting and never judging one another. Desolation gave the story life and made me smile more than once. I enjoyed watching the residents make Gray feel welcome and manage to nudge him into being what they needed. As Gray finds himself he and Mercy become a stronger couple and by the end of the story I was rooting for them as they faced down a villain and his hired guns. All in all, I liked Gray and Mercy’s tale. It’s a fun romance with a strong supporting cast plus a few animals who threaten to steal the show for good measure.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.