Summary from Goodreads:
Known for making up his own rules of right and wrong, Texas Ranger Sam “Wildcard” MacGregor takes what he wants when he wants it, especially when it comes to women. But seduction is the last thing on his mind the moment he stumbles across an Hispanic beauty crouching in fear beside a burned-out wagon. And it doesn’t take long before he realizes the woman the townsfolk call “cursed” is hiding secrets too dangerous to face alone.
Isabella may look feminine and unassuming, but she’s hell in a bodice with gunslinging skills to match any man’s. But though she knows not to give Sam her heart as readily as she offers him her lush body, Isabella is certain she sees in Sam what he can barely glimpse in himself–a virtuous man dropped deep into a hard country bent on breaking him. A man who, under it all, craves a passionate woman willing to risk everything…
Oh Sam! Sarah McCarty did such a wonderful job setting up her Hell’s Eight series that I really can’t believe I haven’t read them all yet! We first meet Sam MacGregor in Caine’s Reckoning. He is the looker of the group and has the same troubled past as the rest of Hell’s Eight. Sam; however, may have it worse. His mother suffered greatly during the raid that left Hell’s Eight orphans. Sam was witness to it. Sam has grown into a man that protects innocent women from the wilds and evil of the West. He’s a Texas Ranger and has left a string of broken hearts in his wake. He is too troubled to settle down and doesn’t let himself get too attached.
Isabella Montoya is a strong headed woman raised mostly by her father and under the strict eye of her mother. Her parents immigrated to the great West from Spain. Isabella is on the run from a man of great power; Tejala. He is dangerous and does not react well when things do not go his way or he does not get what he wants. Isabella is a woman of courage. She knows exactly what she doesn’t want to happen to her and her future and she sets about doing what she needs to do to avoid it. I loved the way she spoke in imperfect English.
Remember how I said Isabella knows what she doesn’t want? The flip side of that is she knows exactly what she does want and she sets her sights on Sam! It is hilariously awesome to watch Isabella work at seducing Sam….and she’s a virgin! Sarah McCarty manages to add a sense of humor even during times when it doesn’t seem possible. For that reason I love her writing. Sam decides that he can help to ease Isabella sexually but leave her in tact for the husband she’ll decide on when she isn’t desperately outrunning her future. This only further solidifies Isabella’s choice and makes her go after him all the more fiercely. I adored this about her! Really this book was great. I really, really enjoyed it.
I was a little disappointed because we didn’t get to spend much time with other members of the Hell’s Eight in Sam’s Creed. Tucker is the only one who makes an appearance and that’s mostly likely because his book is next. Caine, Desi, Shadow and Tracker are mentioned in passing. Also, I know that some readers are sensitive to forced or perceived forced sex and there is some of that in McCarty’s Hell’s Eight books. I imagine because it adds to historical accuracy. The only advice that I can offer on that front is to stick with it.
Once again a huge thanks to Stephanie for writing up lovely guest reviews to help us out with this event!
Please be sure to check out her amazing blog Once Upon a Chapter!
I guest review over there from time to time as well, check out my review of Splintered!