His past has haunted him for a lifetime...but one woman could be his salvation.
Gunslinger Caden Miller's compadres are becoming a bit too domesticated for his liking. So he's off to Kansas territory to carve out a living and a space of his own-alone, just the way he likes it.
Maddie O'Hare has been drawn to Caden ever since she escaped to the Hell's Eight compound from the brothel where she was born and raised. And she's not ready to let him go so easily...until she's captured by his new neighbors.
When Caden discovers that Maddie is being held against her will on a nearby ranch, he demands they release his fiancé e. Caden is as surprised by his own lie as Maddie is, but the fiery promise in her grateful kiss is far more unexpected. With old enemies catching up with him, Caden and Maddie will face a danger that tests their passion-and will either bind them together forever or break them apart for good.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Wanted to like this book but hated it. The romantic tension came from the “hero” verbally hurting the heroine on purpose twice and then apologizing. Hell’s Eight series fans will have to read this but others should skip it.
The Set Up: Maddie ran away from the brothel where she’d been a prostitute since childhood. The men and women of Hell’s Eight ranch offer her a refuge to heal and one of the men, Caden, makes her want to be a stronger person. Caden isn’t sure he can settle down with a woman but broken Maddie makes him reconsider his life choices.
Why I Read this Book: I’ve enjoyed the raw erotic romances in the Hell’s Eight series, especially the book directly preceding this, Shadow’s Stand, which has a very unique half-Chinese heroine.
What I Liked: One of the charming things about this series is that the men of Hell’s Eight ranch are brothers in arms who took revenge against the men who killed their families. As the books progress, each man finds his wife and the women are added to the community. This is a lovely part of the books and this one starts with a wedding on the ranch. I like revisiting the characters from previous books and know other series readers will too. I also like that Caden’s best friend, Ace, plays a big role in this story. Ace is a bit of a mysterious character and I hope his story will be next.
What I Didn’t Like: Well, I always hate when I have more I didn’t like about a book than I did and that’s the case here. Caden is angry with Maddie and calls her a whore, knowing how this would hurt her. So he spends the next 100 pages apologizing and saying that’s not what he really feels, he just wanted to hurt her. Okay, I’ll give him that ONCE, don’t like it but okay, one screw up is acceptable, I guess. But the very next time he gets angry at Maddie he accuses her of offering men more than just her baking. And then proceeds to apologize and say that’s not how he really feels. This beyond pissed me off. I allow romance heroes to accidently hurt heroines for the sake of romantic tension, after all no one is perfect, but this intentional verbal abuse is beyond that. Caden knew Maddie’s continued fight for her self-worth and his accusation of her worst fear, that she’s defined by her past, was disgusting. Caden doesn’t deserve Maddie’s love and loyalty and I wanted her to leave his sorry ass. Maddie even worries that he’ll use the same ammunition the next time he’s angry at her but the book never addresses that. I suppose some readers may be satisfied with Caden’s groveling and redemption but it wasn’t enough for me.
IMO: Series fans like me will have to read this book just for its connection to the series but other readers should skip this non-romantic “romance”.