Emma Lang has given us another great family to enjoy in her Circle Eight series. With strong female characters, hunky alpha males, the backdrop of Texas in the 1800′s, and some hot and heavy love scenes this book is one you don’t want to miss and one I’ll read again and again! ~ Guilty Pleasures
A Texas Ranger, a lady blacksmith, a fierce passion, a dangerous game.
Caleb Graham has spent the last four years in too many dangerous situations to count. As a Texas Ranger, he knows no fear, or at least he never shows it. When he’s sent to force a blacksmith off government seized property, he runs face to face into the woman who will change his life.
Aurora Foster grew up on the very land the obnoxious Ranger is trying to throw her off of. Her parents and her husband died for it and there is no chance she would leave without a fight. A lady blacksmith might be an anomaly but she has the strength of the steel she forges and the courage to fight for what she believes is right.
When Aurora is inadvertently injured by Caleb, he seeks medical help from a neighboring ranch. The sprawling hacienda is full of the finer things in life and the one person Caleb never expected to see again… his youngest brother Benjamin. Forced to flee from a man who has kept the boy captive, the trio become traveling companions in a deadly game where no one wins.
Life turns upside down and sideways for Caleb and Aurora, caught in a game neither of them expected while they desperately try to save the boy who was lost to his family. Pursued and hunted, the three of them ride for the Circle Eight ranch. The unlikely pair of rescuers fight their attraction and for their lives.
So, anyone who reads my reviews knows I’m not a big fan of historical romance. However, there are a few authors I make an exception for and Emma Lang (AKA Beth Williamson) is one of them. I have read and loved her Malloy Family series as well as her Devil’s On Horseback series. I haven’t read anything she’s written under the Emma Lang name so when her assistant contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing Caleb, I jumped on it. I’m so glad I did because it reminded me of why I love her writing so much and now I need to go back and read the first two books in this series. Let me stress though, you can absolutely read this book without reading the first two. I’m pretty bad about having to read in order but I couldn’t wait to start this one, and I had no trouble keeping up or knowing what was going on.
Strong female characters are something I always adore in a romance book and it’s something that Emma (Beth) always provides. She really outdid herself with Aurora (Rory) Foster and I found myself laughing out loud at her mouth and antics one minute and identifying with her completely the next. Rory is a blacksmith by trade, a pretty uncommon occupation for a woman back in the 1800′s but her father was one of the best and he taught her well. I love how she sees herself as an artisan of her craft, which proves even though she’s had to be tough and make herself more “manly” in order to gain respect and survive in a man’s world it proves she has a feminine and sensitive side. She’s a widow who married at 16 following her parent’s untimely death. She’s had a hard life and when a Texas Ranger comes to evict her off her land, she’s taken aback by the immediate attraction she feels for him but she’s also not going to go down without a fight.
There is just something about Caleb Graham. He takes his work as a Ranger seriously but you get a sense right off that he’s not truly happy in his life. He struggles between wanting the freedom being a Ranger provides and longing to fit in with the family he’s left behind. I admire the fact that he didn’t try to bully Rory and that he respected the work she does. He doesn’t belittle her and although he’s there to do his job, you can tell he’s conflicted about what the right thing is to do. I like that despite Rory’s outward appearance he sees beneath that and appreciates the woman that she is, strong muscles and all. It’s hard not to love a man who risks it all to make sure a woman he barely knows doesn’t suffer for his actions.
I loved the interaction between these two from the start. Caleb trying to be professional and Rory just giving him hell, it was fun to watch. The fact that they both were experiencing such intense sexual feeling s for one another when they are on opposite sides just made their joining so much better. In addition the perilous situation they were in added intensity to their already unusual pairing.
I can’t finish without saying a few words about Caleb’s wild family. It’s obvious there is a closeness which comes from losing their parents at a young age and the struggles that followed. I love that through it all they realize that family is the most important thing and it becomes obvious as this book goes on that Caleb begins to realize that as well. There are some very distinct personalities in this group and I can’t wait to get to know them better!
Emma Lang has given us another great family to enjoy in her Circle Eight series. With strong female characters, hunky alpha males, the backdrop of Texas in the 1800′s, and some hot and heavy love scenes this book is one you don’t want to miss and one I’ll read again and again!