Outlaw West of the Pecos – #NewRelease from Preston Lewis @LoneStarLit

OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
by
PRESTON LEWIS
Western / Humor / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing

Date of Publication: January 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 228 pages 
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Accused of cheating at cards on a Southern Pacific passenger train in far West Texas, H.H. Lomax is kicked off the train and finds himself at the mercy of the unpredictable justice of Judge Roy Bean, who calls himself “Law West of the Pecos.” After being fined of all his money, married, and divorced by the judge in a matter of minutes, Lomax discovers an unlikely connection to him.

Against a backdrop of a pending world heavyweight championship bout, Lomax heads to El Paso to interest someone in writing and publishing Bean’s biography. He winds up in an El Paso boarding house across the hall from Texas killer John Wesley Hardin. They despise each other, but Hardin fears Lomax’s straight-arrow Texas Ranger brother and treads lightly around Lomax. Because of Hardin’s crooked connections in El Paso, Lomax gets caught between him and corrupt constable John Selman.

El Paso is becoming the focal point of efforts to host a championship prizefight that everyone from the Presidents of the United States and Mexico to the governors of Texas, New Mexico Territory and Chihuahua have vowed to stop. Calling on his connections to his Ranger brother, El Paso officials and the promoter of the boxing match, Lomax uses his Judge Roy Bean friendship to pull off the oddest prizefight in heavyweight history.

Outlaw West of the Pecos stands as an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.
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Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 40 westerns, historical novels, juvenile books and memoirs. He has received national awards for his novels, articles, short stories, and humor.
In 2021 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary accomplishments. Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association.
His historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution earned a Spur Award as did his True West article on the Battle of Yellow House Canyon. He developed the Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series, which includes two Spur finalists and a Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for western humor for his novel Bluster’s Last Stand on the battle of Little Big Horn. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin and two of his YA novels have won Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
He began his writing career working for Texas daily newspapers in Abilene, Waco, Orange and Lubbock before going into university administration. During his 35-year career in higher education, he directed communications and marketing offices at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He lives in San Angelo with his wife, Harriet.
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The Texans Favor – #NewRelease @dk_deters #WesternRomance @NetGalley @WildRosePress

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Wild Rose Press. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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Jake Fontaine, a Texas Ranger, is hot on the trail of the vicious outlaw, Grizzly Duvall, when everything goes wrong.

Kat Collins is hellbent on escaping from her abusive uncle when she witnesses the ambush that will end the lawman’s life. She makes a rash decision to fire at the attackers and her actions save him.

Now, Jake is obligated. But because she’s dressed like a boy, he doesn’t realize she’s a woman until her hat falls off and her braid tumbles out. His Texas code of ethics won’t allow him to leave a woman alone in the wilds of Kansas. Frustrated that this new turn of events causes him to lose the outlaw he is so determined to capture, he offers to accompany her to the ferry that will take her across the river to St. Louis.

Kat is strongly independent. She needs no one. She will make it to St. Louis and start a new life as a seamstress. So, when Jake insists on accompanying her, she makes it clear she does not need his help.

Thus begins a tumultuous relationship. Each struggles to deny any attraction they feel.

Things go sideways when Kat’s uncle catches up to the pair and forces Jake to marry her. After all her uncle is a judge and the marriage is legal and binding. For me, this part of the story was not believable. That a man would go to all the trouble to track down his niece, then not force her to return with him seemed a little far-fetched.

But now they’re married and when one night of passion brings them together, maybe they are going to work out their differences after all.

Not the case. While Jake is sleeping, Kat sneaks away, taking his horse with her.

Throughout the rest of the story, Kat is running and Jake is pursuing and each time they meet up, their relationship switches from cold to hot in seconds.

The story ramps up when Jake’s grandfather goes to St. Louis to find Kat and get her out of his grandson’s life forever. But instead, in five short weeks, he falls in love with the woman who has given birth to his great-granddaughter and on his dying bed, wills the ranch in Texas to her.

Now things get really complicated. Jake is betrothed to another. He has no idea he has a daughter.

He and Kat are like oil and water. I grew a little frustrated with both of them at different times during the story when they lied to each other and danced around the truth over and over.

However, the story does culminate into an action-filled shoot-out and happy ending.

If not for the frustration I felt while reading the story, and a couple of plot twists that were not believable, this would be a five-star read for me. However, I give it a four-star rating.

If you enjoy westerns, and tumultuous romances, you would enjoy this story.