A western book recommendation: Let It Ride (Thompson & Sons) (Volume 3) by Vivian Arend

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1Uov0G5.
There is humour and grief, practicality and hot sex, so the story has a bit of everything…Let it Ride is a charming, sexy and poignant story and I loved it.
Book description from Google Books:
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author VIVIAN AREND. He’s her rock in the midst of the storm When Maggie Ward’s world is torn apart by sudden tragedy, the only thing that makes her days bearable is Clay Thompson’s unwavering presence. He’s protective, caring, and everything she could ask for in a friend. But when she finds herself longing for more than friendship, it will take a little seduction to convince the stubborn mechanic she’s ready to start living again. She’s his heart, whether he knows it or not Clay Thompson’s got the taking-care-of-others business down pat, only he’s never faced this particular challenge before-the one woman he’s always wanted is unexpectedly his to care for. Suddenly it’s not just responsibility driving him, but a wild desire to make Maggie truly his. But following his heart might mean sacrificing the family he’s held together for years.
The book is rated 4.13/5 at goodreads.com, from 783 ratings. See 96 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1NRgzZa.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sHqUjz.

A western book recommendation: Softly Falling by Carla Kelly

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2czQIZi.
I adore a couple who fall in love over books. I was glad that you didn’t pull any punches with the reality of that horrible winter but wish that the issues raised by Lily’s heritage had been explored more.
Book description from Google Books:
Beautiful Lily Branson learns that her wayward father has lost his Wyoming cattle ranch in a card game to handsome cowboy Jack Sinclair, no less! When a series of deadly winter storms sets in, Lily and Jack must work together to save the cattle–as well as their hearts.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 514 ratings. See 111 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1Fg8UzU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tO7Ncb.

A western book recommendation: Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2mZbbtx.
Idaho is sad, but not despairingly so. Ruskovich’s prose is lyrical but keen, a poem that never gets lost in its own rhythm.
Book description from Google Books:
A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss–from O. Henry Prize-winning author Emily Ruskovich Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives–including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison–we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny’s lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho. In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade’s past becomes the center of Ann’s imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew–and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own. Praise for Idaho “You know you’re in masterly hands here. [Emily] Ruskovich’s language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. . . . Ruskovich’s novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. . . . [A] wrenching and beautiful book.”–The New York Times Book Review “Sensuous, exquisitely crafted.”–The Wall Street Journal “The first thing you should know about Idaho, the shatteringly original debut by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich, is that it upturns everything you think you know about story. . . . You could read Idaho just for the sheer beauty of the prose, the expert way Ruskovich makes everything strange and yet absolutely familiar.”–San Francisco Chronicle “Mesmerizing . . . [an] eerie story about what the heart is capable of fathoming and what the hand is capable of executing.”–Marie Claire “Idaho is a wonderful debut. Ruskovich knows how to build a page-turner from the opening paragraph.”–Ft. Worth Star-Telegram “Ruskovich’s debut is haunting, a portrait of an unusual family and a state that becomes a foreboding figure in her vivid depiction.”–The Huffington Post “Idaho is both a place and an emotional dimension. Haunted, haunting, Ruskovich’s novel winds through time, braiding events and their consequences in the most unexpected and moving ways.”–Andrea Barrett “Ruskovich digs deeply into everyday moments, and shows that it is there, in our quietest thoughts and experiences, where we find and create our true selves.”–Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief “[Idaho] caught and held me absolutely.”–Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams “Ruskovich has written a poem in prose, a beautiful and intricate homage to place, and a celebration of the defeats and triumphs of love. Beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, and psychologically astute, Idaho is one of the best books I have read in a long time.”–Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees “Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result–something bigger than either–is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent.”–Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover
The book is rated 3.52/5 at goodreads.com, from 5719 ratings. See 1122 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mZ9psg.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2mgzTFP.

A western book recommendation: Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan Wink

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1qabO3G.
Mr. Wink writes with depth and raw feeling about fathers and sons. There’s a story here about a father who pays his young son to kill 50 or so barn cats that I may never get out of my mind.
Book description from Google Books:
In the tradition of Richard Ford, Annie Proulx, and Kent Haruf comes a dazzling debut story collection by a young writer from the American West who has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories.   A construction worker on the run from the shady local businessman whose dog he has stolen; a Custer’s Last Stand reenactor engaged in a long-running affair with the Native American woman who slays him on the battlefield every year; a middle-aged high school janitor caught in a scary dispute over land and cattle with her former stepson: Callan Wink’s characters are often confronted with predicaments few of us can imagine. But thanks to the humor and remarkable empathy of this supremely gifted writer, the nine stories gathered in Dog Run Moon are universally transporting and resonant.   Set mostly in Montana and Wyoming, near the borders of Yellowstone National Park, this revelatory collection combines unforgettable insight into the fierce beauty of the West with a powerful understanding of human beings. Tender, frequently hilarious, and always electrifying, Dog Run Moon announces the arrival of a bold new talent writing deep in the American grain.   Advance praise for Dog Run Moon   “The perils of work and the weight of bequeathal fuel these stories, and each one holds a lasting, unshakable image. Sometimes grace is bestowed upon the characters in a sidewindering, not altogether fabulous fashion; sometimes it’s not bestowed at all. Callan Wink seems to know well the stratagems and delusions of men’s hearts. He also seems born and bred to short-story mastery.”–Joy Williams, author of The Visiting Privilege   “Callan Wink’s debut is impressive indeed. Fine, old-fashioned, rich and juicy fiction. Weeks later I’m still living with the characters.”–Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall   “Callan Wink’s fresh, urgent stories have an energy and propulsion that set them well apart from the cerebral finger painting of so much literary fiction. Here is a writer with a great big horizon.”–Thomas McGuane, author of Crow Fair “Callan Wink’s stories remind me of expertly tied trout flies–beautifully crafted, true to reality, and barbed. What a fine young writer.”–Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall “As in all the best collections, each and every story in Dog Run Moon sings in the essential registers of love and death, work and nature. Callan Wink has the wisdom to write only of the things that matter, and the talent to make these stories as fresh as the literary headwaters from which they come.”–Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek “Myth and history color these highly satisfying fictions about the way men and women struggle to shape their lives.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)   “Wink stakes his bold claim to Big Sky literary territory, the terrain of Thomas McGuane, Norman Maclean, and Jim Harrison. . . . A fly-fishing guide in Montana, Wink suffuses every page with his love of the land. No matter what their circumstances, he never condescends to his characters, who all suffer from longings that cause them to make decisions they don’t quite understand. But through the transparency of his writing, at once delicate and brutally precise, the author gifts us with the wonderful feeling of knowing someone you’ve only met in a book.”–Publishers Weekly
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 382 ratings. See 83 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1qabNgq.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t0t5yL.

A western book recommendation: A Wild Ride (Thompson & Sons Book 4) by Vivian Arend

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2clsdP5.
There was also a transition late in the book which felt so sudden that I wondered if I’d accidentally skipped some pages. It mostly made sense in the end, but it jarred a little until I got to the explanation. However, for a feel good romance, A Wild Ride gets two thumbs up from me.
Book description from Google Books:
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author VIVIAN AREND, the final book in the bestselling series.He’s the golden boy with a secret pastWhen Nicole Adams abruptly cancels their secret fling, Troy Thompson is stunned. The sex between them is sizzling, but she’s ready to move on—find a reliable guy, settle down, pop out a few babies. The thought of Nic in another man’s arms is maddening. And while her agenda freaks him out, Troy knows there’s no one in town nearly good enough for her. No one, that is, except him.She’s his redemption and his futureNicole doesn’t regret her sexual romp with Troy, but when he insists on taking the next step with her—marriage and parenthood—she figures he’s out of his mind. Troy? Husband and daddy material? Oh, he’s sexy beyond belief, with the ability to melt her panties with a single command, but the man’s not known for being responsible. Trying for forever with Mr. Frivolous? Everyone thinks it’s a fool’s game.Everyone except Troy, who’s determined to make Nicole see the real him under the shiny exterior.
The book is rated 4.26/5 at goodreads.com, from 624 ratings. See 83 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cHLkQJ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sbdaNJ.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A western book recommendation: Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan Wink

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1qabO3G.
Mr. Wink writes with depth and raw feeling about fathers and sons. There’s a story here about a father who pays his young son to kill 50 or so barn cats that I may never get out of my mind.
Book description from Google Books:
In the tradition of Richard Ford, Annie Proulx, and Kent Haruf comes a dazzling debut story collection by a young writer from the American West who has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories.   A construction worker on the run from the shady local businessman whose dog he has stolen; a Custer’s Last Stand reenactor engaged in a long-running affair with the Native American woman who slays him on the battlefield every year; a middle-aged high school janitor caught in a scary dispute over land and cattle with her former stepson: Callan Wink’s characters are often confronted with predicaments few of us can imagine. But thanks to the humor and remarkable empathy of this supremely gifted writer, the nine stories gathered in Dog Run Moon are universally transporting and resonant.   Set mostly in Montana and Wyoming, near the borders of Yellowstone National Park, this revelatory collection combines unforgettable insight into the fierce beauty of the West with a powerful understanding of human beings. Tender, frequently hilarious, and always electrifying, Dog Run Moon announces the arrival of a bold new talent writing deep in the American grain.   Advance praise for Dog Run Moon   “The perils of work and the weight of bequeathal fuel these stories, and each one holds a lasting, unshakable image. Sometimes grace is bestowed upon the characters in a sidewindering, not altogether fabulous fashion; sometimes it’s not bestowed at all. Callan Wink seems to know well the stratagems and delusions of men’s hearts. He also seems born and bred to short-story mastery.”–Joy Williams, author of The Visiting Privilege   “Callan Wink’s debut is impressive indeed. Fine, old-fashioned, rich and juicy fiction. Weeks later I’m still living with the characters.”–Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall   “Callan Wink’s fresh, urgent stories have an energy and propulsion that set them well apart from the cerebral finger painting of so much literary fiction. Here is a writer with a great big horizon.”–Thomas McGuane, author of Crow Fair “Callan Wink’s stories remind me of expertly tied trout flies–beautifully crafted, true to reality, and barbed. What a fine young writer.”–Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall “As in all the best collections, each and every story in Dog Run Moon sings in the essential registers of love and death, work and nature. Callan Wink has the wisdom to write only of the things that matter, and the talent to make these stories as fresh as the literary headwaters from which they come.”–Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek “Myth and history color these highly satisfying fictions about the way men and women struggle to shape their lives.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)   “Wink stakes his bold claim to Big Sky literary territory, the terrain of Thomas McGuane, Norman Maclean, and Jim Harrison. . . . A fly-fishing guide in Montana, Wink suffuses every page with his love of the land. No matter what their circumstances, he never condescends to his characters, who all suffer from longings that cause them to make decisions they don’t quite understand. But through the transparency of his writing, at once delicate and brutally precise, the author gifts us with the wonderful feeling of knowing someone you’ve only met in a book.”–Publishers Weekly
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 381 ratings. See 83 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1qabNgq.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t0t5yL.

A western book recommendation: American Meteor by Norman Lock

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/1GMuhFh.
…pithy, compact beautifully conducted version of the American Dream, from its portrait of the young wounded soldier in the beginning to its powerful rendering of Crazy Horse’s prophecy for life on earth at the end…
Book description from Google Books:
Publishers Weekly “Book of the Year” Firecracker Award Finalist “Sheds brilliant light along the meteoric path of American westward expansion. . . . [A] pithy, compact beautifully conducted version of the American Dream, from its portrait of the young wounded soldier in the beginning to its powerful rendering of Crazy Horse’s prophecy for life on earth at the end.” –NPR “Like all Mr. Lock’s books, this is an ambitious work, where ideas crowd together on the page like desperate men on a battlefield.” –Wall Street Journal In this panoramic tale of Manifest Destiny, Stephen Moran comes of age with the young country that he crosses on the Union Pacific, just as the railroad unites the continent. Propelled westward from his Brooklyn neighborhood and the killing fields of the Civil War to the Battle of Little Big Horn, he befriends Walt Whitman, receives a medal from General Grant, becomes a bugler on President Lincoln’s funeral train, goes to work for railroad mogul Thomas Durant, apprentices with frontierphotographer William Henry Jackson, and stalks General George Custer. When he comes face-to-face with Crazy Horse, his life will be spared but his dreams haunted for the rest of his days. By turns elegiac and comic,American Meteor is a novel of adventure, ideas, and mourning: a unique vision of America’s fabulous and murderous history. Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. His recent works of fiction include the short story collectionLove Among the Particles, aShelf Awareness Best Book of the Year, and three books in The American Novels series:The Boy in His Winter, a re-envisioning of Mark Twain’s classicThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn;American Meteor, an homage to Walt Whitman and William Henry Jackson named a Firecracker Award finalist andPublishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; andThe Port-Wine Stain, a gothic psychological thriller featuring Edgar Allan Poe. Lock lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey.
The book is rated 3.57/5 at goodreads.com, from 183 ratings. See 47 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1R22Npt.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tQ8VvU.

A western book recommendation: Without Words by Ellen O’Connell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2d58Qu5.
What I think I enjoyed most here was the slow, careful romance. The fact that neither of them is looking for more or hoping for rainbows makes the quiet realization of that love more powerful to me.
Book description from Google Books:
Bounty hunter Bret Sterling kills Rufus Petty, thief and murderer, less than ten feet away from a frightened, half-starved woman. Rufus should have surrendered. The woman should have kin to help her. But Rufus went down shooting, and the woman has no one. Bret figures by the time he finds a safe place to leave Hassie Petty, he’ll earn the five hundred dollar reward several times over. Hassie doesn’t mourn Rufus, but the loss of the ten dollars he promised her for supplies is a different matter. The bounty hunter gives her nothing, takes everything, ties the body on one horse and orders her on another. Afraid if she defies him, he’ll tie her down tighter than Rufus, Hassie mounts up and follows the icy-eyed killer. Mismatched in every way, the sterling man and petty woman travel the West together, hunting thieves, deserters, and murderers. Wary traveling companions, friends and partners, lovers, Bret and Hassie must decide what they want, what they need, and the price they’re willing to pay for love.
The book is rated 4.20/5 at goodreads.com, from 1536 ratings. See 190 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1RMPg1h.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uefVxW.

A western book recommendation: A Wild Ride (Thompson & Sons Book 4) by Vivian Arend

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2clsdP5.
There was also a transition late in the book which felt so sudden that I wondered if I’d accidentally skipped some pages. It mostly made sense in the end, but it jarred a little until I got to the explanation. However, for a feel good romance, A Wild Ride gets two thumbs up from me.
Book description from Google Books:
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author VIVIAN AREND, the final book in the bestselling series.He’s the golden boy with a secret pastWhen Nicole Adams abruptly cancels their secret fling, Troy Thompson is stunned. The sex between them is sizzling, but she’s ready to move on—find a reliable guy, settle down, pop out a few babies. The thought of Nic in another man’s arms is maddening. And while her agenda freaks him out, Troy knows there’s no one in town nearly good enough for her. No one, that is, except him.She’s his redemption and his futureNicole doesn’t regret her sexual romp with Troy, but when he insists on taking the next step with her—marriage and parenthood—she figures he’s out of his mind. Troy? Husband and daddy material? Oh, he’s sexy beyond belief, with the ability to melt her panties with a single command, but the man’s not known for being responsible. Trying for forever with Mr. Frivolous? Everyone thinks it’s a fool’s game.Everyone except Troy, who’s determined to make Nicole see the real him under the shiny exterior.
The book is rated 4.26/5 at goodreads.com, from 623 ratings. See 83 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cHLkQJ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sbdaNJ.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A western book recommendation: Softly Falling by Carla Kelly

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2czQIZi.
I adore a couple who fall in love over books. I was glad that you didn’t pull any punches with the reality of that horrible winter but wish that the issues raised by Lily’s heritage had been explored more.
Book description from Google Books:
Beautiful Lily Branson learns that her wayward father has lost his Wyoming cattle ranch in a card game to handsome cowboy Jack Sinclair, no less! When a series of deadly winter storms sets in, Lily and Jack must work together to save the cattle–as well as their hearts.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 512 ratings. See 111 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1Fg8UzU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .