A western book recommendation: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h7WW3N.
While River of Teeth’s ending is somewhat abrupt, leaving many questions in its wake, the fact that this is designated as Book 1, justifies its sudden finish. It does, however, engender the wish that the novella had been lengthened into a novel with a better conclusion.
Book description from Google Books:
Sarah Gailey’s wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls “preposterously fun.”In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.This was a terrible plan.Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 1633 ratings. See 526 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h8ozK1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h8oIgx.

A western book recommendation: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h7WW3N.
While River of Teeth’s ending is somewhat abrupt, leaving many questions in its wake, the fact that this is designated as Book 1, justifies its sudden finish. It does, however, engender the wish that the novella had been lengthened into a novel with a better conclusion.
Book description from Google Books:
Sarah Gailey’s wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls “preposterously fun.”In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.This was a terrible plan.Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 1633 ratings. See 526 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h8ozK1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h8oIgx.

A western book recommendation: The Hot Kid: A Novel by Elmore Leonard

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1QhQMd1.
…a showdown with police in which a gun moll shoots her felon boyfriend in the back, and an ending that brings the arrogant Webster back to his roots. After 50 years and 40 novels, Leonard shows no signs of losing his touch.
Book description from Google Books:
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America’s most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson — those guys.Carl wants to be America’s most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd’s girlfriend.Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn’t a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy’s in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear — what else — teddies.Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard — a true master — at his best.
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 3646 ratings. See 341 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1QhQO4x.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tS72i3.

A western book recommendation: The Hot Kid: A Novel by Elmore Leonard

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1QhQMd1.
…a showdown with police in which a gun moll shoots her felon boyfriend in the back, and an ending that brings the arrogant Webster back to his roots. After 50 years and 40 novels, Leonard shows no signs of losing his touch.
Book description from Google Books:
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America’s most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson — those guys.Carl wants to be America’s most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd’s girlfriend.Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn’t a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy’s in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear — what else — teddies.Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard — a true master — at his best.
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 3641 ratings. See 341 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1QhQO4x.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tS72i3.

A western book recommendation: Harlot by Victoria Dahl

A critic review (source All About Romance) can be read at: http://bit.ly/24FHQCj.
…the HEA was believable and my last thought as the story closed was to wonder what would happen to them next. If I am clamoring for more of their story, then the author has created a winner. Now I need to go back and read the first book in this erotic series.
Book description from amazon.com:
An erotic historical romance…HE CAME HOME TO MARRY AN ANGEL…After working in the gold fields of California for two years, Caleb Hightower has come home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Jessica Willoughby. But when he returns, Caleb learns his refined bride-to-be is now a whore. Enraged by her betrayal, he can’t reconcile this shameless woman with the sweet innocent he once deeply loved–but Caleb knows what to do with a harlot. He’s determined to get everything from her that she’s sold to other men. And he’s prepared to pay for the pleasure of his revenge.BUT ALL HE FOUND WAS SINLeft penniless after her father’s death, Jess made a deal with a devil. Now she must face her first love, whose scorn is no match for her regret. To make amends, she’ll let Caleb quench his rage with her body. Their bargain strips them down to searing passion and naked vulnerability, and Jess can still glimpse her loving Caleb buried deep inside this rough cowboy. In the end, an unbearable truth emerges that could push them toward forgiveness…or could destroy their fragile bond forever.
The book is rated 3.63/5 at goodreads.com, from 470 ratings. See 129 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/24FHwDj.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ulJKk5.

A western book recommendation: Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1PjVOX8.
I took the chance to sneak it in. Turns out ML’s rec was right on the money. I also love that Early made the book cover.
Book description from Google Books:
In 1866 on the empty Kansas prairie, two children shared a few desperate moments that changed their lives. For years afterward, each nursed a secret dream – that the other had grown into a special person – brave, good, kind. When Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton cross paths again, dreams die. She is a bitter, suicidal widow. He is a gunman with little conscience and few scruples. Alternately angry, repelled, and attracted, the two form an uneasy partnership to hold land she owns and he covets against a marauding neighbor. Their bargain never included love, or did it?
The book is rated 4.07/5 at goodreads.com, from 1623 ratings. See 161 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1PjVPdB.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tPOk5P.

A western book recommendation: Last Chance Cowboys: The Drifter (Where the Trail Ends) by Anna Schmidt

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1QSEvMA.
I also hope to see more of the other strong female characters. Readers wanting a good old fashioned Western romance need look no further than this one.
Book description from Google Books:
“A feisty heroine and a hero eager to make everything right. What more could a reader want?”—Leigh Greenwood, USA Today bestselling author of To Love and to CherishFirst in a historical Western series set in the sweeping 1885 Arizona Territory, Maria is in for the fight of her life keeping a greedy corporate conglomerate off her land and drifter cowboy Chet out of her heart.Caught between a greedy corporation and a desperate love of the land, Maria Porterfield barely has time to mourn her father’s death. If her family is to survive, it’ll be up to her to take charge—but she can’t do it alone. When a mysterious drifter rides into town, the handsome cowboy seems like an answer to her prayers. But Chet isn’t interested in settling down, no matter how tempting the offer…Chet made his way West looking for a fresh start—the last thing he wants is to get involved in someone else’s fight. But something about Maria awakens a powerful need to protect the fierce beauty at all costs. He never thought he’d find love, but as danger presses in, he may find there’s more beyond the next horizon than just another long and dusty trail.Where the Trail Ends Series: Last Chance Cowboys: The Drifter (Book 1) Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman (Book 2) Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw (Book 3) Last Chance Cowboys: The Rancher (Book 4)
The book is rated 3.55/5 at goodreads.com, from 58 ratings. See 23 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2irRdEM.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRJwgs.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A western book recommendation: This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/283BJw6.
This state of affairs is ably documented and explained by Stephen Ellis—a British expert on African affairs, who died last year—in an excellent history of Nigerian organised crime…
Book description from Google Books:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. This Present Darkness rivals The Screwtape Letters with its keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer. It is fast-moving, riveting reading, ranking with the best thrillers on the bookshelf. Readers have picked up more than 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1986, and, with its companion volume Piercing the Darkness, it has sparked great interest in spiritual warfare over the years. “Frank Peretti kicked open the doors that all of us Christian novelists are passing through today. We owe him a huge debt.” Jerry B. Jenkins, Author, The Left Behind Series
The book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 75073 ratings. See 1594 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/283BEIN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sD52FS.

A western book recommendation: A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: A Novel by Glenn Taylor

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1RrhJcZ.
Taylor has a poet’s eye, and though he trains it on somber theme…he believes in the end that, damaged or not, we harbor the capacity to take the muck of our mistakes and our milieu and make “beautiful things.” Just as he has done.
Book description from Google Books:
The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the “Great White Hope,” Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, its townspeople are gathered in a red-light district known as Cinder Bottom to witness the first public hanging in over a decade. Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He’s Keystone’s most famous poker player; she’s the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father’s saloon in shambles—and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family’s past, does the real swindle begin.Glenn Taylor, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, has a unique voice that breathes life into history and a prose style that snaps with lyricism and comedy.
The book is rated 3.83/5 at goodreads.com, from 321 ratings. See 46 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1RrhL4S.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRuU0z.

A western book recommendation: Heyday: A Novel by Kurt Andersen

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1WC0sE5.
…he skillfully melds seeming disparate happenings — a global jigsaw, if you will — into a narrative that is both convincing and entertainingly readable.
Book description from Google Books:
Heydayis a brilliantly imagined, wildly entertaining tale of America’s boisterous coming of age–a sweeping panorama of madcap rebellion and overnight fortunes, palaces and brothels, murder and revenge–as well as the story of a handful of unforgettable characters discovering the nature of freedom, loyalty, friendship, and true love. In the middle of the nineteenth century, modern life is being born: the mind-boggling marvels of photography, the telegraph, and railroads; a flood of show business spectacles and newspapers; rampant sex and drugs and drink (and moral crusades against all three); Wall Street awash with money; and giddy utopian visions everywhere. Then, during a single amazing month at the beginning of 1848, history lurches: America wins its war of manifest destiny against Mexico, gold is discovered in northern California, and revolutions sweep across Europe–sending one eager English gentleman off on an epic transatlantic adventure. . . . Amid the tumult, aristocratic Benjamin Knowles impulsively abandons the Old World to reinvent himself in New York, where he finds himself embraced by three restless young Americans: Timothy Skaggs, muckraking journalist, daguerreotypist, pleasure-seeker, stargazer; the fireman Duff Lucking, a sweet but dangerously damaged veteran of the Mexican War; and Duff’s dazzling sister Polly Lucking, a strong-minded, free thinking actress (and discreet part-time prostitute) with whom Ben falls hopelessly in love. Beckoned by the frontier, new beginnings, and the prospects of the California Gold Rush, all four set out on a transcontinental race west–relentlessly tracked, unbeknownst to them,by a cold-blooded killer bent on revenge. A fresh, impeccable portrait of an era startlingly reminiscent of our own times,Heydayis by turns tragic and funny and sublime, filled with bona fide heroes and lost souls, visionaries (Walt Whitman, Charles Darwin, Alexis de Tocqueville) and monsters, expanding horizons and narrow escapes. It is also an affecting story of four people passionately chasing their American dreams at a time when America herself was still being dreamed up–an enthralling, old-fashioned yarn interwoven with a bracingly modern novel of ideas. “In this utterly engaging novel, the author ofTurn of the Centurybrings 19th-century America vividly to life . . . While this is a long book, it moves quickly, with historical detail that’s involving but never a drag on the action; the characters are beautifully drawn. A terrific book; highly recommended.”–Library Journal “Heydayis fuled by manic energy, fanatical research, and a wicked sense of humor…. It’s a joyful, wild gallop through a joyful, wild time to be an American.”-Vanity Fair
The book is rated 3.50/5 at goodreads.com, from 1087 ratings. See 259 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1R7pjqG.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2svAJRz.