Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In an alternate reality where shifter natives inhabit the Wild West, Carter Bly cannot believe how things have gone so wrong since his father’s death. Having inherited half of the family ranch, Carter faces paying a dowry for his sister’s upcoming wedding. Because of this and laws where the husband actually controls his wife’s property, Carter must face the fact that he is now a minority owner of the family ranch with no real say in how things are run. Rather than live under these circumstances, Carter decides to buy himself out of the ranch. However, his new brother in law is trying to make this impossible. In order to pay for everything, Carter must get his part of the cattle herd to auction before his unscrupulous relative.
A family friend contacts the local shifter tribe to help Carter drive his herd through the canyon before the rains come. The chief sends his son Rani as the man to help Carter. The man states that he will walk his way, which will not be a problem with his shifter stamina. As the two begin their two-week trek through the canyon, Carter becomes attracted to his guide. However, Carter reminds himself it is better to be alone than to possible face rejection or worse from the man. The men must survive the weather, snakes, and a crippling injury in their race to beat Carter’s brother in law to market. But they must first survive the trip and each other in order to do so.
I found this to be an interesting twist on the shifter story. This is not the old west as we know it. The story is set in the late 1800’s in the Oklahoma Territory. However, we have a Republic of Texas, a Dukedom of Louisiana and mentions the original thirteen colonies. So it is definitely not our timeline. The native tribes are all shifters.
I thought the pacing of bringing Carter and Rani was well done. Carter tells himself that the feelings he beings to have for Rani are probably misplaced. Rani on the other hand knows that Carter is attracted to him from the beginning but basically ignores the fact until later in the drive. When Carter’s life if threatened is when Rani begins to show his feelings toward Carter. The care Rani shows Carter gives Carter hope that there might be something more there than he realizes. Cari Z once again comes through with this book.
The cover art by the author Cari Z shows a cowboy holding his lariat at sunset with a snake that appears to be coming out of the clouds. It is a fitting cover for the book.
Ebook, 56 pages
Published: January 12, 2016 by Less Than Three Press
Edition Language: English