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So. This week a new to me author and a sweet one too. The Drifter was one of my favorite reads this year--the characters were just amazing--and this little moment between the hero and heroine just had me smiling...
"Maria, I plan on kissing you now, so if that's something you'd rather not have happen, you'd best walk away." He held up his hands so that she was free of his touch. She did not remove her hand from his cheek.
"Fair warning," he said, taking a step closer.
She snaked her hand around to the back of his neck and raised herself onto her toes. "Thanks for asking," she said just before she brushed her lips across his.
The Drifter (Where the Trail Ends, #1) Anna Schmidt
Oh dayum! The Drifter was GOOD! For starters...check out the author name. Hello! Another Anna! Love it! And she totally rocked this one. Freaking awesome characters--a fierce as hell heroine and one crazy sexy laid back cowboy, mystery and sabotage and a family doing everything they can to survive. Add in lots of cowhands who were all such characters and a cute pup named Cracker and I was just completely smitten with The Drifter.
The quick of it is that Maria and Chet's paths crossed at exactly the right moment. Chet's in dire need of a meal and lodging as he makes his way West to California on horse back and Maria has been doing everything she can to run her family's ranch after her father passed away and brother abandoned them. While she's handling it she most certainly needs an extra pair of hands especially when the neighboring ranch starts getting pushy over wanting to buy her property and suspicious things start happening leaving her wondering if it's coincidence or sabotage against the ranch.
Okay so first. These two. I absolutely adored them. Everything about them. Maria was an amazing heroine. She's incredibly strong of spirit and just a good woman through and through. Struggling to keep the ranch afloat but not willing to turn away someone in need. Cares about her family, her workers and the land. She was definitely a woman you could look up to. respect and completely feel for when she's struggling with things. And Chet was most definitely her equal being a damn good man. He's laid back, confident, has a sexy strength about him.
They were just so good together. I loved watching their interactions. Seeing trust build, seeing them work together for the property, rely on each other, struggle with their paths in life and the kinks it threw at them. Finding love and passion and a hope for the future. It was just all a little swoony and lovely.
The only thing that would have made it better was a bit more heat. Loved the romance and chemistry but, yeah, a smidge more heat would have been the perfect topper for me. But still I enjoyed what they had together. They made me smile quite a few times.
There's a good bit of suspense/mystery with this one and I really enjoyed it. There's a huge corporate ranch in the area that is causing trouble with the smaller ranches trying to force their hands to sell out and they're fairly unethical. There's all kinds of shady stuff happening and watching as the two of them tried to figure things out, survive each day and save the ranch was something to see. There were even a couple surprises which was great.
All in all, I'm pretty dang excited to have found Anna Schmidt. Everything about The Drifter was just gripping and had me rooting for these two to overcome all of the odds. Definitely a satisfying read and one that has me excited for more. Schmidt definitely wowed!
Have you read Schmidt? Have a favorite?
Any heroines in less than conventional roles you just love?
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.
Amazon | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads
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