Release Date: August 24th, 2021
Now he just wants to find a place to retire so he can spend his days the way the good Lord intended. Staring at the sunset. And napping.
When his stubborn horse drags him into a hole-in-the-wall town called Desolation, something about the place calls to Gray, and he figures he might actually have a shot at a sleepy retirement.
His optimism lasts about a minute and a half.
Soon he finds himself embroiled in a town vendetta and married to a woman named Mercy. Who, judging by her aggravating personality, doesn’t know the meaning of her own name. In fact, she’s downright impossible.
But dang it if his wife isn’t irresistible. If only she’d stop trying to steal his guns to go after the bad guys herself.
There goes his peace and quiet…
I can safely say this is my first ever Western Romance, because I’ve been going around telling everyone that I’m reading a historical cowboy romance and I happily forgot that this subgenre exists. But, I digress. This book was such a rush! I loved so much of it and being introduced to an outlaw who wants to retire and just take a break from being an outlaw? That is a treat in itself.
Gray ‘Quick Shot’ Woodson has made quite the reputation for himself. People quiver at the sight of him and men run for the hills the moment he appears. He likes it that way, it stops people from getting attached. He’s happy to move around and never settle, happy to kill those that need killing, but after all this time, he needs a break and he finds himself stumbling into a small town called Desolation. Not only is it not desolate, he finds himself almost hitched to a woman in town who is trying to protect her land from a no-good monster. Mercy Douglas just lost her father and since that day, she’s had this irritant they call a man show up to ask for her hand in marriage so he can acquire her land. Mercy wants nothing to do with him, but Josiah doesn’t get the hint. He comes back over and over, till the day Gray stumbles across a stand-off and Mercy throws him for a loop by referring to him as her fiancé. So not only is Gray being shackled to this woman he doesn’t even know, he’s now become her protector from these men who are trying to take her land. What could possibly go wrong, right?
Gray and Mercy butt heads right from the start. She’s all personality and he’s got none, he prefers to just sit on the porch and nap for as long as possible, but between Mercy’s terrible cooking and her constant talking, Gray finds it hard to find a moment of peace. It takes them some time to find a comfortable place to work, but even then, it’s just all kinds of hilarious to watch them move around each other. Despite retiring, Gray finds that he’s constantly trying to protect Mercy and every time he takes his eyes off of her, men appear to take her life and end this fight. This causes Gray to step in even further and after one visit to town, they’re suddenly everybody’s favourite couple.
This book is entirely about Gray and Mercy and their relationship, but the supporting characters will have you hooked right from the word go. Every visit into town becomes a big event with all these characters and despite how much Gray hates it and wants it to end, you can tell that he enjoys having people like him and look up to him. This is what a found family looks like in a western romance and I am here for it! Every single one of the supporting characters had a purpose and there’s so much promise for all of them too! I hope there are more books in this series, because I need more of the Desolation crew!
Hitched to the Gunslinger is also a steamy read, with a slow burn. Even though they live on the same land, nothing happens between Gray and Mercy till they’re married. There’s a lot of heated looks and signs of interest, but they don’t make any moves to take anything else from the other till their wedding day. And then they can’t keep their hands off of each other and it is absolutely wonderful. And because it’s a western romance, you can surely expect shoot-outs, threats and bad guys with bad attitudes.
Michelle McLean had me completely hooked from the first page that I dropped everything else I was doing to read and finish this book in one day. And I have no regrets for leaving my chores till the end of the day for this book. A funny, sassy, sexy and incredibly entertaining read, Hitched to the Gunslinger has now become my gateway to western romances.
Thanks to Books Forward for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.