Lady Gone Bad

Sabine Starr
Lady Gone Bad
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Publisher
Brava
Release Date
August 2012
ISBN
9780758266002
Genre
Erotic Romance, Historical fiction, Western Romance

SUMMARY
A Woman's Secrets

The saloon singer known as Lady Gone Bad is the most drop-dead gorgeous outlaw the West has ever seen. Lady has never met a cowboy she couldn't entice, or a lawman she couldn't outrun. But when Lady tangles with a sexy U.S. Marshall, she's tempted to stick around long enough to watch him lay down the law-in her bed.

A Man's Desires

U. S. Marshall Rafe Morgan wants to lock up Lady Gone Bad for good-and he won't let his attraction to her slow him down. But when his attempt to bring Lady to justice goes awry, Rafe is nearly hanged-and by dawn, his face is plastered next to hers on every "Wanted" poster in Texas.

A Passion Unleashed

Now on the run together, Rafe and Lady find themselves in very close quarters-and even more compromising positions. As Lady surrenders to Rafe's touch, she slowly begins to reveal all her secrets-including her real name. Maybe Lady Gone Bad isn't beyond redemption after all. Either way, Rafe is in for one wild ride!

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Dec 30, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
106 people found the following review helpful
Sabine Starr takes some well-known elements of the historic western and turns them into a story that is both sizzling and intriguingly different. Though uneven in places, her writing style and imagination are strong and promises much for the series to come.

Lady Gone Bad is a notorious outlaw—and the most sensuously beautiful woman in the West. U.S. Marshall Rafe Morgan has been sent to arrest her and bring her before an infamous hanging judge, but from their first meeting, Rafe is transfixed by the stunning saloon singer. Even when she rescues him from a lynch mob and shelters him in the wilderness, Rafe refuses to let his personal desires get in the way of justice, and resolutely brings Lady Gone Bad into town under arrest. But when his face appears beside her own on Wanted posters all over town, Rafe quickly realizes he has been betrayed by one of his own—and that he has no choice but to go into hiding with Lady Gone Bad until he can clear his name.

On the run and forced to trust each other, Rafe and Lady find their initial cravings flare to life—and begin to grow into something much more dangerous. Despite the promises that drive them both, can an outlaw and a lawman find happiness in each other's arms—or will Rafe be forced to turn over the one woman who's stolen his heart?

Though it is never explicitly stated why Lady is wanted as a criminal, it's clear that she knows her way around outlaw hideaways and is remarkably adept at escaping the long arm of the law. I was thrilled to find a heroine who knew her own heart and mind from the beginning, and could save herself and her hero when times got tough. Which is not to say that her man was a pushover, by any means. Rafe is strong and wonderfully capable, and his stoic demeanor hides a heart of gold and a protective streak a mile long for those for whom he cares.

Together, Rafe and Lady are quite a memorable pair. Though it's mutual lust-at-first-sight, both have suffered serious losses in their past, and are on a quest for justice that allows for no other complications. Lady has devoted her life to finding the man who murdered her parents, while Rafe is desperate to find his sister, who was kidnapped on her way to visit him. Their loss and their drive make relationships of any kind difficult, let alone the complicated, sizzling connection that Lady and Rafe share, but as they gradually come to understand the other's determination, they become a united force that can bring about some fantastic results.

Sabine Starr definitely has a gift for setting the scene. Her descriptions of the Wild West, from the barren beauty of the outlaw hideouts to the sumptuous costumes of Lady Gone Bad, to the heady moments between her and Rafe, it's easy to get immersed in the world of the story. The addition of some Native American beliefs and folklore added an interesting element to the story that I enjoyed.

I did, however, have some issues with the characters and their development. It was clear that both had been on their own for a very long time, and their hesitation at letting down their guard to a near-stranger was completely understandable. The conflict inherent in their position as outlaw and lawman was evident, as well, however, there wasn't enough of a view provided into what made each of these characters tick, so it was very hard to understand why their moods changed the way they did, or what particularly drew them together outside of physical desire. Probably because they were so complex, with such rich histories, the potential to develop each of their characters individually was enormous and I found myself wanting a lot more as the story developed. Together, they have a chemistry that could set the wildness ablaze, and enjoyed their banter and their passion, but as individuals, it was very difficult to get to know each character.

That having been said, there are some original aspects to this story that were a fun twist on a lot of historic westerns, and I really appreciated a heroine who could do her own rescuing. Though I did have some issues with the story, there is a great deal of promise here, and the first glimpse of Sabine Starr's second book (Angel Gone Bad, set to release in March 2013) has me very interested to see where she will take readers next.
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