Vickie McDonough in her new book, "End Of The Trail" Book Six in The Texas Trail Series published by River North Fiction Division of Moody Publishers takes us to Texas in 1865.
From the Back Cover: He enters a poker game and wins a new life
She loses the only home she has ever known
Two hostile adversaries are forced to work together
It didn't take long for Brooks Morgan to make a name for himself in Shoofly. A high stakes poker game ends with Brooks holding the deed to his new friend Will's ranch, a vague promise to "take care of Keri" and Will's mysterious demise.
When Brooks finally rides to the Raven Creek Ranch, he is greeted by a rifle pointed straight at his chest. This is the "Keri" he promised to take care of-Will's niece-who believes Raven Creek is promised to her. Keri and Brooks have only one thing in common - they both want to save the ranch. Will their differences make this impossible?
Doubt meets hope, and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family.
It is with deep emotion I write that with "End Of The Trail" Vickie McDonough brings the Morgan Family series to their end of the trail. It is been a great series of six books that was begun with Darlene Franklin with "Lone Star Trail". You can read each of them as a stand-alone but it is much better when you read them in order.
"End Of The Trail" is another romance set against the backdrop of Texas. Vickie McDonough takes up the story of the Morgan family that she began in book three, "Long Trail Home" as Brooks Morgan is Riley Morgan's oldest son. Me, I really like Westerns. I like what authors can do with them and Vickie McDonough really knows how to write a Western. Anytime that a gambler can win a ranch in a poker game means that an exciting story is brewing and brew it does. Someone else wants the ranch, another wants Keri, Keri and Brooks don't really get along and they need to if the Raven Creek Ranch will continue to belong to them. Let me assure you that this is an exciting book. In addition to being suspenseful it is also a romance. Then there is the theme of growing up, taking responsibility not only for your own actions but for others welfare and allowing God to mold you. If you enjoy history like I do then this book is for you. Ms. McDonough's characters seem to come alive and it is like you are there at the Ranch fighting for it along with Brooks and Keri. "End Of The Trail" concludes the rich tradition of being all about families and relationships. I enjoyed this book a lot and am sorry to see the series end. Perhaps these three talented authors will team up again and bring us another series. I certainly hope so.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Wynn-Wynn Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough is a fascinating tale of love, restoration, trust, and reconciliation set against a plot of life-threatening greed.
Brooks Morgan, a drifter, stumbles into Shoofly, Texas, in 1896 to get out of storm. He befriends a man, Will Langston, who sets him on a life-changing course. Brooks wins Will's ranch in a poker game. Brooks sees it as an opportunity to finally settle down and prove, at least to himself, he's not the lazy, good-for-nothing who ran away from home ten years earlier.
What Books didn't count on was Will's niece, Keri. Back from what she saw as a two year exile to finishing school, she is anxious to change her dresses for pants and resume the life she loves, riding horses and tending cattle.
They meet when Keri saves Brooks from being hung by men who want to take over the ranch. Fireworks explode when she learns Brooks now owns the ranch, a ranch she dreamed of owning.
This is a most enjoyable read, especially for those who like historical romance. For me, it is a well written Western which captures the full flavor of the times as it tells the story of Brooks and Keri fighting to keep the ranch while also struggling in their own relationship.
Danger and excitement will keep you turning pages as the two battle an evil land baron and a crooked banker who demands that Keri marry him.
Ms. McDonough does an excellent job of allowing the relationship between Brooks and Keri to develop in a way that is believable. The two move from adversaries to reluctant allies against a common foe to struggles with growing affection for each other. She adroitly uses humor to both build tension between the two and then to soften each of them.
The book never slows down as the author ratchets up the stakes and adds unexpected, yet believable, plot twists that keep the reader engaged to the very satisfying ending.
I love Vickie's books. I did read her other Texas Trail book, but I haven't read the other four books by other authors. I didn't feel like I missed anything. This book can be read as a stand alone. However, I do believe this would be a fun series to follow from book one. One thing that drives me crazy is a sagging middle of a novel. You won't find that in End of the Trail. The story really picks up momentum in the middle where other books begin to sag. Like all her other books, Vickie does a fantastic job of pulling you back in time. You feel like you're riding up to the ranch, hiding in the woods, walking through the barn. She has a real gift for pulling you in. The story is fun with several twists. Her character's are flawed and real. A great book to put on your TBR pile!
It took me a little while to warm up to this hero, but when I did, I fell as hard as heroine Keri Langston. Brooks Morgan runs away from home as a young man, and drifts for ten years until the end of his trail brings him stumbling into Shoofly, Texas during a hail storm with empty pockets. A dying rancher, Will, befriends Brooks and gives him a meal and a job. Will's unexpected kindness lands Brooks toe to toe with Will's niece, Keri. Both Keri and Brooks stake a claim on Will's ranch and the romantic sparks fly. These rivals quickly band together when a dangerous man puts the ranch in his cross hairs.
Both hero and heroine have past scars that they must overcome. Both must make peace with estranged family. And both will steal your heart as they face hardship, setback, threats and heartbreak with grit and genuine character. You'll root for them against all odds and cheer as they stake their claim on love, reconciliation, and a very happily ever after.
Brooks Morgan is the ultimate slightly-flawed hero with a cocky grin that's bound to make any female reader fall in love. After a decade of drifting and learning life's lessons the hard way, Brooks wins a ranch in a poker game. Trouble is, feisty Keri Langston thinks Raven Creek Ranch belongs to her. If she'd known Brooks Morgan held the deed to her property, she might have left him hanging on the end of the rope she found him on, instead of shooting him free and saving his sorry life.
But she didn't know. She did shoot him free. And now he's a way-too-happy, far-too-handsome thorn in her side.
The End of the Trail is a hilarious, heart-rending, soul-searching rollercoaster ride. I loved it, and didn't want the ride to end. But then, I always love McDonough's work. This author presents stellar writing; wonderful, unexpected humorous moments; touching, heart-wrenching situations that make it hard to know who to root for; and consistently riveting storylines.
I dare you to read this book and not smile! Thing is, you will smile_and get a little weepy_and gasp in surprise a few times, as well.