Gunpowder Tea, Brides of Last Chance Ranch Series #3
This book can stand alone even though it's the third and last of a series. I didn't read the first two, and that didn't detract from it at all. I understood what was going on without any problems. I enjoyed that there wasn't so much back-story tying it to the other two books that I didn't have to read 1/3 of the story before I got anywhere.
The characters were fun and had just the right amount of spark and wit between them to keep me smiling and coming back for more. I liked the fact that Miranda/Annie is a strong woman who can outride and outshoot most men, yet still wasn't so stubborn that she couldn't enjoy and desire attention and affection from Taggert.
The historical elements weren't so overly pushed in your face that you cringed when they arrived, but instead, they whetted my appetite to learn more about both Pinkerton as well as Wells Fargo detectives. As usual, I tried to figure out who the bad guy was before Miranda/Annie, but Ms. Brownley got there first. I always enjoy a story more when I don't figure out who the bad guy is first.
I very much enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from Ms. Brownley!
*My thanks to the publisher who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required it be positive.*
November 24, 2013
Miranda is a Pinkerton Detective and she has finally been given a case that she hopes will help her make a name for herself. She just has to find the leader of a gang while pretending to be interested in being the new heiress of a cattle ranch. She just has to win over the cranky old lady who runs it. What she did not expect was to find herself attracted to one of the ranch hands who has a questionable background.
Jeremy is a WellÃ¢ÂÂs Fargo detective hot on the trail of the same gang leader. He had not planned to ever go back into the field but he must try to find his friend and stop the gang leader in the process. Miranda seems to be around every corner and the more he is around her the more complicated his mission becomes. Can these two figure out they are after the same guy and find love at the same time?
This was a very good book. It was a great mix of romance and suspense.
What I liked: I really liked all the characters in this book. Miranda was a strong female lead. I loved learning about her as a detective and a woman. Even as she started to fall for Jeremy she kept her wits about her and I liked that a lot. I also enjoyed Jeremy and how he liked Miranda for all her qualities. The supporting characters where also well written and make this book very enjoyable read.
What I did not like: There really was not much I did not like.
Overall this was a very enjoyable book. I really liked how the author explained a lot about the working of the detectives it make the book very interesting. I did not read the first two books in this series and this was easily a standalone book. I would suggest adding this to your reading list!
November 13, 2013
Tea, trouble, and two terrific secret agents
In the last of her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series, Gunpowder Tea, Margaret Brownley pits Miranda Hunt, a female Pinkerton Agent out to prove her worth, against Wells Fargo Detective Jeremy Taggert, who is chasing the man who killed his friend. No one knows who the mysterious Phantom is, the outlaw plaguing Arizona with train, stagecoach, and bank robberies. All they know is that the clues point to Last Chance Ranch, and so each agency sends a representative to bring him to justice. Unfortunately, neither knows that the other agency has an operative in the field, and Miranda and Jeremy mutually assume the other is in the Phantom's gang. How can they catch the elusive Phantom if they are too busy chasing each other?
I have to say, the Phantom was pretty lucky to be pursued by two agents before they found out each other's identity. Since they were so busy assuming the other and their contacts were involved, the real outlaw could have gotten away clean by using a little more intelligence. Sadly for the thief, villains are prone to such errors of judgement. However, as a reader it was a lot of fun to watch the agents make logical assumptions based on the circumstances, understanding their reasoning but knowing just how wrong they are. It was a rather clever tactic by the author - both humorous and still able to show off their detective abilities. The clues to the real villain are carefully disguised, and I confess I did not pick up on them until Miranda spells it out.
I really enjoyed that Miranda keeps case files not only on all her suspects, but also on God - a journal of sorts, detective style. She knows He is in charge, but she has issues and questions that she wants to take up with Him, and keeping a case file suits her personality better than other styles of journaling. Throughout the novel Miranda is learning the difference between motives - is she doing this to please (and prove herself to) men, or to please God?
While the cover of a novel rarely factors into a review, I must say that this one is cleverly done - that look of pure suspicion on Jeremy's face as he accepts tea from the sweetly smiling Miranda as she hides a derringer behind her back . . . it suits the tone perfectly - full of humor, sparks, hidden agendas, and delicious beverages.
It is a fun novel and a fitting conclusion to the series - even Eleanor Walker finds a solution to her heiress problem (but I shan't spoil how) - and it is my favorite of the three. 4 out of 5 stars
November 8, 2013
Two Undercover Agents, A Train Robber and Romance
Margaret Brownley, in her new book, Ã¢ÂÂGunpowder TeaÃ¢ÂÂ Book Three in her The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch series published by Thomas Nelson takes us to the Arizona Territory in 1897 and into the life of Miranda Hunt.
From the back cover: In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.
When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom Ã¢ÂÂ an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.
But she isnÃ¢ÂÂt the only one there with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggert is working the scene undercover as well. And although their true identities are a secret, it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the spark that flares between them.
But neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasnÃ¢ÂÂt removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they come to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets Ã¢ÂÂ and no one on the ranch is safe.
But neither are their hearts Ã¢ÂÂ the longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers Ã¢ÂÂ and their lives Ã¢ÂÂ depend on solving this case. Love will have to wait.
No doubt about it I like Westerns. I have no idea why, however, any book that has a Pinkerton Agent in it I automatically have the need to read. In Ã¢ÂÂGunpowder TeaÃ¢ÂÂ Margaret Brownley multiplies that need times two as Miranda is an agent and Jeremy, while he works for Well Fargo and isnÃ¢ÂÂt a Pinkerton, counts as he is working undercover. Both of them are after a train robber called The Phantom. If you like Westerns this is the book for you. On top of everything Ã¢ÂÂGunpowder TeaÃ¢ÂÂ is an incredible romance that is full of charm and humor. And all of this is set against a historical backdrop that is fascinating to read. Margaret Brownley has done it again. I am sorry that this series is ending however I am looking forward to more from this highly talented author.
If you missed the interview for Ã¢ÂÂA Lady Like SarahÃ¢ÂÂ, a different series from Margaret Brownley, and would like to listen to it and/or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group 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 CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
November 8, 2013