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Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey
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Wildfire in His Arms

by Johanna Lindsey

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Good book. I was fascinated by Degan in One Heart to Win, as he filled his role as bodyguard. There was something about him that said there was more to his story than just being a gunfighter for hire. In this book, he is ready to move on, following his plan to go to California, when an old friend calls in a favor. The marshal has some outlaws to capture, but also a family conflict, so he asks Degan to catch them for him. As there aren't too many people willing to tangle with a man of Degan's reputation, he figures it should be an easy thing to do. But things don't go quite as expected when his first capture turns out to be a young woman rather than the man he expected.

Maxine Dawson had been on the run for two years, accused of murdering the mayor of her hometown. Growing from a pretty child to a beautiful woman, she wasn't happy with the type of attention she was getting, and defending herself made things worse. She's certain that she'll be hanged without a trial if the sheriff succeeds in getting her back to town.

I loved the first meeting between Max and Degan, as it really set the tone for their entire relationship. He succeeds in catching her, but Max is smart and feisty and determined to stay free. From the start she really keeps Degan on his toes. Degan is strong, silent and honorable. Initially he plans to simply turn her over to the law and let a jury decide her fate. He keeps her with him while tracking down the other two outlaws, giving him the chance to decide if he believes her story.

It was great fun to see the contrast between the talkative, open and outspoken Max and the silent, mysterious Degan. Her frustration at his silence was obvious, as was his amusement at her efforts to get him to talk. During their travels they slowly get to know and trust each other. I really enjoyed Degan's confusion at her complete lack of fear of him and his reputation and Max's enjoyment of watching others fall all over themselves to do what he wants. I also loved that after two years of surviving on her own, she doesn't turn into a helpless female. There are a couple great scenes where she actually saves his life thanks to her own shooting skills. She also nurses him back to health after he gets injured. I also loved the contrast of the ruthless gunfighter with the man who really likes his creature comforts. The visuals of people hurrying to satisfy his requirements for baths, real beds and dinners were really amusing.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship. Degan has been burned once before and now keeps his emotions well in hand. After suffering through so many unwanted advances, Max isn't in any hurry to settle down with someone who doesn't want her for who she is. Neither can deny the powerful attraction between them, though they certainly try to resist it. The heat builds between them until it bursts into flame. I liked seeing their feelings grow, though admitting it seemed out of the question. Though he has quite the hardened reputation, there is actually a softer side to Degan that Max brings out. I loved seeing those sweet and tender moments because they were so unexpected. When they are forced into marriage, Max is determined not to hold him to it, not wanting to tie him down. I loved their return to Texas, and Degan's protectiveness as Max faces her enemies. I also loved Max's support of Degan as he faces his own past. Their trip to Chicago emphasized how much she had come to care for him. I loved watching her get up the courage to face him about their future, and the way she did it was perfect for the relationship they had. I loved their decision on where to build their life together. I hope that there will be more Callahan-Warren stories.

Besides the building relationship between Max and Degan, I enjoyed the other threads of the story. Degan's past is dogging his heels as his ex-fiancée shows up, trying to get him back to Chicago. Her dogged pursuit of him finally gets explained at the very end, though the reasoning is convoluted. He also has a man on his trail who is looking for revenge for something he blames on Degan. Degan's restraint is amazing, and I loved how Max's protectiveness toward Degan is shown here.

Their pursuit of the other outlaws, one very simple and one very dangerous, was really good. The face-off with the vicious killer and his gang was a real nail-biter, as Degan tried to protect Max and she ends up in the middle anyway. Max's level-headed nature and trust in Degan really comes out in this part. ( )
  scoutmomskf | May 30, 2017 |
I was a little hesitant to read this book since I was so disappointed with the last few but I have to say this it's back. The great story and the characters you want to read more about instead of choke. Once again a great book by Johanna Lindsey. ( )
  tianicolle | Jan 26, 2016 |
A solid story if a bit tame. ( )
  Conkie | Jul 15, 2015 |
Peacekeeper Degan Grant is in MT having just left his last job (One Heart to Win) when he runs into a guy who had saved his life and needs a favor. The US Marshal is on a time schedule and needs to apprehend three dangerous criminals from his list in the next three months, but for family reasons, needs to make a trip back East. How fortunate that Degan had seen Max Dawson in town that morning; the kid wanted for murder and bank robbery in TX. Maxine has been on the run, disguised as a boy, ever since the sheriff in her town dragged her to the mayor’s home to be raped in an attempt to force her to marry the old coot. She knows with the mayor’s popularity that she’ll be hanged as soon as she’s dragged back for the trumped up charges.

This has more of the feel of some of her earlier writings, so I did enjoy this one more than the last few books which I found somewhat disappointing. It was enjoyable to watch Degan struggle with how to handle Max, especially after she saves his life. Max is a very likeable and practical character and both have their own code of honor.

Plenty of drama as he fulfills his obligations to track down some criminals while being dogged by others from his past. At one point I wanted to knock Max upside the head for not seeing what’s plain to the reader. Loved many of the situations they found themselves in, and how they get out of them. ( )
  dearheart | Jul 3, 2015 |
Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey is a 2015 Gallery Books Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the S&S XOXperts- The official street team of XOXO After Dark in exchange for an honest review.

When I received this book and I was so excited. I have not read a book by Johanna Lindsey in a really long time. I loved her older historical romance novels and couldn't wait to get reacquainted with her work.

This story is a Western Historical centered around legendary gunman Degan, and Maxine, a young woman on the run after allegedly committing murder.

Degan owes a US Marshall a huge favor so when the man asked Degan to help him haul in a few “most wanted” criminals, Degan can't refuse. First up on the list is Max, wanted in Texas for killing a man.
When Degan finally catches up with Max, he gets a lot more than ever bargained for. Max insist she is innocent, but that's not Degan's concern. His job is to bring 'em in, a jury can decide the rest. But, if Degan turns Max in, she could very well hang for a crime she didn't commit. Will Degan help her or will he maintain his calm, cool, unemotional veneer all the way to Texas?

Recently I have been on my soapbox a little because I feel like historical romance novels are focused too heavily on the Regency-era and we seldom get to read about a different time frame. Dukes, Earls, ball gowns and society rules are fun, but after awhile it seems like reading the same story over and over, only with the names changed.

So, on top of getting to read a new Johanna Lindsey novel, I get to read a Western, a sub-genre of historical romances we don't encounter nearly enough, in my opinion. So, while I wanted to stretch this one out and make it last, I ended up reading it in one evening, staying up way past my bedtime in the process. But, while my head was a bit foggy the next day, I had a smile on my face remembering how much fun this book is.

Degan is from Chicago, but has left his old life behind for good to become one of the most feared gunslingers around. Men quake in his presence, and Degan never refutes his hard earned reputation. But, when he finally catches up with Max, he is puzzled by her lack of fear. In fact, she defies him at every turn, is spirited, crafty and clever, keeping the unemotional, dark and brooding Degan on his toes at all times.

You will love Max and her constant chattiness, her resourcefulness and openness. Her character is honest, is so much fun, and if I had lived in the old west, I could see us being friends. Degan is more bark than bite, but boy is he stubborn!! He's practically immovable, but you will be able to see past all that, even though he did try my patience at times.

The story did get just a little monotonous around the half way mark and I was beginning to wish for a little action, one way or another. But, the pace picks up again in no time and things do get pretty heated, and there is lots of action.

There was no super heavy angst or drama, just a light and easy , funny, sweet, sensual, love story set in the west, and a delightful read all around.

It was fun watching Max melt Degan's heart, turning the hardened gunslinger into pure mush and seeing Max finally content and happy with her new life and love.

Even if you think Western style historical romance is not your thing, I think you will find this one fun and entertaining and of course Johanna Lindsey is a seasoned author with quite the resume so you know it's going to be well written.
This one gets four stars ( )
  gpangel | Jun 19, 2015 |
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"Thought you'd left the territory, Mr. Grant."
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Book description
With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget--until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal's list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with.

But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial.

Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever.
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"#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey's passionate new tale about a gunfighter running from his past who finds his future when he escorts a beautiful outlaw to her hanging. Featuring one of Lindsey's most intriguing heroes: the dangerous and mysterious Degan Grant from One Heart to Win. With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget--until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal's list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with. But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial. Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever"--… (more)

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