Defiant by Patricia Potter
Why this one: I’m still into the Western
Steam Level: Warm
My Thoughts: The length of time it took me to read this book should not affect the grade. Even though it took several weeks, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The main problem was I have it on my KOBO app and that app keeps crashing on me, then I get frustrated and stick more with Kindle or Ibooks.
This is a reread of a book I first read years ago and it was so long ago I only vaguely remember it so bonus for me. This is the story of Mary Jo Williamson, her son Jeff and Wade Foster.
Mary Jo is the widow of a Texas Ranger. She was being courted by another Texas Ranger who was killed in action. He left her a ranch in Colorado and she decided to try her hand at ranching. But she’s been running into difficulties as no one wants to work for a woman. She and Jeff are struggling along when Jeff comes across a stranger almost dead. They bring him home, patch him up and though he comes across as rather a tough hombre, she asks if he would be willing to stay and help for a few months, long enough to hire some hands and get things up and running.
But Wade wants no part of it. He has a tragic past and he doesn’t really care if he lives or dies and the last thing he wants to do is get tangled up with the young widow he has a very strong attachment to and her hero worshiping son. His family were murdered by Jayhawkers years before and as a result he joined the Bushwhackers and in time was just as bad. But he’d had enough after the infamous attack in Centralia and headed to the mountains to get away from all society. He met and became friends with the Ute Indian tribe to the point of marrying a young woman and becoming a father. But his wife and son are murdered and he spends the next couple of years tracking down the ones who murdered them and making sure they would never kill again. He finally tracked down the last of them and before he shot and killed the last thug, Wade was shot himself.
This is the point he was at when he was found by Jeff. He has little interest in even living now that he has finished his mission of revenge. All he really wants is to go away somewhere. But he has no means of leaving as his horse was shot and he is in such bad shape himself. Eventually he has no choice to agree to Mary Jo’s offer. He wants to stay aloof but he can’t. The attraction between he and Mary Jo only grows and he’s very drawn to Jeff after losing his own son so tragically.
I sound like a broken record with so many books, I know, but dang I enjoyed this book. Wade was the strong, silent, Clint Eastwood or hello, Scott Eastwood type.
He really isn’t a bad man, but a good man who was drawn into bad things and hated himself for it. He’s the perfect Western hero and a good example of why I adore this genre.
Mary Jo is a good heroine. She’s tough and strong and not afraid to go after what she wants – like Wade.
And Ms. Potter also writes them good and gritty. Not quite as much as Rosanne Bittner, but very true to life I think. I’ve got a number of her backlist now as ebooks and there are a few more I really hope come out as ebooks sooner rather than later *cough - Notorious and Renegade – cough*
I’m still in a big Western phase though I have read a few contemporaries in between that I’ve enjoyed. But I keep being drawn back to the strong, silent, working class with a bit of a bad boy, Western hero and I’m quite happy to live there for a while longer.
I just started another older Western book by her, Diablo and I only vaguely remember it either. I’m barely into it but it’s bringing back good feelings.
Grade: 4 out of 5
Would I read it again? I already have and I would again.