Author: Tammy Boulds
Published in 2005 by Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical Romance/Western
Briana McBride can maintain a ranch but when her father hires a new foreman for the job, disappointment sets her brow. After her father instructs her to go into town to bring the new foreman to the ranch, the salt only stings worse in her dreaded wound. One thing that Briana lacks is self-esteem and when her father does not trust her enough to manage the ranch, it hits her hard. She has not had an easy life since her mother passed away and when her father married again; her stepmother and stepsister have not treated her kindly. It has not been easy going unnoticed unless you are the recipient of cruelty and ridicule but she is far from being a quitter. The ranch was all she had to hold onto and when her father chases away her dreams, her self-esteem takes a deeper plunge as she continues to strive to meet things head on more determined the second time.
Briana will not tolerate a drunk and she is not afraid to voice her opinion to Nick. She realizes he deeply loves his son and admires that quality in him, but turning to the bottle will not help his son or his performance on the ranch. Briana has enough to worry about then play babysitter to a drunk. She had an instant attraction for his son, Logan, to bad she cannot feel the same for the dad. Yet there is something about him that seems to touch her heart no matter how hard she pushes her feelings aside. And her nasty stepsister seems to like Nick but not his bratty son, as she refers to Logan. After Briana begins having accidents that have no explanation and when Nick steps in volunteering to be of assistance, she wonders should she really put her trust in him. Slowly she begins to find out that Nick is different than what she sees on the outside of him and she finds herself gradually leaning toward him in many ways. With a little progress, she begins to come out of her shell and believes that Nick might be the one to help her but is it enough to last a lifetime?
Nicolas McMurtry doesn’t have to be told that Briana does not care for him being on the Silver Lining Ranch but with hard work and determination he intends to not fail in this job. With the looming guilt of not being with his wife while she gave birth to Logan still troubling him, he could easily turn to the bottle and drown himself completely but his son, Logan keeps him from the great temptation. Still the guilt of his tortured past gets the better of him many times as he tries to overcome the shame but when the enticement really strikes hard, he allows just a little drinking to help him drown his sorrows. But he also understands he has a duty to his son and when Briana steps in with a bit of scolding, he sees things a bit differently. If only she could enjoy his company as much as she does being with his son, Logan.
Nick keenly sees that something is amiss when he witnesses the relationship between Mr. McBride and his wife toward Briana. It appears that more thought is given to her stepsister, Tiffany. Just by giving him the job when Briana truly wanted to run the ranch, spoke in volumes that Briana was like a black sheep. Brian begins to have numerous accidents that really catch his eye. Nick suspects foul play and must find out who is trying to get rid of Briana and why. There are three things standing in his way, can he win Briana’s trust and keep her safe? And is he willing to release the past so he can begin to have a future with her? With everything coming into focus, he sees Briana as a very unique person and vows to be her protector. He will not allow any harm to come to her. She needs to be shown how special she is and he feels like he can be that one person she desperately needs in her life.
Briana is a wonderful western romance set in Texas. The characters are well rounded and quite believable in their situations. The whole ambience of the story draws the reader into the beautiful setting not only of the location but all the characters. Briana and Nick have much to overcome in their lives and they work together to make this story remarkable. They are real characters with valid problems. There is intrigue, a stormy love and even some disloyalty. The secondary characters enable the story to flow smoothly and create more excitement to the storyline. With a good plot, beautiful landscape and stirring characters, Ms. Boulds has composed a story that is most compelling. At times I wanted to jump through the pages and help Briana and Nick. Drinking was not the answer and Briana needed some help with her family. Add a touch of betrayal, deceit and some accidents and you have on the edge of your seat entertainment with the right amount of tension that had this reader cheering for Nick and Briana to finally come together and get the answers they needed. If any two people needed to be together, it was Briana and Nick. This story unfolds into an extraordinary read making the reader feel practically everything. I think that if I had a family like that to live with all those years I would have been downhearted myself. Briana touches issues on many things creating an extraordinary read.
Ms. Boulds allows the reader to feel much tension within the characters. She has created two characters with inside strength dying to come out and with the help of each other; they pull through and become strong. Ms. Boulds sprinkles a good deal of romance with some suspense making Briana a most captivating book to read. Her characters are human and learn from their mistakes. This is my first book by Ms. Boulds and it certainly promises not to be my last. She has instilled a magnificent read that gets better with each turn of the page. To learn more about Tammy Boulds and to purchase this great book, please visit Whiskey Creek Press along with Tammy's Webpage. You will not be disappointed. Briana is an excellent western romance. So travel back to the wonderful days of old and meet Briana and Nick. They are wonderful detailed characters that will truly become a part of your life.
Yours in good reading,