The Lone Warrior

Lori Austin. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (334p) ISBN 978-0-451-24232-7
The Once Upon a Time in the West trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with this 1871 romance between Luke Phelan, a former Confederate soldier, and Rose Varner, a mother frantic to find her kidnapped daughter. Luke spent years living with the Cheyenne before becoming a recluse in the Smoky Hills of Kansas, where Rose tracks him down, desperate for his help. His knowledge of the Cheyenne make him the perfect guide for Rose, who’s trying to find the Dog Men warriors who stole three-year-old Lily. Despite his reluctance to get involved in anything that forces him to interact, feel, or live, Luke is drawn to help Rose. While the story is nominally a romance, Luke and Rose are on a quest, and their love affair is a distant second to their adventures. The careful attention to historical details—especially interactions among the Cheyenne, Pawnee, and Sioux—make the Wild West come alive with a cacophony of sights and sounds as the pair crisscrosses the Great Plains. Cameos from past protagonists make this exciting conclusion extra satisfying for returning readers. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/18/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
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