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REVIEW: Return of the Stardust Cowgirl by Marsha Moyer

Dear Ms. Moyer,

stardust-cowgirl.jpgWhen I first read “The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch,” I was blown away by it. Loved the characters, loved the setting, loved the book. Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs with the Lucy Hatch series. But “Return of the Stardust Cowgirl” felt like coming home after a long time away. You know, when you finally get back to what you remember, and the people you grew up with and the place where you come from? Sure, things have changed since you left, people have aged, nothing stays the same but it just feels like you’re wrapped up in warmth and love and forgiveness, no matter what’s gone on in the interim.

Like all the other novels in the series, the action centers on the small east Texas town of Mooney. Stuck out in the piney backwoods, many things are just as I remember them – Lucy’s aunt Dove’s fabulous garden, Lucy’s prickly mother, her two solid brothers along with their wives and children. But life flows on and the town is shrinking as people move away to find work. Faye’s flower shop – which has been Lucy’s refuge since the early days of her widowhood before she hooked up with Ash Farrell and the town began putting bets on how long they’d last – looks like it will be the next to close down.

But even before Lucy hears this, she’s reeling from Denny’s return. Ash’s daughter from his first marriage is back home, fleeing from a bad marriage to a worse husband. And pregnant to boot. With her own music career finally taking off, Denny’s already got too much on her plate. And it’s not like nobody warned her about Will Culpepper who shows up hot on her tail then shows his ass. It’s a good thing for all that Ty Briggs follows since, as Dove puts it, he can shoulder a load.

Ash is still stuggling, day by day, with the fight against alcoholism that nearly tore their marriage apart after his own brief turn at stardom in Nashville. It’s a little easier than the worst of those dark days and Lucy is grateful they clawed themselves back from the brink to salvage the love that still burns bright between them. Ash tells her their love is the flame that keeps him steady and that most of the fabulous songs he once wrote were about her. With his home built studio now finished, perhaps the spark will strike again, allowing the music Lucy knows is still in Ash to pour out again.

“Return of the Stardust Cowgirl” is a soft, sweet coming home and winding up of the Lucy Hatch story. It’s some regrets, mingled with forgiveness, unconditional love, second chances and putting your heart out there even knowing it might be broken. It’s living with a few disappointments, shaking them off, squaring your shoulders and realizing in the end that life in a small east Texas town, surrounded by those you know and love is pretty darn good after all. B


Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Mel-O-Drama
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 18:07:09

    I LOVED the Second Coming of Lucy Hatch so much. I was disappointed in Honky Tonk Angels and never tried Heartbreak. I am so happy to hear you liked Stardust. I think I’ll give it a shot. Do I need to read Heartbreak to read Stardust? Should I read Heartbreak? -Mel

  2. Jayne
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 18:24:55

    No, I don’t think you need to read Heartbreak since you’ve read the first two books. If you read my review of it, you should be able to pick up with Stardust just fine. I would caution complete newcomers to the series that they do need to read from the beginning or a lot of subtle things will be missed. Moyer includes enough details in each book to bring you along but doesn’t overload each book with references to everything that’s gone on before. Good for oldtimers but not so good for just picking up a book from the series at random.

  3. Jessica
    May 01, 2011 @ 10:02:51

    Great writeup. I really like your letters to the authors – a very unique concept for a book blog. I am a huge fan of Marsha Moyer’s books. I’m sad the series has come to a close. The characters are all wonderful, especially aunt Dove.

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