REVIEW: Under the Desert Moon by Marsha Canham
Dear Mrs. Canham,
This one reads like one of those old, rootin’, tootin’ shoot ’em up Western movies. I rolled my eyes in places and had a few problems but overall this is 500 pages of pure adrenaline. I do think I would be remise in not warning readers that the violence is sometimes graphic and some of it is against women.
Aubrey Blue is on her way back to Santa Fe after ten years and she’s aiming for vengeance. Her family was killed, their ranch burned and she barely escaped with her life. Now the man responsible, Maxwell Fleming, is going to pay. But first she has to get there. Posing as a prim schoolmarm, she boards the stage in Great Bend, Kansas and along with an assortment of interesting characters, braves the hot, dusty, rutted road and attack from a renegade band of Comanches. But before she arrives in New Mexico, she realizes that her greatest danger might be in the arms of Christian McBride, a man with reasons of his own to hate Fleming.
McBride has spent the last five years breaking rocks in Leavenworth after being set up for manslaughter by Fleming. He dismisses the prim Miss Blue til he gets a good look at her and sees that there’s more to her than she wants to let on. After a night of wild passion, including what might be the most explosive orgasms ever experienced on the face of the earth, they know they have unfinished business.
But it’s not going to be easy to take down Maxwell Fleming, the most powerful man in Santa Fe. Aubrey sets her plan in motion but hadn’t counted on McBride showing up and laying siege to her heart (along with other parts of her anatomy). This one ends with a wild night of arson, jailbreaking, shoot outs, revelations and revenge. And who is going to be left standing is up in the air til the end.
This one was heading straight for A+ territory til a few things happen that made me do the eye rolling I mentioned above. Aubrey heads back into danger over something I thought was kind of silly. There are a lot of coincidences and for someone who is supposed to such a clever con artist, Aubrey heads into her scam against Fleming with a lot of loose ends and “making it up as she goes along” messiness. Plus she keeps letting herself be disarmed then sputtering impotent threats. Christian isn’t above using his physical strength to force Aubrey into doing or not doing things but I could understand his exasperation with her. I loved most of the secondary characters and you do a marvelous job making me think I really am on that awful, rocking stage coach from hell journey before plunging me into a hair raising attack from Comanche braves. The second half of the book doesn’t quite live up to the first but it was still worth my while to get to take the trip. B+
This book is out of print but can be purchased from a used book seller. There is no ebook format.
- # Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- # Publisher: Dell (September 1, 1992)
- # Language: English
- # ISBN-10: 044020612X
- # ISBN-13: 978-0440206125