REVIEW: Renegade by Anna Schmidt
He’ll protect her reckless heart No matter the cost… Lily Travis may be a Harvey Girl, but she’s a rebel—and a romantic—at heart. Too bad her impulsive nature led her to marry a man who promised a life of ease and prosperity, only to disappear the very next day. She’s kept her secret as best she can, and now she’s convinced she’ll never find true love…not even with the handsome local sheriff she can’t get off her mind. Cody Daniels knows Lily isn’t the right woman for a by-the-book lawman with political ambitions. She’s brash, headstrong…and entirely too tempting. But when Lily’s past catches up with her and the villain she married threatens everything she holds dear, Cody is determined to defend her honor and show her the future they could have together—no matter the consequences.
Dear Ms. Schmidt,
In the first book of this series we saw the set up – three heroines who are Harvey Girls and working at a hotel in Juniper in the New Mexico territory. One is now married and happy but I figured that the feisty one, Lily, would be next.
Lily Travis has been a Harvey Girl for years now. After she fled her home due to an awful stepfather (TRIGGER WARNING for sexual abuse), she eventually ended up applying for and becoming one of the waitresses who work in the Harvey restaurants along the Santa Fe trail. But before that, she thought she’d found love with a man who married her and then abandoned her the next day.
Sheriff Cody Daniels can’t keep from thinking about the pretty and outspoken young woman working at the hotel. The more he’s around her, the better he likes her but his job is a dangerous one plus he’s got plans for a future that could involve politics. They’ve butted heads before over Lily’s friend, the now married Grace, and Lily doesn’t appear ready to further their acquaintanceship. Then one night she comes calling to the jail about a fellow worker who has been threatened.
As Lily and Cody try to help Jake, Lily’s past catches up to her. Now she’s got to juggle her job, her desire to help her friend, a man who can ruin her, and her growing feelings for a man she doesn’t feel she deserves. Can Cody prevent dangerous outlaws from striking the town and get Lily to believe in their future?
I think newcomers can start with this book as the pertinent details of the previous one are sprinkled where they’re needed to explain things. Of course as soon as Lily revealed her Dark Secret to her friends who have been trying to match make her with the Sheriff, I knew he’d show up. At first, Victor Johnson is merely oily and annoying but he quickly shows his true colors. Lily wonders what she ever saw in him but given what she tells her friends and then Cody, I can understand why she allowed herself to be caught in his net.
Lily has had horrible luck with the men in her past except for her beloved father and it’s the memory of her parents’ love that keeps her even thinking of finding her own love one day. It’s not surprising that in that day and age, Lily would be loaded with guilt over what happened to her. Lucky for her that Cody is a sweetheart with a mind frame probably ahead of his time. Their romance progresses slowly but surely with only a few steps back for Lily as she grows to accept her blamelessness and the love of a good man.
She is headstrong so it also didn’t surprise me that she would insist – no, I insist – on taking part in trying to figure out who was threatening her friend and then later tracking down the outlaws. Despite all Cody’s pleas for her to stay put so he won’t have to worry about her, she does end up in the thick of it. I will give her credit in that she does use her intelligence and calmly saves the day. The way that Grace and her husband Nick are brought into this book is well done too.
I liked the way that the rest of Lily’s past is dealt with as well as having my questions about Grace’s parents answered. But the chapters that wound up the book after the villain is brought to justice did tend to drag a little. Still it’s nice to see women working in a western though I wish that I hadn’t seen most of the plot coming ahead of time. B-