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The Last Renegade (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – 4 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; Original edition (4 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425250962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425250969
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 10.3 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By LEP VINE VOICE on 19 Sep 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this books thinking that it was one of Jo Goodman's historical romances, which of course it is in a way, however, it is a western romance set in 1888 which I didn't expect. It is however a very good, enjoyable story.

From back cover:
After a chance encounter on a train, Kellen Coltrane gets off at Bitter Springs to carry out a dying man's wishes. As the owner of the Pennyroyal hotel and saloon, widow Lorraine Berry is privy to everything that goes on in Bitter Springs, Wyoming, including the bloodshed plaguing its citizens. With all the good men being picked off and dying at the hands of a powerful local rancher and his sons, including the town Marshall, Raine hires a shootist (gunslinger) to be the town's protector. But her handsome new employee is more than a hired hand; he's a man who keeps his guns close and his secrets closer.
Once he meets the hotel's fiery-haired proprieter, Coltrane find himself assuming the role of the dead shootist's accomplice and agrees to protect Bitter Springs and Lorraine herself.

Here we have a decent, sexy, intelligent, clever hero who is something of a mystery man and a fiesty, independent heroine. Good secondary characters including amusing Finn and his brother Rabbit and Walt who works at the Pennyroyal. Very enjoyable read and a very good story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I Loved this wonderful romance based in the 19th century Wyoming 8 Sep 2012
By LoveMyBooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read and liked all the westerns written by Jo Goodman so far and have been eagerly awaiting this book. I am not very good at writing reviews, but this book was so good that I felt the need to make an effort. I am not going to give a summary of the story here as the Amazon excerpt is good enough to give a general idea. I found the characters Kellen and Raine very interesting and Kellen in particular is very intriguing. There are some mysterious aspects to his character, about who he really is etc, but it is not hard to figure it out. There are some small surprises along the way, in the story. The supporting characters were interesting as well and I can't wait to read the next one in this series which is about the young boys in this book after they've grown up. There was some humor as well in the story that made me laugh out loud. The storyline moves very briskly. So basically, it has interesting characters, a beautiful romance, some humor and adventure as well. The romance part of it is not very detailed in that the "feelings" of the hero and heroine aren't dealt with at great length and there is no angst. They just quietly fall in love with each other. Over all, I think that this was a wonderful western romance based in the 19th century Wyoming. I will definitely be buying the next book in the series.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Folks are dropping like flies." (4.5 stars) 26 Sep 2012
By Misfit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wyoming Territory, 1888. Kellen Coltrane finds himself in the midst of a mystery when his train ride is interrupted by a stranger with a fatal knife wound. Before he breathes his last, Nat Church asks Kellen to finish his journey to the Pennyroyal Saloon in Bitter Springs where he had accepted employment as a hired gun. When Kellen arrives he's met by the hotel's owner, Lorraine (Raine) Berry, who makes the erroneous assumption that Kellen is Church's partner, and Kellen decides to continue the deception.

Why did Raine need to hire a gunman? I don't want to say too much so as not to spoil, but there was a trial a few years back that convicted one of the sons of powerful ranch owner, and it seems that some of the jurors who convicted him are having fatal *accidents*. OK, so you know who the baddies are at the get go, but things aren't all cut and dried and there's plenty of other dirty dealing and secrets going on underneath the surface to keep you guessing. Not everyone is what they appear to be (that includes Kellen), and it's up to our pair to put the pieces together and catch the baddies, plus taking time to fall in love (this is a romance novel after all).

This was great fun with a good solid mystery that kept me turning the pages until the very end - and that includes Kellen's mysterious past (loved it!). I really like the way Goodman uses dialogue and characters to move the story along, instead of long-winded, lengthy paragraphs of oh-so-tedious inner analyzing. Kellen and Raine have good chemistry from the get go, but it is slow to build while they're getting to know each other - and I loved their bantering as much as I did the romance:

"Am I allowed to kiss you?"

"Only if you want frostbite."

"I'll take my chances."

Kellen was a serious dishy hunk of a hero, Raine was definitely more than another pretty female, but my hands down favorite characters who stole every scene were the two young scamps nicknamed Rabbit and Finn. Picture a pair of very young cowlicked Ronnie Howards running loose in town and you'll know what I mean.

"We saw him from our bedroom window on account Finn had to piss and didn't want to use the privy."

"Rabbit was trying to shut the window on my-"

Rain's quelling look stopped Finn cold."

Lol, and those boys were everywhere and into everything. This was a solid four-star read for me, but I'm tacking on an extra half star for the awesome finish as well as the big reveal on Kellen's secret past. I loved every page. 4.5/5 stars.

Book source: library loan.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Read 21 Sep 2012
By G1112 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a Jo Goodman fan & own all of her books. The Last Renegade makes a good read. There were a few creative twists I did not see coming. Overall I gave it a 4 star because her last books kept me more captivated.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Another Excellent US Historical Romance from Jo Goodman 9 Oct 2012
By Sonoma Lass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jo Goodman is among my very favorite authors of historical romance. She writes beautifully, even lyrically at times, and she constructs characters I find complex, fascinating, and completely believable. I especially enjoy her books in 19th century American settings, as that's the location of much of my own historical research. This book was no exception; I came to care about the characters early on, not just Raine and Kellen, but the whole town of Bitter Springs and their difficult situation. I was completely invested and engaged in the story, and the various revelations and plot twists worked for me. Several times I "didn't see that coming."

The action of this book struck me as very much like a work of cinema; I could envision how quite a few of the scenes would play out on screen. That was true even of the scenes that felt out of place to me, which were just a couple of scenes told from the point of view of a character other than Kellen or Raine. Those jarred me somewhat, although I'm not enough of a craftsperson to say for sure that they story could have been told well without them.

I have to admit that the ending fell a little flat for me. There's a terrific set-up for a huge resolution scene, but the action confused me at a critical point and I had to go back and re-read to figure out what happened. There was almost too much kept hidden from the reader (well, for this reader), and then I had to stop reading and think for a few minutes to figure out how all the pieces fit together. Going from that to the tying up of loose ends (what happened in Bitter Springs after the big scene) and a romantic epilogue that answered a few more questions was difficult, and so I didn't feel that the reading experience at the end of the book was as completely enjoyable and engrossing as the journey had been up to that point.

But I do mean "a little" here -- on balance the book was wonderful, and if the ending wasn't as amazing for me as the beginning and middle, it was still an enjoyable experience and a reminder of just how good Goodman is.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Seamlessly blends darkness & whimsy 30 Nov 2012
By H. Grove (errantdreams) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although the Western isn't a genre I tend to follow, I've found that it can be a lot of fun. Jo Goodman's The Last Renegade is one of the more enjoyable books in this category. Raine and Kellen are fun, multi-dimensional characters with plenty of chemistry. There's a lot of dark tragedy in Raine's past, and Kellen seems an unlikely hero at best. It was fun to gradually figure out Kellen's own secrets, although it seemed as though a few characters probably should have figured them out as well a little earlier than they did.

I particularly enjoyed the side characters in this novel. Many of them defy expectations, and pretty much all of them are interesting and absorbing. I was just as eager to find out what would happen to all of them as I was to find out what would happen to Raine and Kellen. The plot has some nice twists and turns to keep things interesting.

All in all, this is a fun and worthwhile example of the Western/Romance genre, although it should be noted that there is some dark subject material that might not be suitable for all readers.

[NOTE: review book provided by publisher]
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