Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TBR Challenge Review: Mustang Wild

Mustang Wild
Stacey Kayne
Historical Western Romance
American West/1880
Harlequin/March 1, 2007

From the back cover ~

No smooth-talking man is going to outwit her!

With the deed to her land and a kid brother to protect, mustanger Skylar Daines shouldn't have tangled with the likes of Tucker Morgan. But his stolen kiss scatters her senses and, quicker than a whirling dust devil, they're wed!

To her relief, Tucker's keen to fix the marital slipup—and then he tells her the deed she holds belongs to him, and him alone. Maybe she shouldn't rush to have their marriage annulled. No man, no matter how good-looking, is going to swindle Skylar out of the one thing she yearns for most—a home.

This month's challenge category is westerns - either historical or contemporary. My TBR pile has plenty of westerns to choose from but they majority are from the Harlequin Historical line. I have a number of books from Stacey Kayne and decided it was about time I gave her a try. Mustang Wild is not only the first book in Kayne's Wild series, it's also her debut novel. While this is a historical, the cover looks more contemporary to me with the pearl snaps on the shirt and the jeans that look far more fashionable than an old pair of Levis.

The story begins with Skylar and her younger brother Garret looking for the man who was her father's partner instead she finds his drunken twin brother. Then before she could blink, they're married. What?! A bunch of drunks and a bet was involved and Skylar learned that she should always read what she signs. Right from the start it's obvious who the more mature, serious person is in this relationship. Skylar is nineteen but has been weighed down by a lot of responsibility early on. Now, with her father dead, she has her thirteen year old brother to take care of. Plus, she has to get her horses to Wyoming, to the home that she thinks is hers.

Tucker Morgan may be a twin but he's nothing like his brother Chance. Tucker is quick to smile, friendly, outgoing and just enjoys life. He didn't want to get married but once he gets to know his new bride, he begins to see the positive side of being married to Skylar. He also has a hard time thinking of her as just another one of the hands on the trail drive. He really seemed to enjoyed bringing out her feminine side and I liked that about him. That he took the time to see past her serious, somewhat rough exterior to the woman underneath.

The story got off to a bit of a slow start - I felt like I was ready but was left waiting for everyone else to get ready to go. It picked up once they got on the trail, heading to Wyoming. With everyone working hard to keep the horses moving and protected, you wouldn't think there would be time for romance. Tucker and Skylar managed to find some time, but still say they want an annulment. Aside from the hasty marriage, Skylar must overcome her distrust of men before she and Tucker have any chance of a HEA. She doesn't want to rely on any man, certainly not her husband but Tucker continues to prove he is there for her and she learns that all men are not alike. I was just happy she didn't suddenly fall for his pretty face.

The trail is dangerous, with the terrain and the horse thieves trying their best to stop Skylar and Tucker from making it to Wyoming. The plot was fairly typical of a western. I wasn't surprised by any twists or turns the story took, rather, I found myself along for the ride, knowing where I would end up. I'd say Mustang Wild was a pleasing read with a strong heroine, a likable hero and a couple secondary characters waiting in the wings for their stories to be told.

Rating: B

Books in this series ~

Mustang Wild
Maverick Wild
Mountain Wild


  1. I read this one many moons ago (when it first came out) and it didn't really work for me. Mostly because I didn't buy into the set-up, and the constant bickering between hero and heroine annoyed. What I do remember liking though was the heroine's relationship with her brother - and happy day, Garret grows up and gets his own romance in Mountain Wild. Now that book I enjoyed quite a bit :)

  2. Totally agree, this one looks like a western contemporary.

    LOL, you really seem to be in a western mood :) Me, for now, I'll stick to the full-length ones :)