Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Renegade by Cheyne Curry

Publisher:                P. D. Publishing

Trace Sheridan is a dirty cop who decides to go straight, but there is a crime family after her, so she risks trying out the time travel machine that a friend has been working on.  That is how she finds herself in the old West in 1879 and involved with Rachel Young.  Rachel is trying to hold out on her ranch against the most powerful family in Sagebrush, the Cranes.  The Cranes run the town and Ben Crane is determined to force Rachel to marry him. Trace decides to work on the ranch to try and help Rachel and she begins to stir up the town against the Cranes.  The Cranes have literally never met anyone like Trace and neither has Rachel.  Eventually the women establish a partnership to bring down the Cranes, but it ends up meaning much more.

Cheyne Curry has created a very enjoyable book that reads quickly.  Once you get past the implausibility of time travel, the story takes on a real tone of the old West.  Trace Sheridan becomes a likeable character as she tries to help Rachel and in doing so, redeems herself for her past life.  The historic aspects of the book are accurate enough to pass for the truth.  Unlike some novels, Trace and Rachel don't present themselves as two women having a relationship in front of the whole town and expect the local people to accept that in a time when they would more likely be hung or run out of town.  Trace plays her part as a man and maintains that image in an accurate manner.  The fact that Rachel is willing to help her maintain the charade when she discovers the truth adds reality to the situation.

Renegade is a rousing story of the Old West where the villains are truly bad, the damsel is in distress and the hero is a square-jawed straight shooter, except that he's a woman.  It combines adventure with romance to provide an enjoyable book.

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