Author: Iris Trovao
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Release Date: 27th August 2020
BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Book Tours
When a mysterious traveler turns up at Lilian's doorstep, she thinks that he's
just another person trying to take something from her. It turns out Davien has
a lot to give.
But as he gets more and more enmeshed in the danger that surrounds her, the fear that something horrible will happen to him becomes more real. With the Sheriff breathing down her neck, wild gangs attacking, and the looming ghost of her father ripe in her memories, Lilian knows that her life is no place for anyone she cares about.
Now that she's had a taste of happiness, she has to choose between selfishness or giving up the ones she loves forever.
I fancied a change of genre and maybe trying an author that was new to me and this novella fitted the bill nicely. I don’t think I have read “western” before, though I have of course read historical and romance. The blurb made the main character of Lilian LaRoche sound like a strong, independent, kick-butt, no nonsense, sarcastic female, which I love reading. I find it irritating when the female characters have to have the help of a man to survive.
Lilian comes across as being totally content in her own company and perhaps a little socially awkward with others. Lilian has inherited her farm from her father who got in with the “wrong type” and ended up getting killed, leaving Lilian all alone on the farm. A lot of the locals, including the Sheriff want to get their hands on both Lilian and her farm as it is rumoured that her father hid gold somewhere on the property.
The men in town who should be impartial or even on Lilian’s side are Sheriff Emory Rhodes and Pastor Taylor but it soon becomes apparent that they are as bad as the local thieves and law breakers. No wonder Lilian is suspicious of anyone offering any type of help. Lilian is getting by okay, sure it’s a bit of a slog at times but she’s a strong, tough woman capable of doing the farm work herself, if left to it. The only person she is remotely attached to in anyway and allows anywhere near her is the young lad Finny who lives on a nearby farm. When a mysterious but determined man called Davien turns up and begins working and continues working despite Lilian telling him she neither wants nor needs his help. Despite not wanting to, Lilian soon becomes attached to Davien and when he is put in grave danger and she finds out about it from Finny she rushes to his aid.
I really enjoyed the banter that Lilian had with Davien and especially more so with Finny. It’s quite clear that whilst she may deny it with her dying breath she is attached to Finny and would miss him if he didn’t turn up and loiter around her property. Davien also works hard, expecting little or nothing in return until he gains Lilian’s trust.
My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that it was a good short novella, an introduction to certain members of those that live in and around Lazarus Town.
To sum up the novella was a fairly quick, easy and enjoyable read. There were occasions where I felt like I wanted more time for the relationship between Davien and Lilian to develop, but I guess it’s the nature of a novella where both the plot and characters have to be moving and developing quickly. The novella has made me curious about Lazarus Town and its residents so I am interested in reading more of this novella series in the future when it is available.
Lilian LaRoche hated people. She lived in her quiet little house out in the woods for that reason. She only went into town once a week for that reason. And she kept an empty nest for that reason.
Everyone knew it, and nobody bothered her, save for the boy that brought the milk and bribed her for an hour of her company with blackberry jam. He was her closest neighbour, from the Hollis Ranch on the east side of her massive chunk of land.
The man that strolled up the lane with a spring in his step was most certainly not the milk farmer’s son.
Lilian scowled and stabbed her pitchfork into the dirt, wiping sweat from her brow. As the figure drew nearer, she ruled out the overbearing Sheriff of the nearby Lazarus Town. He was too tall. It wasn’t the rosy-cheeked Pastor Taylor, either. He was too lean.
She squinted and pursed her lips as he approached the fence of her horse paddock. She didn’t recognize the rugged man before her, with the deep-set eyes and wiry curls sticking out from beneath his dusty hat.
She pointed past him. “Town’s back that way.”
“Just came from there, ma’am.” He tipped his hat, and then brought it down, holding it in front of him. “I’m looking for work.”
Lilian rolled her eyes, and put a hand on her hip. “I ain’t hiring.” She swept her long sweaty braid over her shoulder. “Town’s back that way.”
“Just came from there, ma’am,” he repeated, the corner of his lip curling. “You come highly recommended.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Nobody would have recommended me if they knew anythin’ about anythin’.” She jabbed her thumb over her shoulder. “Next town’s a two day walk east.”
He chuckled, a low throaty sound like stones rolling together. “You got quite the chunk of land here, all to yourself.”
“That’s the way I like it.” She turned back to the hay, wrapping her hands around the pitchfork handle. She stabbed it into the pile with an air of finality, ignoring his presence completely.
Or at least, she tried to.
“The name’s Davien Stone,” he said, as casual as if she’d invited him to speak.
“How nice for you.” Lilian tossed some hay into the trough for the horses. Kral gave a chuff as he wandered over, his chocolate coat gleaming in the late afternoon sun. He ignored the hay completely and approached the newcomer, presenting his head for some attention.
Davien grinned at the horse and stroked his big soft nose. “Hey there, beauty.”
Traitor, Lilian thought as she watched them in her periphery.
Not one to miss out on the action, Kwen trotted over, giving an excited whinny as she bumped her companion.
“Hey now.” Davien laughed. “I’ve got enough hands for the both of you.” He pet the happy horses and Lilian avoided looking at him, hoping that if she ignored him long enough he would go away.
He was still lavishing attention on the big babies when she left, taking her pitchfork back to the barn and then heading into the house to make supper.
Lillian and Davien have been living blissfully together in the woods, taking
life day by day. Unfortunately, those days are about to take a sharp turn and
set them in the path of trouble all over again.
Fergus Black, the ferocious gang leader, is out for blood and gold. He is ruthless and well-connected, and Lillian is determined once again to keep everyone she loves out of his way. Though, that plan falls flat as her neighbor, Finny, and the pastor's daughter, Abby, get caught in the lies and corruption and it’s up to Lillian to save them.
With the lives of people she loves on the line, Lillian must navigate blackmail, sacrifice, and unwanted advances as she fights to end corruption in Lazarus Town.
Heads will roll like the tumbleweeds through the desert as Lillian strives to save her town, her friends, and her relationship from the men intent on destroying it all—and then her.
Newly minted as the Sheriff of Lazarus Town, Lilian has a lot on her plate.
Their economy is failing, tourists are a rarity, and to top it all off, Lillian
still can’t put a stop to the shady dealings going on beneath her feet.
Underground crime turns the homey town Lillian dreams of governing to nothing
more than a mirage.
When she appoints Davien as mayor, things go from bad to worse. The town and its miscreants are furious as they attempt to take on the less-than-savoury money-making activities polluting their lives. Tensions burrow into Lilian and Davien’s relationship, and it becomes not only the town's financial situation that is in deep trouble.
The place Lillian loves has turned it’s back on her, and now she risks losing the love of her life too. Lillian thought she could have it all, but the Wild West proved her wrong. She isn’t a woman to go down without a fight, and with the pieces she has left of her town and her heart, she’s about to gear up for the biggest fight of her life.