Category Archives: Sarah McCarty

Review: Ace’s Wild by Sarah McCarty

ace's wildTitle: Ace’s Wild by Sarah McCarty
Hell’s Eight Series Book Seven
Publisher: HQN Books (Harlequin)
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When you gamble with desire, be prepared to risk everything…

Unlike the rest of the Hell’s Eight brotherhood, Ace Parker’s home isn’t on the range. This restless cowboy craves the hustle of Simple, Texas, a lawless town where he can sate his darker appetites without guilt. At least he could, until Petunia Wayfield arrived. The prickly new teacher is insisting that Ace help her rid the town of drunkenness and card playing. For that kind of miracle, Ace demands a reward the spinster schoolmarm will surely never give.

But Petunia isn’t backing down. Not when the intense passion Ace offers shatters her to the core. As soon as she can afford a ticket home back East, she’ll leave Simple behind for good. Until then, she’ll match his sensual challenge with her own, daring him to give up his fiercely guarded self-control. And then real danger claims Petunia, forcing Ace to reveal the man he really is— even if it drives her away forever.

The Review:

Ace’s Wild is the seventh installment Sarah McCarty’s delectably steamy Hell’s Eight series. This newest addition to the very popular historical series is full of sexual tension and primarily focuses on the relationship between lead characters Ace Parker and Petunia Wayfield.

Petunia Wayfield is a strong and independent woman whose forward thinking puts her at odds with many of the townspeople. She is only planning on staying in town long enough to earn the funds to continue on her journey to San Francisco, but she does not let that stop her from trying to make improvements before she leaves. She tirelessly advocates on the behalf of her students but not everyone supports her assertion that every child deserves an education. Petunia has given up on love and marriage and she is more than a little surprised by her unexpected attraction to Ace Parker.

Ace is a little broody and a whole lot sexy. He is at loose ends a little now that the rest of Hell’s Eight has settled down but he manages to keep busy as the town’s assayer. He also spends quite a bit of his time in the local saloon/brothel drinking and gambling. However, there is much more to Ace than this somewhat dissolute reputation and although he takes some convincing, he agrees to help Petunia rescue one of her students from an abusive situation.

The sparks fly between Petunia and Ace right from the beginning but Ace refuses to let their flirtation progress beyond a few hot kisses. He is a little overbearing, stubborn and very resistant to a relationship with Petunia. Petunia is his equal in every way, but she eventually allows him to convince her leave town. She does not get very far before she ends up in a very dangerous situation, but Ace rescues her in the nick of time. This becomes a turning point in their relationship, but these two have a few more issues to overcome before they can live happily ever after.

Ace’s Wild is an outstanding addition to the Hell’s Eight series. Petunia and Ace are appealing characters and while it takes a while for them to act on their attraction, there is no denying the chemistry between them. The storyline is fast-paced, fresh and delightfully angst free.  Sarah McCarty brings the novel to a heartwarming conclusion that I absolutely loved.

Read my reviews of the other books in this series HERE.


Filed under Harlequin, Historical, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sarah McCarty

Review: Caden’s Vow by Sarah McCarty

Title: Caden’s Vow by Sarah McCarty
Hell’s Eight Book Six
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HarlequinHQN
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


His past has haunted him for a lifetime…but one woman could be his salvation

Gunslinger Caden Miller’s compadres are becoming a bit too domesticated for his liking. So he’s off to Kansas territory to carve out a living and a space of his own—alone, just the way he likes it.

Maddie O’Hare has been drawn to Caden ever since she escaped to the Hell’s Eight compound from the brothel where she was born and raised. And she’s not ready to let him go so easily…until she’s captured by his new neighbors.

When Caden discovers that Maddie is being held by a rival at a nearby ranch, his plan to rescue her backfires, and he finds himself the groom in what’s literally a shotgun wedding. As shocked as Caden is by the bizarre turn of events, Maddie’s grateful kiss holds a fiery promise that’s far more unexpected. But with old enemies catching up with him, Caden and Maddie will face a danger that tests their passion—and will either bind them together forever or break them apart for good.

The Review:

Caden’s Vow is another action packed and very steamy installment in Sarah McCarty’s Hell’s Eight series.

Caden Miller lost his family the same day as the other members of Hell’s Eight. Caden is feeling pretty restless now the several of the Hell’s Eight men settling down and starting families. He is attracted to ex-prostitute Maddie O’Hare, but he decides to leave Hell’s Eight (and Maddie) to honor a long ago vow he made to his father. Caden’s solitude is short-lived when close friend Ace brings Caden the news that Maddie is missing. With Ace’s assistance, Caden tracks down Maddie and his rescue culminates in a very unexpected wedding.

Born in a brothel and forced into prostitution as an eight year old girl, Maddie is emotionally fragile and often escapes reality by going off to a “special place” in her mind. But her time at Hell’s Eight has slowly been healing her wounds and Maddie has developed deep feelings for Caden. Struggling to find her place in life and devastated when Caden leaves her behind, Maddie decides it is time to take charge of her life and she sets out after Caden. Unfortunately, Maddie quickly runs into trouble and she is abducted by a neighboring rancher. But Maddie is stronger than anyone expects and things don’t quite go the way the kidnapper intended….

Caden is insensitive and very cruel to Maddie on occasion. He throws Maddie’s past in her face and he says horrible things to her. Caden is, of course, instantly remorseful, but that does not erase the hurtful things he says. He makes promises to her then immediately breaks them. Taking these facts into consideration, it is little wonder that Maddie finds it difficult to trust him later in the story.

In the beginning, Maddie’s self-esteem is non-existent and she finds it difficult to let go of the person she used to be. But Maddie is finally coming into her own and while she is a bit battered, she is determined to discover who she is and find a way to support herself. I truly enjoyed watching her find her inner strength and I admired that she firmly stood her ground with Caden.

I really struggled with the terrible things that Caden said to Maddie and the fact that he did it to her more than once. They spend a lot of the novel apart and I had a difficult time seeing the emotional connection between them. The story also focused mainly on Maddie and I did not feel like I really got to know Caden beyond a few superficial facts.

What made Caden’s Vow a worthwhile read for me was the growth of Maddie’s character. Her transformation was beautifully written and I loved seeing her find the self-confidence she needed to put her past behind her so she could find her self-worth.

Despite some of my reservations, I did enjoy Caden’s Vow. The Hell’s Eight series is one of my favorites and I am looking forward to seeing what Sarah McCarty has planned for Ace and Luke, the last two unmarried men in the series.

Read my reviews of the other books in this series HERE.


Filed under Caden's Vow, Harlequin, HarlequinHQN, Hell's Eight Series, Historical, Rated C, Review, Romance, Sarah McCarty

Shadow’s Stand by Sarah McCarty

Title: Shadow’s Stand by Sarah McCarty
Hell’s Eight, Book 5
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQNBooks
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood— to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving…and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended….

The Review:

Sarah McCarty’s fans are going to love Shadow’s Stand, the long awaited and eagerly anticipated fifth installment of her Hell’s Eight series. With pulse pounding adventure, heroic rescues and some very steamy sex, readers will finally learn more about the enigmatic and incredibly sexy Shadow Ochoa. Beginning about a year after Tracker’s Sin ends, Shadow is about to hang for stealing horses when Fei Yen Tseng saves his life with an unexpected but timely wedding. With both of their pasts hot on their heels, their marriage is off to a rocky but passionate beginning.

With his Mexican/Indian heritage and due to prejudices of the time period, Shadow is on the outer edge of society. Like the other heroes in the Hells Eight series, Shadow is deeply scarred by the brutal events of his childhood. He attempts to protect himself and those around him by keeping an emotional and physical distance. He has an immediate connection with Fei, but just like he does with his other relationships, he pushes her away when the opportunity presents itself.

With a Caucasian mother and Chinese father, Fei Yeng does not fully belong in either world. Sometimes meek and subservient but always clever and headstrong, she is a fascinating mix of both cultures. She is Shadow’s equal in every way, and she is definitely her own woman, fully capable of making her own decisions (much to Shadow’s dismay).

Of all the books in the Hell’s Eight series, Shadow’s Stand is the only novel that can easily be read as a standalone novel. Past characters make short, yet crucial, guest appearances and there is enough information revealed from past stories to make it easy to follow the current storyline.

Shadow’s Stand is a delightful addition to the Hell’s Eight series. While not as erotic as the previous novels, the sex scenes are fairly detailed and quite hot. Fei Yeng and Shadow are appealing and likable characters and the story is engaging and fast moving. The ending is heartwarming and the only question that Sarah McCarty leaves unanswered is whose story she will tell next!


Filed under Harlequin, Hell's Eight Series, Historical, HQN Books, Rated B, Romance, Sarah McCarty, Shadow's Stand