Wild Burn by Edie Harris (Wild State #1)
January 15, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
This book grabbed me from page one as we meet gunslinger and rumored confederate turncoat Delaney Crawford and former nun turned school teacher Moira Tully. Even better, the book starts with Delaney accidentally shooting Moira in the ear.
Delaney Crawford is known as the “Dog Man Killer,” killing Indians who threaten harm to settlers. He has killed a lot and has seen devastation during the civil war. He has been called to the mining community of Red Creek near Denver to eliminate the threat of a Cheyenne tribe nearby. His soul is tarnished and he hasn’t even thought of dating or sleeping with a respectable woman until he spots Moira Tully.
Moira is an Irish lady from Boston who was a nun for six years before a devastating event took place one night which made her lose all belief in God. She leaves and finds employment out west as a school teacher. The Cheyenne tribe nearby seems peaceful to her and she encourages the tribe leaders to send their kids to her school. While the town Sherriff tells her he is okay with this, she doesn’t get a good vibe from him. While walking through the woods one day, all of a sudden she has a gun in her face. And when Del sees an Indian and immediately shoots, taking part of her ear off, she is more angered he tried to shoot one of her peaceful Indians than losing part of her ear. But she can’t help be attracted to this wild, dark man…
He was a man, a soldier. A growly, violent gunslinger come to her town on a mission of death. She shouldn’t respond to his nearness one bit.
But she does. She comes to learn he really is a gentleman, and yes he is a killer and has seen a lot of violence in his life, but he is willing to learn the truth about this native tribe. He is open to changing. His first need however is to keep Moira safe.
The thing that stands out most about this book is the most delicious sexual tension the author gives us. From the beginning Del is completely intrigued with Moira. I love that it goes against everything he is to harm her, yet he accidentally shoots her. He is a big, brute of a man who hasn’t been around a woman in a long time. He awkwardly tries to court her, yet has so much charm and a peek of an old southern gentleman that comes out, that Moira is in big trouble from the start. The author does a really nice job with portraying him as this wild, bearded, outlaw of a man who has southern gentleman manners. I just adored that combination.
Moira suffered an assault when she lived in Boston that makes her very wary of men, but she instinctively knows Del is one of the good guys. It takes a leap of faith on her part to let herself be wooed. As I said, the sexual tension in this book is so well done and the romance develops at such a nice pace. It’s all very intense and growly and a little over the top with their need for each other, but I loved it.
My one complaint is that the suspense with the ‘bad’ Indians kind of fell through for me. I wanted to see them a little more in the story. I did really like the Sherriff’s roll and his part not only with Del but how he affects Moira’s life as well.
Edie Harris has a really great voice and I can’t wait to get more from her.