Lady Outlaw by Stacy Henrie

Lady Outlaw by Stacy Henrie (Harlequin)

  • Title: Lady Outlaw
  • Author: Stacy Henrie
  • Series/Category: Love Inspired Historical
  • Genre(s): Historical (Western), Inspirational
  • Publisher: Harlequin, September 2012
  • Source: Amazon ($3.82 ebook)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trope(s): Cowgirl in Peril, Beta Hero with Tragic Past, Evil Banker, Bad Guys in Salooons
  • Quick blurb: Desperate rancheress rethinks her dangerous ways of acquiring money when she hires an ex-bounty hunter with a tragic past as her new cowhand.
  • Quick review: Good — but recommended only for dedicated inspie readers.
  • Grade: B-

“Is that what this is about? Making sacrifices?” He leaned forward. “A sacrifice is only worth something if it’s right. Sacrificing your integrity, your happiness, your freedom — that won’t bring you anything but misery. I know, because I tried.”

A strong-but-vulnerable heroine, an honorable beta hero with a believable tragic past, and a great set-up for the spot-on faith messages. But compared to my last read, Henrie’s storytelling and voice sagged. This was her debut novel, and I’d be willing to try her second.

Power Play by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant

  • Power Play: Awakening by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat GrantPower Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat GrantTitle(s): Power Play: Resistance and Power Play: Awakening
  • Author(s): Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant
  • Series: Power Play
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, GLBTQ (M/M), Erotica
  • Publisher: Riptide Publishing, February/June 2012
  • Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley ($8.99 ebooks)
  • Length: Resistance: 267 pages; Awakening: 292 pages
  • Trope(s): BDSM, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Tragic Past
  • Quick blurb: Sadistic billionaire offers troubled aspiring architect a $3 million contract to become his submissive/slave for six months.
  • Quick review: If you can handle the extreme kink, go for it – but only if you commit to reading BOTH BOOKS. Trust me.
  • Grade: Resistance: B-; Awakening: B+

Reading these books was not a choice made on a whim. I read all the reviews and all the warnings and all the samples and all the excerpts. When it was listed on NetGalley, I decided to test my smug self-assessment as a completely open-minded reader willing to push my boundaries.

These books blew those comfort zone doors WIDE OPEN. Off the fucking hinges.

Boundaries. As if. These authors laugh at my pathetic excuses for boundaries and gleefully push me over the fucking cliff.

I’m mixing my metaphors. Now do you understand what they did to me???

NOTE: Trigger warning – some of the excerpts below are graphic.

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