A Man's World by Josie Malone

Story: 7
Presentation: 8
Total: 15
Publisher: Bookstrand
To Purchase

Blurb: Defending her honor. . . and her life!

The untamed wilderness of 1887 Washington Territory is A Man’s World. Trace Burdette knows this better than anyone, so she masquerades as one and packs the guns to prove it. She forks her own broncs and prides herself on being the ‘toughest hombre’ this side of the Cascades. The last thing she wants is Zebadiah Prescott, her new ruggedly-handsome neighbor, ordering her around.

With more under his Stetson than hair, Zeb Prescott knows a man when he sees one, and isn't fooled by the little woman in masculine garb, even if she can almost outride and outshoot him. Determined to win Trace, he confronts the danger facing them. Before they can have a future together, he must deal with the past. . . and the dangerous outlaw out to kill the woman he loves.

WARNING****This review may contain spoilers****

Review: The book was fairly good reading.

The dedication was to Charley (Charlie) Parkhurst who dressed as a man for 40 years drove stagecoaches and her gender was never questioned. The female in this book also hid in male clothing for her safety and had done so since she was a very young child.

Trace is actually Therese Simone Burdette and first met Zebadiah Prescott when they were young. Even then Zeb thought she was a boy. She gave him the horse so he could escape and leave. When he returns and meets her again, he begins to wonder about himself-why is he attracted to another man even if he does have "shapely legs". Trace is now a gunslinger that has a bunch of orphans living on his ranch. They all call him Pa.

I found it hard to believe that a group of people who live and work with Trace don't know she is a woman, but it becomes apparent near the end of the book they knew and kept the secret.

The basic story is pretty good, but I found it difficult to keep up with who was related to which other character especially when some of the bad guys were related or maybe related to Trace. There is lots of action from shootouts to herding cattle to riding broncos in A Man's World.

I enjoyed the story for the most part, but I was left with some questions. Was there another story that took place earlier? Would this other possible story have helped me understand the relationships and involvements of all there characters?

The characters of Trace and Zeb were well developed. I felt I knew them and understood why they acted the way they did. Other characters added to the action and intrigue in the story.

Dialogue was unique, especially when a man was described as "reeking worse than a riled skunk". For those readers who have never smelled skunk spray, believe me when I say it is an experience best read about and not personally experienced.

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