"I'm not dead."
The voice mail rocks deputy sheriff Jax Crockett to his core. A year ago, Paige was murdered by the Moonlight Strangler. Yet his ex-wife just showed up at his ranch—out of options and out of time. There are only two reasons Paige would come back to Texas with a killer hot on her heels: Jax and their toddler son. Faking her death was the only way to keep them alive. But now it's Jax who's risking everything to protect his family. The cowboy lawman is also reawakening a powder keg of desire. A desire that's primed and ready to explode. Giving in will up the ante, igniting the embers of a love they may not live to claim.
Series: Appaloosa Pass Ranch #5| Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue |Genre: Romantic Suspense| Source: MLM Media| Rating: 3.5 CupsChallenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre Contemporary
Danger, intrigue, and a cast of potential suspects abound in Six-Gun Showdown.
Here’s what’s going on. Jax Crockett believes that his ex-wife was murdered by the Moonlight Strangler although a year later, Paige is back and has brought danger along with her. Now Jax must protect his son and his ex-wife while trying to figure out who is after Paige.
While I enjoyed the danger and the intrigue, I also struggled with parts of the plot.
I really liked Jax, he would do anything to protect his son. He’s also this strong alpha type hero but he’s not all in your face about it. Jax also has this whole cowboy/deputy sheriff thing going on, which, lately, I’ve been finding to be super sexy.
Paige just left a bad taste in my mouth. Rather than telling Jax that she survived the attack, she allows him to believe that she’s dead for an entire year before popping back into his life because she believed that Jax and her son was in danger. She also accepted the help of two people, one was someone who previously had feelings for her, and the other was a friend of Jax’s. I couldn’t really get behind her motives, which made her so unlikable to me. I had to question a lot about Paige, including some of the odd/stupid choices she made.
The romance in this one was entirely out of place. I never felt the connection or the chemistry between Jax and Paige. They were divorced before she ‘died’ and they apparently had a slew of problems so when she comes back to the land of the living and they start having these lusty thoughts for each other, it just felt forced.
I really enjoyed the suspense aspect of this book. Someone—possibly the Moonlight Strangler—has been sending Paige threatening texts and calls and sending people after her. There’s a few suspects, including her son’s nanny, so it was never really clear until the end who was after Paige or the motives behind it.
It’s was suspense aspect that kept me glued to the book. Something was happening every second and at times, it bordered on that thriller type of feeling, which I highly enjoyed.
If you’ve read the previous books in the Appaloosa Pass Ranch Series (each book does work as a standalone) you may be slightly disappointed with the way things went down with the Moonlight Strangler. I’ve not actually read the series—and I did not have trouble following along—but the Moonlight Strangler seems to be part of the suspense arc of the series and the way it was handled in this book seemed like a bit of a letdown. Just from reading this book, I was expecting more, so I can imagine that people reading the series from the start will probably have the same feelings.
Overall, this was enjoyable for the suspense aspect. I think if Paige would have had different motives for staying away—or would have actually filled Jax in—I would have enjoyed her and the romance aspect a bit better.
Delores Fossen kindly provided a playlist for Six-Gun Showdown and I have to say this playlist really seems to convey the events and the emotions in the book.
Rod Stewart: I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Dierks Bentley: Different for Girls
Adele: All I Ask
Sam Hunt: Make You Miss Me
Phil Collins: Do You Remember
Berlin: Take My Breath Away
Sia: Salted Wound