Read tougher than the rest by Shirleen Davies Online


A passionate, fast-paced story set in the untamed western frontier by an exciting new voice in historical romance.Niall MacLaren is the oldest of four brothers, and the undisputed leader of the family. A widower, and single father, he is focused on building the MacLaren ranch into the largest and most successful in northern Arizona. He is serious about two things—his respoA passionate, fast-paced story set in the untamed western frontier by an exciting new voice in historical romance.Niall MacLaren is the oldest of four brothers, and the undisputed leader of the family. A widower, and single father, he is focused on building the MacLaren ranch into the largest and most successful in northern Arizona. He is serious about two things—his responsibility to the family and his future marriage to a goal of a wealthy, well-connected widow who will secure his place in the territory’s destiny.Katherine is determined to live the life she’s dreamed about. With a job waiting for her in the growing town of Los Angeles, California, the young teacher from Philadelphia begins a journey across the United States with only a couple of trunks and her spinster companion. Life is perfect for this adventurous, beautiful young woman, until an accident throws her into the arms of the one man who can destroy it all.Fighting his growing attraction and strong desire for the beautiful stranger, Niall is more determined than ever to push emotions aside to focus on his goals of wealth and political gain. But looking into the clear, blue eyes of the woman who could ruin everything, Niall discovers he will have to harden his heart and be tougher than he’s ever been in his life…Tougher than the Rest....

Title : tougher than the rest
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18213096
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 163 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

tougher than the rest Reviews

  • Judy
    2019-02-19 03:38

    Story Background:Niall MacLaren was 15 years old when he and his three brothers, Jamie - age 13 and twins, Drew and Will - age 7, hid in an underground room near the back of the barn while their parents were murdered by raiders from West Virginia who came to their family farm in Ohio. Their parents had made them promise not to come out regardless of what they heard. After the fighting was over, the four boys came out and found their parents dead. Niall's father had given him instructions to go to his Uncle Stuart's home in the Arizona Territory should anything happen to Niall's parents. After burying their parents and locating the two bags of money their father left, the four boys traveled to Arizona to find their Uncle. When they arrived, their Uncle Stuart and Aunt Alicia gladly took them in.The book then jumps forward 12 years. Niall is now age 27 and a widower - his wife, Camille, died 7 years previously after giving birth to their daughter, Beth. Uncle Stuart has passed and Niall is the boss of his Uncle Stuart's ranch with Aunt Alicia in charge of the home. Drew and Will are still with Niall helping with the family ranch but Jamie is no longer at home - he is now a U.S. Marshall.During a trip to Phoenix, Niall literally runs into a beautiful young woman, Kate, who is traveling with a female companion to Los Angeles, California where she has a job waiting on her as a teacher. Niall and Kate are struck with one another but after they stare and have a few words, she gets back on the stagecoach and continues on her journey. Niall and his Aunt Alicia finish up their business in Phoenix and head back home to Fire Mountain. Along the way home, Niall and Aunt Alicia see a stagecoach crash and go to help the occupants. They find an unconscious Kate inside, her companion dead and others injured. They take Kate to the local doctor but she has had a serious head injury and when she wakes up, she has lost most of her memories. She does have a wedding band on her finger. Against Niall's wishes, Aunt Alicia insists that Kate will go home with them and they will help her until she is gets on her feet.Niall has reasons for being against Kate joining the family at the ranch. He realizes from his first brush with Kate that she could be a potential major obstacle to some of his plans for his life. He truly loved his wife Camille and doesn't believe he will ever love again - in fact he doesn't want to love again. Therefore, he has recently resolved to court a woman that will bring him the political influence and contacts he needs to help him in some of his goals. He doesn't exactly have aspirations to run for public office but he wants to be in a position of influence that will enable him to have a say in the way his home and Arizona's future will develop. The lady he plans to make his wife, Jocelyn Van Deelin, is the widow of a wealthy industrialist from the East. She is just the person who will help him get what he wants for his family's future. Now his aunt might just put a huge crimp in his plans by bringing a complication into the picture - the lovely Kate.***REVIEW WITH SPOILERS***I am so in the minority with my review, however, I felt I needed to point out some things in this book for people who may have some major issues with the portrayal of Niall's character, as I did. In my opinion, Niall is a total jerk. He is attracted to Kate so he is rude to her. He has had a long standing relationship with a young woman named Gloria (of the soft buttery skin) who owns a local saloon and who has been his bed partner since he was age 20. Gloria is one year younger than Niall and has owned the saloon since she was 23. He did take a hiatus from sleeping with Gloria during his marriage to Camille and even stayed away for two years following Camille's death. The book describes their relationship as being close friends. He spends pretty much every Friday night with Gloria and has no intention of letting her go even after he marries Jocelyn. Yes, he will consummate the marriage with Jocelyn but he will continue to visit Gloria for his primary sexual needs. Further, he knows Jocelyn will not make a good mother to Beth but he is bent on having her for the connections she will bring to him.After Kate has been in his home for a few weeks, Niall can't resist her and kisses her, Kate is very attracted to him but neither of them know whether or not she is married, although after kissing her, Niall has a pretty good idea due to her lack of experience in kissing.Finally, this thing with Kate is driving Niall nuts and he comes to her room one night and this is where he says.... "We don't have a future. Tonight won't change anything, We can only have this one night." They make love and he finds out she is a virgin. He is full of guilt but he is still determined to go his way and marry Jocelyn. In fact, the very next day, he brings Jocelyn to the MacLaren ranch and insists Kate join the family for dinner where he will announce his intentions to marry Jocelyn. Before this can take place, Kate's father shows up with Jamie. He is a long time friend of the MacLaren Family and has been looking for Kate for several weeks. Kate recognizes her father, her memories begin to return and she realizes her father had given her mother's wedding ring to her before she left on her trip to California - so no, she's not married but definitely no longer a virgin.Kate believes her father will take her away but then she finds out he has bought a ranch a few miles away from the MacLaren ranch. Kate loves the area and has decided to get on with her life and put Niall out of her mind. She does give it a good effort for a couple of months, then she finds out she is pregnant but she doesn't tell anyone. Niall, jerk that he is, continues to try to play all his cards while he figures out what to do about the three women in his life. After Kate's visit to the local doctor, her pregnancy is confirmed and she goes to a cafe to have lunch. While she is there, Niall comes in with the beautiful Gloria. Because of poor little ole Niall's confused state of mind about Kate, he is no longer visiting Gloria on Friday nights, he has only brought Gloria out for dinner to celebrate her birthday - apparently a yearly date he has with Gloria - even during his marriage with Camille. Kate, sad and troubled in the corner of the restaurant sees them, doesn't know who Gloria is but stands and leaves to go home. A storm is coming in and she winds up being thrown from her horse and never shows up at home. Niall finds her, everyone gathers around and the doctor is called.At this point the book is about 94% complete. Niall finds out Kate is pregnant and finally has the courage to tell her that he loves her, after her Dad gives him a good pounding. HOWEVER, he doesn't address his relationship with Gloria even after he has asked Kate to marry him. Only after Kate asks him about Gloria does Niall tell Kate his relationship with Gloria is one of long time friendship, not of commerce - in other words, they bed one another because they are friends but he doesn't pay. He also tells Kate that he never slept with Gloria during the time he was married to Camille - how kind and sweet of him. This is his way of assuring Kate that he will be true to her - hmm... wonder if he will still have his yearly date with the beautiful buttery skinned Gloria on her birthday - I would definitely count on it, Kate.So, if the reader likes to read about jerks like Niall, weak-minded women like Kate, stories where the leading male character has a life-long female friend who he sleeps with and is definitely emotionally involved with and who he may continue to date at least once each year on her birthday even after he is married, this is the book for you. Although well written, parts of the story line frustrated me to no end. I had to write this review which has taken me longer than it did to read the book. Ugh! Now, after my negative review, you will think I'm nuts because I definitely plan to read the next book in this series due to the fact I believe this writer has a lot of potential and I am very intrigued by Jamie's persona. I just hope he is a "one woman" man or I will not be happy.

  • Nancy Steinle gummel
    2019-02-13 04:44

    Tougher Than the Rest by Shirleen Davies is a good example of a western romance.Niall was the oldest brother with Jamie and the twins, Will and Dell when marauders attacked and killed their parent back east. Niall knew where his father kept the money. There were 2 sacks full. He sent a telegraph to his Uncle Stuart MacLaren saying they were on the way. He got train tickets and took it as far as they could go into the Arizona Territory. They meet Marshall Trent and he helps them get a meal a hotel room and see they get on the right stage coach. Advance the story by 14 years. Niall is a widower with a 6 year olddaughter, Beth. Jamie is a Marshall and the twins help run the ranch with Niall. Aunt Alicia is a widow now, Stuart died 5years previous..Alicia runs the house and Niall the ranch. Trent's daughter accepts a teaching assignment in San Francisco. Her father insists she take a companion. She leaves and when the reach Phoenix, Niall trips over her. Her companion gives him a verbal lashing but something happened between them. The next day he starts back to his ranch when a driverless stagecoach goes barreling past. It hits a rocks and crashes on its side. When Niall gets there he notices it's Kate. Her companion is dead. There are 2 men in there too. One has a bad arm the other a bad leg. He's a doctor. They go to the clinic in Phoenix. When Kate comes to she has amnesia. Alicia insist she come back to the ranch. Things get quite interesting pretty fast between Kateand Niall.

  • Sylvia
    2019-01-26 01:26

    'Tougher Than the Rest' is a memorable western romance set in Arizona in the 1800's. After four kids suffer the tragic loss of their parents, we���re taken twelve years into the future where they are grown up and trying to find love and what they want to do for the rest of their lives.Niall came off as really cold most of the time, as he was still recovering from the loss of his wife, Camille, and has the responsibility of keeping his family afloat. Although attracted to Kate, he sees her as an obstacle to putting his life on the financially stable track he intended by marrying a wealthy widow. There is a lot of attraction and tension between these two, as Kate wants Niall close, but he���s hard-headed and refuses to change his mind. Shirleen Davies really pulls you into Kate's and Niall's world with these strong main characters and secondary characters. I felt like I was in their world throughout the whole story as well, which is a testimony to great writing. I can't wait for the next book!

  • Stock
    2019-02-21 01:38

    A truly amazing story that will have drawn you in from the very first few pages! "Tougher Than the Rest" will take the reader on an amazing journey through the Wild West Frontier leaving you wondering why you haven't picked up this novel any sooner. As a young Niall MacLaren leads the way for this fast-paced and original story you come to learn about his past struggles and new ambitions. As you are taken along for the ride, you come to find out about Kate, a young traveler heading to California, that Niall grows close to. Venturing farther and farther into this story you realize that there is plenty of more details to uncover. In all, I would give this novel a 9 out of 10. This story would come highly recommended from me and figures to provide a little something for everyone. Thanks!

  • Jenny Cheese
    2019-02-11 22:33

    I loved the tale about a young teacher who goes on an adventure into the world of the wild west. The author has an amazing ability to bring the setting to life with those vivid details and well researched history. The characters are well drawn too. The ongoing battle between the young lady, Katherine, and Niall is one of those memorable romances that ebbs and flows and comes together and then doesn't that propels this awesome and amazing book right through to the heart stopping end. What will happen in the next one? Can't wait to find out!

  • Debbie
    2019-02-15 01:18

    ***MAJOR SPOILER***The so called hero, Niall, is a total jerk. He lost his wife when they were very young. She died delivering his baby. Now seven years later. he is juggling three different women.The first is Jocelyn. She is a rich widow and has political connections. He plans to marry her to expand the ranch and his own political aspirations. He is determined to do this in spite of the fact she hates children. She hates his seven year old daughter Beth and Beth hates her.The second woman is Gloria, the local Madam. He was sleeping with her before he married and went back after his wife died. It seems that is ok because he waited two years before taking up with her again. He spends every Friday night, the entire night, with Gloria and has no intention to stop when he marries Jocelyn. He leaves Gloria’s bed on Saturday morning, then takes his daughter to spend every Sunday afternoon with Jocelyn. Everyone in town and at the ranch knows about their relationship. He makes no effort to hide it and no one has a problem with it. His younger brothers even tease him about it.Then there is Kate who is 17 or 18. She was in a stagecoach accident on her way to San Francisco. Kate has amnesia and her companion was killed in the accident. She is wearing her deceased mother’s wedding ring that her father gave her before the trip which leads everyone, including our hero, to believe she is married.In spite of her age and the wedding ring Niall sneaks into her bedroom one night and seduces her. He has no intentions of changing his mind about Jocelyn in spite of the fact that he now knows for sure Kate was a virgin before he came along. A few days after his visit to Kate’s bed, he brings Jocelyn home for Sunday dinner with the family intending to pop the question with everyone as witnesses.He strings all three women along until Kate realizes she is pregnant. By this time her father has found her and her memory has returned. When Daddy found out what happened he beat the crap out of our hero. Of course, Niall realized he loved Kate and Jocelyn was not a good fit. However, he didn’t mention his intentions as to Gloria.The book started out great but it went downhill fast. If this had happened in real life during that time period, our hero would have been tarred and feathered before being ran out of town.

  • Katie
    2019-01-29 06:14

    A quick beach read:Tougher Than The Rest is an historical romance set in the 1880’s in Arizona. The love interests are Kate, a young lady in distress, quite literally, and Niall, a widowed father.At only 163 pages in ebook format, this book is a quick read. I read this in about 3 days – it was an easy read and quick to flow through. I enjoy a good romance novel and Tougher Than The Rest was an interesting story with likeable characters.Being placed in Arizona in the late 1880’s was entertaining for me because I lived in Phoenix for a short time so to see it in the eyes of the Old West was fun. I liked the characters of the town and how everyone came together. So many of the actions of what brought Kate and Niall together made sense because of the time period and I never questioned it.There were conflicts in this novel and hurdles that the town, and the lovers had to get through which meant their love was tested many times, and that made the payoff that much better in the end.I felt that the opening of this story was really strong and placed us directly in the action, however that opening scene didn’t seem to come around fully in the book. It definitely set up a few of the characters and how they got where they are today, but I was hoping for a little more from it because it was so strong.I also wanted a lot more between Kate and Niall – the romance was definitely there, but sometimes it felt as though the readers were told it was there instead of being able to put it together ourselves and see it in action.The external conflict happening in the town did not add to the plot. It didn’t affect any of the characters or throw conflict in their relationship and I wasn’t sure why it was in the story.There is a big cliffhanger in the end as the author preps the reader for her next book.*I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to any chick lit or romance lover who is looking for a quick read on the beach.I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I did not receive any further compensation.

  • Jo-Anne
    2019-02-05 01:34

    When the four MacLaren boys lose their parents to raiders, the oldest, Niall, who is 15 knows he has to take care of the others. His father told him to go to his Uncle Stuart MacLaren in Arizona Territory if anything ever happened to him. He had also told Niall where he had hidden two bags of money. Niall sent a telegraph to his uncle, telling him they were coming and off they went. It was a very long and dangerous journey in the 1800s but the boys made it.The story fast-forwards 12 years where Niall is widowed with a 6 year old daughter, Beth. He meets Kate and is instantly smitten but moves on. Shortly after, he finds her again when she has been in a terrible carriage accident and has lost her memory. He takes her to his ranch, where he lives with his aunt, to recuperate and she finally agrees to be a governess to his daughter.I enjoyed this historical western romance and found it to be a nice easy read. I must admit I was confused at the very beginning not knowing who Kate's father was. So I didn't start off with the best impression. Some of the things that happened in this story didn't ring true but, again, I enjoyed it.The characters were a bit odd. Kate was very well educated which was unusual in that time period. She could do absolutely anything! It was one of the 'odd' things I noticed that she never did anything wrong. Niall's daughter, Beth, was a cutie and I really liked her. She was a lot of fun and often spilled the beans, so to speak, as 6 year olds will do. Niall was a miserable man who believed he had to do whatever it took to grow his ranch for his family, even if he didn't want to do it. He was strange and hard to like.The plot was interesting with Kate getting amnesia and not even knowing her name. Luckily she had told another passenger her name was Kate so they knew that much but that was all anyone knew about her. How she was attracted to Niall, I didn't understand but she was and he with her. I was surprised that things got pretty heated between them, especially for that day and age.

  • Tricia Drammeh
    2019-02-05 01:41

    A traumatic event in Niall's childhood drives him to seek out security at all costs. He's suffered great loss in his life and is willing to sacrifice his own happiness in order to guarantee the continued success of the family ranch--even if it means marrying a cold, calculating widow with good connections and adjoining land. Kate seeks adventure in the west, but her plans are derailed when a carriage accident steals her memory. Now she finds herself attracted to Niall, a rough, tough rancher who tries to fight his own feelings for the stranger who seems to fit into his family's life so easily. But, can Niall risk his plans to give his heart to someone who might already belong to another?Ms. Davies has created a story with unforgettable characters, a rich setting, and multiple subplots that take this book to a new level. This is historical romance at its best with scenes ranging from sweet to sensual. Even though I don't usually seek out Western romances, I want to grab every book in this genre that I can find and just devour them. Admittedly, I'm already halfway through the next book in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain series. Honestly, I'd recommend you buy both books at once, because once you finish Tougher Than the Rest, you'll immediately want to start on the next book.I love the MacLaren brothers and their whole extended family. I've grown attached to these wonderful characters and the whole town. I found myself rooting for Niall and Kate and wishing for a true, lasting love between them. They're both believable, likable characters who care about family, children, and community. I don't know what the author has planned for the series, but there are four brothers and I hope to see a book dedicated to each of them. And, then there are other folks in town who deserve a love connection... maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Regardless, I've found a new author to stalk. I'll definitely buy any book she writes.Note: The author/publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Sandra Nachlinger
    2019-02-17 22:26

    I'll admit it. I love books set in the American west. A trip through those vast open spaces, filled with rowdy cowboys and adventurous heroines, is my idea of a great escape. And if there's romance involved, so much the better! After reading an excerpt from TOUGHER THAN THE REST, I knew this was a book I'd enjoy.In the book's dramatic prologue, author Shirleen Davies introduces us to the four young MacLaren brothers. After raiders murder their father and mother, they leave Ohio and head to their uncle's ranch in Arizona Territory, hoping he'll take them in. The oldest brother Niall is their leader. The majority of the book takes up the story twelve years later. Niall now runs his uncle's ranch and plans to marry a wealthy widow he doesn't love with the goal of making the ranch even greater. But then Katherine enters the scene. She's a young woman traveling from Philadelphia to California for a teaching position. When her stagecoach is involved in an accident, she and Niall meet and both their lives change.One thing I enjoyed about the book was the strong heroine--Kate. She's educated, self-sufficient, and speaks up for herself without being strident. Although a blow to the head has caused her to forget her past, Kate does her best to pitch in and contribute to the McLaren household, where she's staying while she recuperates and tries to recall her history. She's a sympathetic character who I liked from the moment she was introduced.With likable, believable characters, a strong plot, and descriptions that drew me into the setting, I enjoyed reading TOUGHER THAN THE REST from start to finish. I recommend this book to readers who like historical romances in a western setting. Since this is the first book in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain series, I'm looking forward to the stories of the other brothers too.

  • Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews
    2019-02-17 02:35

    Grade: AThis book is definitely a romance novel, if you love the classic romance novel, you’ll love this book. The period setting is definitely unique for me, and all the details line up perfectly with the time period the book is set it. The main characters, Niall & Kate, cross paths in an unexpected way.They meet in Phoenix, AZ, where Niall accidentally knocks Kate down, and the instant they meet there’s a connection that neither of them want to acknowledge. A brief encounter, nothing more. Niall, widower, has the ranch to think about and his daughter, and his upcoming engagement to a wealthy widow with just enough land to make his ranch the largest in Arizona territory.Little did Niall know, that he’d be rescuing Kate from a stagecoach accident just days later, and putting her up in his home while she recovers from amnesia. Kate & Niall’s relationship develops both in good and bad ways. Niall is one of those guys who has loved and lost, and pushes everyone away. He tries to do the same with Kate and focus on the ranch. But it just isn’t possible, Niall & Kate chemistry is just too strong.. it’s just dancing on the line.This book has such an interesting backstory, the romance is definitely well written and realistic, and the characters are real and you find yourself rooting for them, and wanting them to make the right choices. Each time Niall interacts with Kate, I kept hoping for me, hoping that he’d forgot marrying the wealthy widow and focus on Kate.Shirleen Davies has written a wonderful novel, focusing on a strong man who desperately needs the love of a good woman, and you want him to find it.I cannot wait for the next book, because I need to know what happens next!

  • Cayla
    2019-02-05 05:17

    It's a nice romance story, but I wish it contained some humor. I sense a LOT of anger and tension in the book as far as Naill is concerned. Yes, he had a rough childhood, losing his parents and hauling his three brothers from Ohio to Arizona. Not an easy thing to achieve. As an adult, he still carries grief from it all and it seems to hardened him a bit too much. His determination to marry this wealthy widow for his own ambitions is rather sad (even though the widow has her own ambitions as well!). He does come across as too harsh at times in his treatment toward Kate which is rather sad because Kate treats his daughter, Beth, with all the love and care in the world, unlike Jocelyn, who would rather ship her off to a boarding school out east without so much as a goodbye.Kate sounds like a lovely woman--down to earth, caring, and has good intentions. She's jarred by the stagecoach accident that left her with amnesia. Staying with strangers isn't a comfortable situation--even with an attractive guy like Niall around! During her recovery, she develops a routine and pitches in with the rest of the family. She does report sudden flashes of images and tried to make sense out of them hoping to connect them in other to retrieve more memories.**********************SPOILER ALERT********************************I do like how the author allows them to feel attracted to each other, in spite of their odd circumstances. But Kate's sudden pregnancy after a one-night stand is a little over-the-top, perhaps???

  • Tonileg
    2019-01-29 05:22

    This starts out brutal! Western romance with a tough widower with a young daughter finds love with an amnesia ridden school teacher who is anything but a stranger, but we don't find that out until the end.Niall MacLaren runs the MacLaren ranch which makes him wealthy and well known in their country home town, so no one thinks anything sinister when he takes the amnesic young lady to his home with his younger daughter and his aunty. Katherine slowly gets her memories back , but not before there are all sorts of misunderstandings and she finds herself pregnant with Niall's next child while he is openly courting a wealthy widow in town. So Niall makes all the trouble in this story with his stubborn idea that of what he is supposed to do and have without ever stopping to think about how he feels about his choices.Little bit frustrating because I seriously doubt that you can have sneaky sex in a wooden ranch house and that getting pregnant after only one time trope! Seriously?! So unrealistic! Sneaky sex is super hard to pull off which is what makes it so fun and almost impossible to pull off in thin walled modern construction, which is why Japan which their love hotels know how to make things discreet!156 pages2 tars

  • Cinta
    2019-01-22 01:32

    I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. When Niall and his brothers Jamie, Drew, and Will lose their parents, they have to face the fact they are alone in the world. Unless they travel all the way from Ohio to Arizona so they can live with their nearest relative. Once they get to Arizona, life changes for them. Then the book changes and jumps forwards. Twelve years have passed and Niall is a prosper rancher with a lovely daughter. He meets Kate by chance and they immediately feel their world spin around. Will their paths come across again? Destiny can be very funny sometimes and it can surprise you with the most unexpected things. Romance set in the wild west.I have enjoyed reading this western romance, and indeed it kept me turning the pages non-stop. However, I found it too stereotypical, formulaic, and predictable. It lacked those plot twists that I like so much, those twists that make you really love what you are reading. Besides, the author tells a lot and leaves very little to the readers' imagination. There are certain parts of the book that I would have liked to be shown, not told.Typos, missing words and formatting errors make me suggest that the book needs one more edit so readers can enjoy it even better.

  • Katlyn
    2019-02-12 01:28

    I am so excited about finding this new series. It was a great romance with only a touch of “Grey” if you know what I mean. It was very tasteful and sweet.There are so many characters that it is a bit daunting at times to remember who everyone is, but you catch on. Each character is well defined and colorful, and you grow to love them all.Without trying to give too much away, the main characters are Kate and Niall. Kate is a teacher on her way to California for a new job when her carriage crashes and she sustains a head injury leaving her with amnesia. Niall is a rancher who sees the crash and comes to her rescue. While Kate recovers, she stays with Niall at his aunt's house with his brothers. They find themselves extremely attracted to each other, but they are both afraid she may be married but just can't remember. The events that follow unfold into a wonderful romance.The story has a very satisfying ending as far as the main characters are concerned, but leaves a huge cliffhanger with a secondary character leaving an opening for the next book in the series. I am very eager to see what happens next. I am sure I will be back soon to tell you what I think of that one. I'm sure this author won't disappoint.

  • Cheesecake
    2019-01-28 22:32

    Originally a dnf, I kept coming back to this one. I like the ending, the drama (view spoiler)[ She sees him in the restaurant with another women (his prostitute friend) and she takes off into a storm falling off her horse. Then the surprise reveal of her pregnancy in front of her father.(hide spoiler)] The H does a nice grovel. I still found the first part of the book annoying how he constantly pushes her away and visits the mean woman he plans to marry who doesn't even like his little girl. I wanted to hit him with a frying pan (view spoiler)[ luckily the h's dad hits him(hide spoiler)]. So really the third star is just for the ending. my first review;DNF. Well I went through most of it in skim mode. The H really is a selfishly hurtful ass and the h is a martyr. Thought maybe I'd get some delicious grovelling at the end, but it was too little and WAAAAy too late. I gotta agree with another reviewer (view spoiler)[ I totally think he'll be seeing his f*ck buddy who owns the whore house again after the wedding, even if he doesn't sleep with her.(hide spoiler)]

  • Donna Porter
    2019-02-04 04:36

    Naill MacLaren is the oldest of four boys. Their parents were killed and they went to stay with their aunt and uncle in Fire Mountain. Katherine was traveling to Los Angeles to start a job as a teacher. This takes place in old west about 1871. Naill is now a grown man with a six year old daughter from his wife who passed away. Jamie is a deputy sheriff in another town and the twins are now both 18. When the stages crashes Naill goes to everyones rescue and finds Kate's traveling companion dead and one of the two gentleman also dead. They get her treated by the one passenger with a broken leg he is also a doctor. He tells her she needs to be put up somewhere so she can mend. His Aunt Alicia volunteers to take her in and help her heal. During the time she is there she is drawn to Naill, however he has plans for his life. He is going to marry someone for position and property not love. He also has a mistress he has had for years. Kate puts a knot in his well laid plans. This is a good story and I know you will like it

  • Kayla
    2019-02-06 03:25

    I just finished reading Tougher than the Rest and went straight into reading Faster than the Rest by Shirleen Davies. I fell in love with the characters. Jamie lost everything and I mean everything his family, his first love and would just like another chance at life. Jamie and Victoria meet and Victoria has a past and is fighting for her life. I thought Jamie was a great character in Tougher than the Rest and he is an even better character as a standalone. I feel like he is my favorite brother out of all 4 of them. Victoria was a really strong character in my opinion, mostly from her past experiences that are hard and cold. Despite being the lady in distress, she keeps herself headstrong and her focus on dealing with and moving past her troubles. I really enjoyed this book and think it could be great by itself and goes wonderful with Tougher than the rest. Nice job Shirleen Davies. I really liked your book and I think it made me want to read more western romances. I couldn’t put these books down!

  • Anari
    2019-01-27 00:38

    This was a deliciously steamy Western read which had me gripped from the word go. It begins with the death of Niall's parents when he is still a child and you can't help but feel for Niall and his brothers as they are subsequently re-homed with their Aunt and Uncle. That's not the last of death that Niall has to face, however, as his wife is taken from him shortly after they are married. When Kate enters his life as an amnesiac, recovering from a stage coach accident, the hero is determined not to fall in love again... Not wanting to spoil the plot for other readers, I will just say that the authoress writes with a practiced hand and builds up the sexual tension notch by notch, until you want to bang the hero over the head with a saucepan to make the poor guy see sense. (Well, I did, anyway).5 Stars Ms Davies - I can't wait for the next installment of the Fire Mountain Men :)

  • Robin Malek
    2019-02-16 22:33

    NiiiiiceWell, I wasn't sure when I started this book but it quickly became a book I just could not put down. Such a strong story of strong men and women. Hardship and tears turn children into good men with guidance from their peers. But stopping a story there..... that was just MEAN! Next book please!

  • Betty Melton
    2019-01-23 06:26

    I am hookedI am hookedI should have learned not to get into a gripping series. Now I want to read the next book,which unfortunately is not free. A very talented author that spins a good tale. The character came to life.

  • Heather Connolly
    2019-01-26 02:15

    Very well written, fast paced, good read.Characters are believable, and make you want the next book in the series immediately! I really liked this author, it was the first book of hers I have read, but definitely not the last.

  • Sue
    2019-02-12 04:22

    The beginning of a Family Saga...and well done. I have put the next five books on my Wish List!! I would have like to punch the hero here, but I figured he'd find his way to his own heart, eventually! Nothing like a good Western Romance to while away the hours!! :)

  • Kathy
    2019-02-08 01:28

    I loved this book. I liked the characters and enjoyed a romantic old fashioned, if you will, down to earth love story. All the characters blended in with each and cared about each other. Another fact I found enlightening. I plan to read more of this series...

  • sharon trotter
    2019-02-02 00:17

    maclaensI Really enjoy stories in that old west time very good book ,I was so glad things worked out for Kate can hardly wait to get the next one in the series.

  • LuvReading
    2019-01-24 22:37

    Five star!....Oh love this story! moves fast and keeps me interest all the way through...couldn't put it down. But sadly it has to on to the next the book.

  • Mary
    2019-02-14 04:36

    I couldn't get into this story at all. I don't know if it was the way it was written, or maybe the characters themselves. I tried. After the first couple of chapters I found myself skimming through parts of the book. My inability to not at least try to finish a book won't let me stop a book in the middle of it. As for the characters, I couldn't stand any of them. I didn't find Niall to be anything more than a wishy-washy jerk. Did he seem to love his daughter? Yes, but his reasoning for wanting to marry Jocelyn was ridiculous. Add in the whole Gloria aspect and I was constantly rolling my eyes. The way he acted and treated Kate was just as ridiculous as the other two women. Then there's Kate. (Insert another eye roll.) I kind of liked her at first. Until she lost her memory. After that she lost me pretty quick. I didn't feel like there was enough development with her. I think the memory loss aspect could have been better done. So after the one time they have sex, Kate gets pregnant. It goes straight from her confirming it with the doctor to her seeing Niall and Gloria on a date. She leaves and gets caught in a storm and seems to be injured. Niall ends up going after her and of course finds her. After getting her back to his place and the doctor showing up, he dad comes over and storms into the room while she's being examined. Seriously?! That to me just didn't sit right with me for whatever reason. So her dad finds out she's pregnant and goes to beat up Niall. During all of this the whole household, including Niall find out Kate's pregnant. Kate refuses to marry Niall based on what he's said about love and marriage in the past. He manages to convince her by telling her he loves her and not Gloria. This is pretty much the end, minus a few other details. This was a first time read for me with this author and honestly I doubt I will read anymore by her. At least not in this series.

  • Georgia
    2019-01-21 23:17

    First Paragraph:"Niall covered his ears to drown out the relentless gunfire, but it was no use. He could not hear his parents above; he could no longer hear the whimpering of his seven-year-old twin brothers. His other brother, Jamie, was with them in the small space, but he made no sound. The chamber smelled stale, common in places rarely used."Tougher Than The Rest by Shirleen Davies is the first book in the 'MacLarens of Fire Mountain' series.PLOTOhio, 1866. Niall's family is attacked by raiders. His parents just manage to hide him and his brothers in a secret space beneath their barn before the attack takes place. When fifteen-year-old Niall emerges, fire and death are all that greet him. His parents dead, his home up in flames and all their belongings with it. As the oldest of the four brothers, Niall takes charge and remembers what his father said to him. If anything ever happened, find your uncle in the West.Twelve years later and the boys have grown. Niall now has a daughter, whose mother died in childbirth. He is determined to make sure his family is well taken care of. Even if it means marrying a poisonous widow for her money and connections.Meanwhile, Kate is travelling to Los Angeles for her new teaching job. Her father worries, especially as she's the only family he has left, but Kate's mind is made up. However, when her California-bound stage carriage loses control and crashes, Kate's plans go out the window. Niall witnesses the crash and manages to get Kate, and the other survivors out. When it's apparent that Kate has amnesia following a bad concussion, Niall's aunt offers to take care of her until her memory returns- much to Niall's chagrin. A chance encounter with the young woman earlier in the day, was enough to send him running. He has carefully laid out plans that this attractive, young woman (who awakens within him emotions he believed long dead) threatens.On the other hand, Kate struggles to remember anything about herself, while all the while her mind turns to the handsome stranger living under the same roof. But he already has an intended, and the wedding ring on her finger surely means she does too. Then why can she not control her heart when he's around?REVIEWAs with most romance novels, the plot and characters are quite formulaic. The basic character personalities of the main leads could be out of a Jane Austen or Bronte novel. Kate is more learned than most other women are expected to be for the era, in all manner of things- including talents more common to men. Though the main difference is Kate's lack of flaws. I struggle to think if she has even one. She is too perfect, and excels at everything. It can make her a little boring and unrealistic. I don't have a problem with strong female leads, but everyone has flaws and weaknesses. There are no exceptions to that rule. It would make her a stronger lead if she had to overcome her own shortfalls. Cast alongside our leading lady, Niall is by far the more interesting of the two. It's almost as if the author tried to balance out Kate's lack of flaws with Niall's abundance of them. As with many male romance leads, he comes of at first as abrasive and rude, but is a good man at heart. He is almost her opposite in a way. Surprisingly immature in matters of the heart, and his motivations can be hard to understand. He refuses to admit his attraction to Kate, which at first makes sense, considering everyone believes her to be someone else's wife, but is very obnoxious about it, treating her as a schoolboy might treat his first crush. Later in the story, there is no sense in it. Why he refuses to accept his emotions is beyond me. It's not out of respect for his dead wife, as he's fine with a lover and marrying a woman just for her connections. A woman who his daughter hates and whose connections he doesn't really need. On a small side note, I do think the title and book cover should be changed. Or maybe just the cover. I may be the only one who thought this, but when I was first approached to review this, I fully believed it was the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' kind of romance novel. I want to make it clear, in case any one else is thinking the same thing, that that is not the case. This is just your typical chick-lit. To be fair, I should've paid more attention. The man on the cover is wearing a shirt, which should've been indication enough.The plot itself is a little slow. Almost the entire story is just one person misunderstanding and the other denying their emotions. The same excuses they tell themselves are repeated over and over again like a mantra, as though saying them enough could make them true and bring some kind of closure. The ending, once you get to it, is predictable (as it is with most romance) and felt a little rushed. For all the build-up, there isn't a huge payoff. I think telling us a little more would've negated that, especially considering a late plot point and an event from Niall's past. It had me questioning why he wasn't more worried. The whole thing ends with a final, quick remark setting up the plot of the sequel. Whether I'll be checking out the next book remains to be seen. The plot seems interesting enough, and the story will star my favourite brother from this book, so those factors may lead me to pick it up (once it exists).There are also a couple characters and side plots that have little to no point in the story. A couple are never seen again, and their main purpose it to add length to the story. It can drag it a little, but not enough to make you stop reading. Having said all that, my only real criticism is with the main leads. Other than that, the story is enjoyable enough, and even the main leads can be entertaining. You've seen this story a million times, and doubtless will see it a million more. This is the kind of romance book that isn't read for its originality. It's read for the same reason people watch romantic comedies. You don't have to think too hard, you know what's going to happen, and it makes you feel good.I am often frustrated with the main leads of chick-lit/ flick type romances. Not for the reasons I stated above, but because they always deny the obvious, whether out of ignorance, misunderstandings or just sheer pig-headedness. Overall, an easy read (despite it's dark beginning), that may not leave you warm and fuzzy, but will leave you joining in with the supportive cast for one last word, 'Finally!'Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.

  • Margaret McGovern
    2019-02-10 05:37

    Excellent Western romance. Niall MacLaren is the oldest & toughest of the family. He loved his wife and swore never to love again as he’s raising his kids. Niall is trying to make a secure life for his entire family. Yes, he goes to the saloon girl on Friday nights and is seeing a wealthy widow to secure land and finances for his brothers and his children. Kate comes to town and there is a strong pull between them. Passions come into play and Naill is a man and proposes to the widow in front of Kate after they were together. Remember readers this is a time period of great struggle to survive. What happened with Kate was unfair but land and wealth were important for survival especially in those days. Looking forward to future books by Ms. Davies.

  • Hanna
    2019-02-09 06:31

    Predictable but enjoyableThis well-written tale has pleasant characters, appropriate historical detail, and smooth dialogue. However, I felt it has several big weaknesses. First, the plot is very predictable. Second, there were too many coincidences for me. Stories depend on the suspension of disbelief, but this asked for too many such suspensions, especially in the relationships between the characters. Last, I feel that the hooks for later stories in the series were clumsy. However, while these problems detracted from the book for me, I still enjoyed it., and perhaps readers with less experience with this genre will overlook these issues.