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Redemption (Hqn) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Hqn
  • Mass Market Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373777570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373777570
  • ASIN: 0373777574
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels wrote her first book after a career as an award-winning newspaper journalist. Since then she has more than 40 short stories and 70 books in print. Her best-selling Harlequin Intrigue series, Whitehorse, Montana, has appeared on the USA Today bestselling list numerous times. She has also won a variety of awards including a Career Achievement Award for romantic suspense. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Jack didn't want any trouble. He couldn't afford any. That was why he decided to keep walking right past the Range Rider bar and the blaring Western music, through the darkness that shrouded the long-ago abandoned buildings of his hometown.

A sliver of moon hung over the top of the mountains among a plethora of stars in a midnight sky bigger than any he swore he'd ever seen. He could smell spring in the pines and on the snow-fed water as the creek rushed past town.

When he was a boy he used to imagine what Beartooth, Montana, had been like in the late 1800s. A gold-rush boomtown at the feet of the Crazy Mountains. Back then there'd been hotels and boarding-houses, a half dozen saloons, livery stables, assaying offices and several general stores.

Once the gold played out, the town died down to what it was today: one bar, a general store, a cafe, a church and a post office. Many of the original buildings still stood, though, ghostly remains of what once had been.

As isolated as the town was, Beartooth had survived when many Montana gold-rush towns had completely disappeared. Towns died off the same way families did, he thought, mindful of his own. His roots ran deep here in the shadow of the Crazies, as the locals called the wild, magnificent mountain range.

Over the years two stories took hold about how the Crazy Mountains got their name. Native Americans believed anyone who went into the frightening, fierce winds that blew out of the inhospitable rugged peaks was crazy. Another story was about a frontier woman who had wandered into the mountains. By the time she was found, the story went, she'd gone crazy.

Jack believed being this close to all that wildness could make anyone crazy. His great-grandfather used to tell stories about gunfights and bar brawls on this very street. Of course, his great-grandfather had been right in the middle of it.

Blame the mountains or genetics—this was his family legacy. Trouble was in his genes as if branded to his DNA. But hadn't he proven tonight that he could change? He'd been tempted to stop in for just one beer at the Range Rider. Why not, since it was his first night back in town?

But a two-year stint at Deer Lodge, Montana State Prison, for rustling a prized bull, had made him see that it was time to break some of those old family traditions. Didn't matter that he hadn't taken the bull. He'd been living as wild and crazy as the wilderness around Beartooth and it had caught up with him. He'd just made it easy for whoever had framed him.

He'd had two years to think about who'd set him up for the fall and what he was going to do about it. Or whether he was going to forget the past and move on with his life. Not that prison had been that bad. He'd spent those couple of years on the prison's cattle ranch, riding fence, chasing cattle, doing what he had since he'd been old enough to ride.

But now he was back in the only place that had ever been home.

A pickup roared past with a glow-in-the-dark bumper sticker that read: Keep Honking, I'm Reloading. Jack breathed in the night and the scent of dust along the narrow paved road, which turned to gravel just past the abandoned filling station and garage at the edge of town.

As the truck's engine roar died off, he heard raised voices ahead, coming from the alleyway between the Branding Iron Cafe and the skeletal stone remains of what had been the Beartooth Hotel.

As his eyes adjusted, he saw a man standing in the ambient light of the cafe sign. At first he didn't see the second figure. Jack caught only a few phrases, just enough to realize the man was threatening someone he had pressed against the stone wall of the cafe. It was too dark to see who, though.

"I've been looking for you," the man said. "I just didn't expect to find you here." The voice didn't sound familiar. Even after being gone for two years, Jack figured he probably still knew most everyone in this part of the county. Few new people moved here. Even fewer left.

Good sense told him to keep walking. Whatever was going on, it had nothing to do with him. The last thing he wanted to do was get involved in some drunken fight in an alley his first night home.

Earlier tonight he'd moved his few belongings into a small log cabin on the edge of town in the dense pines. The place was habitable and only a short walk from the cafe and the Beartooth General Store. It would work fine for the time being. He wasn't sure he was ready to go out to the family homestead just yet.

Walking on past the alley, Jack congratulated himself on staying clear of trouble tonight. He would have kept going—at least that's what he told himself—if he hadn't heard her voice.

"Let go of me." Definitely a woman's voice. "I already told you. You have the wrong woman. But if you don't leave me alone—"

Jack had already turned to go back when he heard a smack and her cry of pain. With a curse, he took off down the dark alley.

The man turned when he heard Jack's boot soles pounding the hard-packed earth, coming fast in his direction. "Butt out. This isn't any of your bus—" That's all the man got out before Jack hit him.

The man was a lot bigger than he'd appeared from a distance. He had the arms of someone who'd spent a lot of time lifting weights. Jack caught sight of jail-house tattoos on the man's massive arms below the sleeves of his dark T-shirt, and swore. He was already thinking that getting beat up wasn't exactly what he had in mind for his first night home. That was if he didn't get himself killed.

The man staggered back into a slice of darkness, rubbing his jaw. He'd lost his Western hat when Jack had hit him. The hat lay on the ground between them.

"You just messed with the wrong man, cowboy," the stranger said.

Jack couldn't have agreed more as he braced himself for the man's attack. He'd been in his share of fist-fights in his younger days and figured at thirty-one he could still hold his own—at least for a little while. He just hoped the man wasn't armed. That thought came somewhat late.

But to his surprise, the man looked past him in the direction of the woman, then turned, retreating into the pitch-blackness at the back of the alley. Odd, Jack thought, since the man hadn't even bothered to pick up his hat. Was he going to get his gun? Jack didn't want to find out. But a moment later, a vehicle door opened and slammed, an engine revved and the driver took off.

Jack leaned down and picked up the Western straw hat from the dirt before turning to the woman. "Are you all right?"

As she stepped away from the wall and into the diffused light from the cafe's sign, he was taken by surprise. She appeared to be close to his own age, and definitely not someone he knew since she was dressed in jogging gear. No one in Beartooth ran—unless there was a bear after her. No one wore Lycra, either—at least not in public.

But that was the least of it. Dark hair framed the face of an angel, while ice-cold fury shone in her dark eyes. It took him a moment to realize that her anger was directed at him.

"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded.

"I beg your pardon?"

"I can take care of myself," she said, snatching the hat from his fingers. "I didn't need you coming to my defense." She started to storm down the alley in the direction the man had gone.

Jack mentally kicked himself for getting involved in what now appeared to be a lover's quarrel. He should have known better. Just as he should have known to let well enough alone and let the woman leave without another word.

"From what I heard, it sure didn't sound like you didn't need my help," he said to her retreating back.

She stopped and turned to look back at him. Her eyes narrowed into slits as she stepped toward him, back into the faint glow of the cafe sign. "What you heard? What exactly is it you think you heard?"

He raised both hands and took a step back. "Nothing. I should have just left you alone to take care of yourself."

"Yes, you should have."

He nodded. "I won't make that mistake again."

With that, he turned and walked away, shaking his head at his attempt at chivalry. Still, he couldn't help but think about the slash of red on her one perfect cheek where the man had obviously hit her. Well, whoever she was, like the man she'd been arguing with, she wasn't from around here.

He told himself he wouldn't be crossing either of their paths again—which was just fine with him.

"Welcome home," he mumbled to himself as he headed for his cabin.

Sheriff Frank Curry shoved back his Stetson as he watched the assistant coroner inspect the body. The sun was high and hot, another beautiful spring day in southern Montana. A breeze stirred the new leaves of the cottonwoods along the crystal-clear Yellowstone River. In the distance, the snowcapped peaks of the Crazy Mountains gleamed like fields of diamonds.

A fisherman had stumbled across the body in the weeds this morning after hooking into a nice-sized cutthroat. He was trying to land the fish when he'd practically fallen over the dead man.

From a nearby limb that hung out over the water, a crow cawed, drawing Frank's attention away from the body for a moment. The bird's dark wings flapped before it settled its black, beady eyes on him, as if to say he'd seen it all and could tell volumes if only Frank were capable of understanding a bird.

The crow cawed once more and flew off as Assistant Coroner Charlie Brooks stepped out of the weeds, rubbing the back of his neck. He was a short, squat man with timber-thick legs and a bald cue-ba...

More About the Author

NYT and USA Today Bestselling author B.J. Daniels was born in Texas but moved with her family to Montana at the age of five. Her first home was a cabin in the Gallatin Canyon and later a lake house on Hebgen Lake outside of West Yellowstone.

Most of her books are set in Montana, a place she loves. She lives now in a unique part of the state with her husband and three Springer Spaniels.

When she isn't writing, she loves to play tennis, boat, camp, quilt and snowboard.
There is nothing she enjoys more than curling up with a good book.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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Customer Reviews

It is a very enjoyable ,on the edge of you seat, page turner.
There is a romance but the book is primarily a mystery with lots of suspense.
L. Townsend
B. J. Daniels is one of the best western writers of all time.
Sharlene Palmer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SophieD on March 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a huge reader and I, unfortunately, have to say this is the worst book I have ever read. There didn't seem to be any explanation for reactions or resolution in the situations between the characters. For instance, why does the sheriff's daughter harbor such irrational hatred towards him - such that she'd track him down, pretend to want to get to know him and then pull a gun on him. Can't believe it was only her Mother put her up to it since the sheriff and his wife split! Seemed like almost every page or so, another character was being mentioned, with minimal effect on the storyline which seemed dis-jointed. It took well into the last third of the book for the main characters to get past him not knowing why he wants to help her and her saying she doesn't need his help. I can usually finish a book in day or so but this one took me 2 weeks - just could not keep interested in it. Threw the book out after I finished since I will NOT be re-reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cherise Everhard VINE VOICE on January 29, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
2.5 stars

Jack French is back in his home town after a two year prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit. He's attracted to the new cafe owner, Kate LaFond, though he knows from the start she is probably trouble. But the two of them soon form an alliance of sorts and start digging around in the past.

I really had high hopes for this series as the premise promised great things. Ultimately I feel let down. There is just so much negativity and deceit surrounding the characters of these books, that it's a wonder that the whole town doesn't just drink the kool-aid and end it already. Romance plays a very little role in these books and that's a shame to me when the characters could have been so much more. Instead we are treated to layers and layers of mystery heaped onto multiple characters. The mystery/suspense portions of the story are good, but too plentiful. If the author would have focused just on Kate's it would have been perfect, but to add in the sherriff's and Jacks...It just was too much for me.

Again, as in the book Unforgiven, we are left with questions unanswered and I am wondering why certain plot points were even brought up? What purpose did they serve?

I was really interested to know what would happen with Carson, but I don't think I can handle reading another story where everyone has a grey cloud of gloom hanging over their heads.

Cherise Everhard, January 2013
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 29, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack French spent the last two years in prison doing forced ranch labor after being convicted for cattle rustling, a crime he did not do. After his release, he returns home to Beartooth, Montana with one mission in mind: enact vengeance on the unknown(s) who framed him.

While he did hard time, Kate LaFord relocated to Beartooth where she owns the Branding Iron Café. Beartooth General Store owner Lynette "Nettie" Benton persuades Sheriff Frank Curry to uncover the secrets of the enigmatic Kate and also wants to know more about her mysterious new tenant Tiffany Hayes. Lynette and Frank are attracted to each other though her remaining married but separated from her husband Bob (who resides in Arizona) leaves both hesitating to do more than harmlessly flirt. Having found a murdered corpse, Frank asks Lynette to look at a photo he found on the unidentified body; she confirms it is the dead for three decades Ackermann family. As Kate serendipitously searches for rumored gold that her mom swears exists, she and Jack meet and fall in love.

The latest Beartooth Big Sky romantic suspense (see Unforgiven) is an entertaining thriller as once again deaths from decades ago (and rumored lost gold) keep a firm grip on the townsfolk. Fast-paced from the moment Jack returns home as an unappreciated Good Samaritan and never decelerating, readers will enjoy this taut Montana tale with multiple (perhaps too many) mysteries and one and a half romances.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Campbell VINE VOICE on January 30, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The distinctive romantic-suspense storytelling style of author B.J. Daniels serves the reader well in "Redemption", the second book in her exciting "Beartooth, Montana" series. Jack French didn't have to look for trouble--it always knew exactly where to find him. The wild ways of his youth had made him an easy mark to be framed for rustling a bull, and the judge on the case had been the father of Jack's girlfriend. Since the judge never cared much for Jack, he sentenced him to two years labor on a working-ranch prison--a harsh sentence for the crime of which Jack was accused. Serving out his time at Deer Lodge, Montana State Prison had given Jack much opportunity to think about how and why he was framed, and who hated him enough to set him up. Back in his little gold-rush hometown of Beartooth after completing his jail term, Jack decides to play his cards close to his vest and not reveal his hand too soon. This time, he'll stay far away from trouble, and take careful steps. His plans go awry on his first night back in town when he "rescues" a woman being roughed up by a man in an alley. After a scuffle, the man takes off, but the lady is not so grateful for Jack's help. Kate LaFond, the new owner of the Branding Iron Cafe, is used to fending for herself. She doesn't need a tall, good-looking cowboy to complicate her life. Fate, however, has other plans for Jack and Kate, and the time they end up spending together has Jack involved in Kate's search for a lost treasure in gold. Matters take a serious turn when the man who accosted Kate turns up murdered, and she is later accused of the crime. The attraction between Kate and Jack becomes more personal, and once again, he comes to her defense.Read more ›
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