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Under a Texas Star [Kindle Edition]

Alison Bruce
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Following on the heels of Illusion, indie sensation and New York Times best-selling author J.S. Cooper brings us the second novel in the Swept Away series, a trilogy of dark and sexy romances about a woman marooned on an island with a man who may be her captor.

Book Description

Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.

When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she's determined to bring him to justice--even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him.

Texas Ranger Jase Strachan is also after Meese, for crimes committed in Texas. He joins forces with the young boy in a journey that takes them to Fortuna, where a murder interrupts their mission. Jase is duty bound to find the killer, no matter the cost.

Marly carries out her own investigation and comes to the aid of Amabelle Egan, the sister of one of the suspects. But appearances are deceiving, and Marly is mistaken for Amabelle’s suitor, making her a target for the killer. Not to mention, Charlie Meese is still out there.

Under the Texas stars, Marly and Jase are drawn together by circumstances beyond their control, yet fate plots to tear them apart. Will Marly finally get her man?


"A delightful Western tale that blends engaging adventure with spirited romance. Reminds me of Louis L'Amour novels...Bruce is a terrific story-teller...a complete joy to read. She immerses readers into a smoking Western that is also a spunky romance and reminiscent of the Texas Rangers television series." ―Christina Francine, Midwest Book Review

"Filled with realistic dialog and a good attention to period detail, Bruce manages to create a believable story that captures our imagination. Well written with a compelling plot, Under a Texas Star brings a delightfully new and strong heroine to the literary world. Highly recommended." ―Wendy Thomas, Allbook Reviews

"Alison Bruce's western tale of intrigue, murder, and love is a page-turning, action-packed, made-of-awesome read. UNDER A TEXAS STAR belongs on every reader's keeper shelf―it already has a place on mine! Love, love, loved it!" ―Michele Bardsley, national bestselling author of Never Again

"Romance as sweeping as the Texas sky." ―Gwyn Cready, Rita award-winning author of Seducing Mr. Darcy

"This is a rollicking adventure and Marly Landers is a girl with True Grit." ―Phyllis Smallman, Arthur Ellis award-winning author of Champagne for Buzzards

"L'amour in the style of Louis L'Amour…Pin a silver star on this thrilling tale of love and justice in the old west." ―Lou Allin, author of On the Surface Die

"I loved the murder mystery…as well as the sense of humor which had me either chuckling or laughing out loud." ―Jacqueline Wilson, Deputy Sheriff for Publications of the Chicago Corral of the Westerners

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

The book you hold has had many adventures on the road to publication.

It started in hospital while recovering from surgery. I wrote the first draft, in long hand, as a novelette. Back home, I put my History degree to work and dig some serious research while transcribing the manuscript to a Commodore Plus4.

Orphaned by obsolete technology, the original manuscript clung to life as a printout from a dying dot-matrix printer. When it finally made it into a workable file, it had to wait while I had a couple of kids and took care of my sister and father. Meanwhile I collected far more information on Texas, guns, riding, and the price of beans and ammunition than you would ever want to see in a novel.

The trail has been rocky and full of obstacles but, I hope you will agree, worth the journey.

From the Inside Flap


To my sister Joanne (1961-2003) who taught me that life is too short not to do what you love.


I would like to thank Amanda and her red pen; John for insisting the story should be a novel; Janet for rescuing the lone viable copy; Frances for cleaning up the resulting digital copy and nagging me to keeping working on it; Nancy, the most constructive nitpicker on the planet; Melodie for point me in the right direction; Cheryl and Imajin Books for being the right direction.

To my daughter Kate, son Sam and nieces Sophie and Claire, thank you for your patience and enthusiastic support.

Product Details

  • File Size: 850 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Imajin Books (May 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00501H6YM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,017 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking adventure of romance and True Grit June 7, 2011
Alison Bruce has crafted a steamy tale of the old West that takes us out of the ordinary and into a rollicking world of romance and adventure. As a young woman who masquerades as a boy, the plucky Marly's identity is finally revealed as she finds true love with stand-up dude Texas Ranger Jase Strachan.

This is an historical Western romance in a style that reminds me of Hemingway. Although the descriptions are colorful and accurate, there are no wasted words here as the characters are developed through dialogue and action. The old West comes to life! Highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good old-fashioned western romance novel. The west is still barely settled, the Civil War not long over, and Marly Landers is on the trail of the man who conned the townspeople out of their money. Marly feels a personal responsibility for this event, so he is heading off to El Paso from the small town of Cherryville, Kansas to collect the money and see that justice is served. Dressed in hand-me-downs of oversize shirt, pants, boots, worn droopy hat, and oilskin duster, he looks like a young teen trying to beat the odds of solitary wandering in the deserts and mountains as he tracks the culprit, Charlie Meese.

In the meantime, Texas Ranger Jason (Jase) Strachan is on the trail of a confidence man who has cheated some high powered people in Austin. He is currently in Dog Flats, about as small and desolate a town as it sounds. As he's finishing a beer, our protagonist Marly arrives, looking for work to pay for a room for the night, a meal, breakfast and a packaged lunch. He offers to do anything from mucking out to waiting tables, even cooking. Jase has seen this boy on his past few stops and is very interested in him because he's discovered they are both trailing the same man. He's seen him work at every stop. Jase knows Marly has been traveling on foot for most of the way from town to town. He is taken with Marly's tenacity and is interested in why they are after the same man. Of course, he's not going to get into that part of it yet. Not sharing his own business in El Paso, he does mention his destination and suggests they travel together. Jase will supply horse and tack, and the boy will work for him.

In Abilene they get Marly a horse and saddle, but he has never been on a horse and definitely not a mulish one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, engaging and witty story - loved it June 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Marly Landers, in Under a Texas Star is a tough as nails, smart as a tack young woman who shines brightly with her grit and compassion. She is the type of character you want to continue reading about even after the story ends.

Trailing from one dusty town to another in pursuit of a criminal fugitive was a job for a bounty hunter with a good horse and a small arsenal. It was tough work for a slim boy of small build, few means and fewer possessions'tougher still when the boy wasn't a boy at all, but a girl.

Shortly after the civil war, when a con artist steals money from her town, Marly - disguised as a boy - decides to become a bounty hunter and track him down. Seduced by the con's charms, she feels it is her duty to restore what has been taken. She is soon joined in her quest by Texas Ranger Strachan and they work together to find the trickster. Marley continues the masquerade from town to town oftentimes coming close to having her secret discovered but each time managing to hold her own. She laments that if she had been born a boy she wouldn't be in this current situation in the first place. If she had been born a boy, she might have been able to protect her mother who was killed by Rebel soldiers and wouldn't have needed protection by being sent to live with an Aunt that she didn't particularly like.

Soon however, based on observations of being boyish comes naturally to Marly. Her deception is aided by the fact that no one expects a young woman to be travelling on her own dressed as a boy. The important thing is that no man sees her as a woman and takes advantage of her and although she doesn't think Jase Strachan would ever do such a thing, Marly can't and won't let her guard down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely characters and vivid settings October 23, 2012
By Lornwal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alison Bruce has written a charming Western, filled with appealing, fully-developed characters and settings so well-populated and historically accurate that we can just about taste the dust. Character development is emphasized, and we come to know Marly, Jase, and the inhabitants of Fortuna very well. There is a mystery Jase and Marly must solve and a journey they must make together. They also must figure out what to do with their growing love for one another, complicated - sometimes humorously, sometimes quite poignantly - by the fact that Marly has convinced everyone she is a boy.

UNDER A TEXAS STAR has some elements in common with TRUE GRIT, but it is a unique and imaginative story in its own right. It's wonderful to read a book that takes the time to really explore its characters. I'm very happy to recommend this novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful western! Good plot! August 17, 2011
By IngaKS
My review:

This is a second Western Romance I was reading. I received the book for reviewing directly from the author and I am very glad for the possibility to read and review Under a Texas Star. I was fascinated by the title of the book at first and when I read the book blurb, I was hooked! Under a Texas Star was well written with a solid plot and interesting characters. Alison Bruce's writing style made it very easy and enjoyable to read!

Regarding the plot:

Meet Jase Strachan, a Texas Ranger who is after a con man Charlie Meeks. Jase has got the order to catch the con man and on his road he meets a young guy Marly Landers who draws Jace's attention. Jace finds out that the boy is also headed to El Paso and offers to take Marly under his protection.

On their way to El Paso they are forced to stay in Fortuna to solve a murder case. What Marly does not know is that Jace has realized who she really is - a disguised woman seeking for her own revenge. In El Paso it's getting more and more difficult for Marly to hide from others that she is a woman. Marly starts to get more and more attached to ace and people in Fortuna and due to the disguise she is seen like a suitable "future-husband-to-be" for a young lady from Fortuna. Besides that both Jace and Marly get attracted to each other and they have to be very careful for not showing it, because it would not be proper thing for Texas Ranger to travel together with a young woman.

The settings on the road and in Fortuna were really well described, the details of ranchers' and rangers' life were interesting and the writing was very figurative in that sense, that it created living images while reading. I loved the city of Fortuna with its differences and morals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny thing happened on the way to El Paso.
I don't normally read westerns but this one was really great. I my have to read more as long as there're by Alison Bruce. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn G. Manuel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by texasguy928
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, long journey to get there.
I enjoyed the whole premise of the story, but it took too long and there were too many people to keep track of in the middle of the book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Zoe Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars best
I started to quit reading this book, stayed with it Got so into it I had a hard time putting it down.. Very good read..
Published 11 months ago by jlspiker
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes early western mysteries. It's exciting & humorous, with surprises throughout. excelent
Published 11 months ago by cyndi
5.0 out of 5 stars in my re- read list
I love this book. I have read it several times now. The characters are delightful, well drawn by the author and dimensional. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that relies on the story
This is a very good story that is fueled by the strength and details of the characters, their backgrounds and locations. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing
I loved this book! The story is sweet. The female character is strong and capable, just the way I like them. The male character is loving and protective. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Romantic Story
This book was a nice engaging romantic western. I enjoyed Marly's spunk and liked all the characters in the book. Read more
Published 17 months ago by sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
I just loved the way the relationship between Marly and Jase developed.
This book kept me turning pages to find out what happened next.
Well done Alison - loved it.
Published 20 months ago by MishkaGirl
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