Keegan’s Lady (Keegan-Paxton #1)by Catherine Anderson

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I’m still awaiting my beloved books to be delivered from both Book Depository and Open Trolley Bookstore, and I have to say they’re seriously taking longer than I expected…especially when I couldn’t wait to get my hands on ‘The Arrow’– I was just hoping it’ll get delivered before today as I have the day off tomorrow, was going to use the whole of tonight for it. As it is, I managed to get a copy of Keegan’s Lady, and decided to read through it.

For some reason, I stopped reading in sequence after I reached the part of Ace Keegan’s stepfather being lynched and his mother raped when he was so very young. Probably because it was so sad, I skimmed through and started again at the middle of the book.

Ace Keegan had a stepfather who’s responsible, god-loving and a person who’s as far from violent as you have ever seen. He bought land with a lot of money which he wanted to give his children a good life with. Unfortunately, he was ultimately driven off his own land, and then accused falsely of murder by Connor O’Shannessy. I wouldn’t drive more on the details of this terrible night, except the fact that his stepfather was unjustly and horribly killed and his mother was raped.

Many years later, Ace came back to No Name with his brothers to seek revenge and cleared his stepfather’s name. What he didn’t expect was to fall in love with Caitlin O’Shannessy, Connor’s daughter.

There’s so many things I love in this book: Ace. He’s such an honourable person, and did so many tender things for Caitlin that he made me teary-eyed. Just because he promised her he wouldn’t lay a hand on her brother Patrick, even when Patrick was taking advantage of the situation, he let the latter beat him to a bloody pulp without even defending himself. He’s so patient with her retarded cat (although generally cats and dogs are innocent and so loving, I can’t imagine why people will want to hurt them), so patient with her even when she doubted him every step of the way. Even when he was going to be hung (again, for a crime he was falsely accused of), he wasn’t even thinking of himself. NO! All he thought about was he didn’t want Caitlin seeing this, didn’t want Caitlin to be hurt! There’s so many things that he’s done for her..I might have to start quoting the whole book if I’m going to describe everything.

Caitlin had suffered so much in her life that she couldn’t trust Ace for a long portion of the book. When her brother came up to them in a drunken stupor to accuse Ace of using her, without allowing him to explain himself, which the man was begging for a chance to, she wanted to leave him. I was so angry! After all Ace had done for her, how could she do that to him? Yet I had to remind myself that after what she had suffered, it is natural for anyone to have that kind of reaction. Although I was impatient with her for a better portion of the book, I felt her pain when she almost lost Ace at the end, and I admired her strength for standing up for Ace and standing up to her drunken brother.

I love all of Ace’s brothers; they’re all so supportive and loyal to each other! Joseph especially has captured my interest, I can’t wait to read more about him in Summer Breeze! Sigh…I’ll have to finish reading all the books I’ve recently ordered before I can allow myself to order more books I suppose… I’ve to remind myself I’m on a tight budget! Budget woman!

I disliked Patrick, Caitlin’s brother literally from the start to the end of the book. However, I supposed he’s a character needed to make Ace appear more heart-shatteringly kind, despite his tough physical outlook. Plus his courage to save Ace’s life at the end sort of minutely balances my negative impression of him.

Catherine’s characters are so human to me. Keegan was fearful for his life when he was arrested by the marshal and when he knew the ignorant town people were going to hang him, yet he did what he thought was right. Her characters weren’t just tough men who didn’t get hurt– they got scared, possessive, loving, they bled, they got vulnerable…

On a side note, this story took place in the 1800s, and I haven’t read too many stories from this era. I was surprised to learn they have condoms then (although they’re made from sheep gut)… it sounds weird…wouldn’t there be blood? And men from that era seemed hard, but honourable, polite ( as in they tipped their hats to people in greeting), but they didn’t draw the line at fighting. A contradiction, and a fascinating era to read about.

Rating: 4.5/5

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