Book Review – Wild as the West Texas Wind by Jackie North


Love Across Time #3
Publisher: Self-published, Blue Rain Press
Pages: 254
Characters: Zach/Layton, Tam
POV: 3rd
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Series

Blurb:
Soulmates across time. Two hearts that were meant to be together.

In present day, Zach takes a road trip to Trinidad to find information on a missing friend.

In 1892, Layton Blue, outlaw, longs for hearth and home even as he treasures his life of freedom.

A freak rainstorm washes Zach’s car into a ditch, sending him back to the year 1892. Searching for help, alone and on foot in the middle of the nowhere, he crosses paths with the famous Ketchum Gang. Now the gang’s prisoner, Zach’s fate is to be sold at a seedy auction for whores.

Layton is put in charge of making sure Zach does not escape, but as the chemistry between them grows, Layton finds himself wanting to help Zach.

Can Layton overcome years of being on the run? Can Zach accept help from an outlaw?

A male/male time travel romance complete with fast rides across the desert, campfires beneath the stars, cool water in the desert, wild rescues, and true love across time.

Buy Link

Review

I love the descriptions in this story. They pulled me right in right from the beginning, and set the scene. I particularly love the historical details as it makes the setting feel very real. It’s obvious the author has researched the location in both times.

I also enjoyed how this story links to the previous one in the series, although I didn’t feel lost with not having read it. Honey From the Lamb is now sitting in my TBR queue. The time travel explanation is rather neat, and not obvious except for in hindsight. I thought Zach’s reaction to his predicament was realistic with his initial disbelief and trying to find a rational explanation, to his growing realisation that he was in a lot of trouble, and in the past. I thought the author captured the differences between his time and 1892 well especially in the details of him not sure how to use a straight razor or ride a horse, both things that Layton takes for granted. On the flip side, as an outsider to the time, and way of life, Zach provides insight into Layton’s situation. The scenes where Layton plays his harmonica are beautiful. I loved the description of his music and in particularly how it touched Zach’s emotions.

I also loved the difference between Zach and Layton and how Zach gives Layton hope for the future and the impetus to change his life. Their romance is a lovely slow burn as they develop feelings for each other, and build a friendship at the same time. Their first love scene is very sweet, sensual and emotional. I thought the difference between the two with Zach being more confident in his sexuality than Layton makes sense given their backgrounds and the societies they come from.

Tam, Layton’s horse, is a character in her own right, and steals every scene she is in. I thought Tom was also portrayed very well. He is a nasty piece of work, especially in the way he subtly convinces Layton to give him loyalty, and persuades him to basically exchange one cage for another.

The plot kept me reading, and sitting up far too late, as I became invested in Zach and Layton and their story very quickly and I needed to know what happened next. The showdown between them and Tom is exciting, and doesn’t go the way I expected. NB Tom Ketchum was a real person, and I liked how the author chose the year this story is set in so it fits with history.

I’d recommend Wild as the West Texas Wind to readers who enjoy time travel romance stories with the fish out of water element, interesting characters, and a story that keeps you turning pages. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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