Book Review – Ruby Run by Sam Burns

Tin Star Witches: The Witches of Ruby Gulch #3
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 178
Characters: Augie/Griff
POV: 3rd
Genre: Western, Paranormal, Series.

Augustus Ambrose never planned to return to the United States after graduation. His mother’s final letter, with its dire threats about what would await if he did, had been more than enough to keep him away. But when his Aunt Grace dies unexpectedly and leaves him her ranch in the New Mexico Territory, he can’t ignore it. Grace gave him everything, and he can’t let her legacy suffer for his childish fear of his mother.

Griffith Taylor doesn’t want much. Quiet nights on the range, a big blue sky, and no rattlesnakes in his boots. He definitely doesn’t want to travel to Boston to take care of his late boss’s heir. When he lays eyes on his charge, everything changes. Not just because Augie is the best looking greenhorn he’s ever clapped eyes on, oh no.

Someone wants Griff’s new boss dead, and they’re not afraid to use forbidden magic to get the job done. Griff can handle himself in a fight, but this job might be more than he’s prepared for.

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So much to love about this story. I loved the mix of the old west, magic, and zombies, which is genius. The world building is fabulous and very well thought out. That and the characters pulled me into the story, and didn’t let go until the last page. I thought it was a sweet story yet with plenty of action, and romance.

I loved the characters. I felt for Augie with his upbringing and crazy mother, and how his self doubt because of it. Having him not being able to taste or smell is an interesting original twist. I really liked how he became more confident in himself and his abilities as the story progressed. Although I guessed where his strength in magic lay, it didn’t detract from the story, as I enjoyed reading about his journey to that point. I love him and Griff together. They’re good for each other. I liked how Griff just took everything in his stride and wanted Augie right from first sight. I loved him in action in a gun fight too.

Walt, of course, deserves a mention. He’s a great character and steals every scene he’s in. I was very happy with the way Cerebus’storyline pans out too. I would have loved to have met Augie’s aunt as she sounds like an amazing lady. I liked how this alternative west has some very capable women as part of it.

The magic is interesting and different, yet perfect for the setting. Although I enjoyed the epilogue and the closure it gave, I’d love to see another story with Augie and Griff. 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
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