Something was prowling around outside in the darkness. I could hear the sound of objects on the patio being shuffled around. Slowly and cautiously, I made my way to the French doors at the rear of our house, wanting to see who or what was out there. Once I was in position, I flipped the switch on and flooded the yard with light.
Raccoons! Not one, but two of the creatures were investigating the cat’s leftovers. They cautiously scurried further away from the door, but not too far, because they were as curious as I was.
I watched them.
They watched me.
And finally we both decided we had seen all we would, and resumed our nocturnal activities.
Lightning and Lawmen
by Shanna Hatfield
Series: Baker City Brides #5
Publication Date June 28, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Western, Clean Romance
Setting: Oregon Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?
Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!
Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.
Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.
Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.
I would like to thank Shanna Hatfield for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Delilah’s charm didn’t leave only the deputies falling over themselves to be around her, but attracted even Oliver, the raccoon. After a less than favorable first meeting, she and the little critter declared a truce and even became fast friends. Author Shanna Hatfield did such a great job of including him into the story, not only using an adorable raccoon graphic at the head of each chapter (if you look closely, the raccoon there is made up of flowers – brilliant!), but including Ollie in the text of each chapter as well, allowing him to play a prominent part in this delightful book.
As with many of the author’s heroine’s, Delilah is strong, independent, resourceful, and intelligent. As the daughter of a scientist, she had an inquisitive mind. I enjoyed the way she didn’t let anything deter her from seeking out the birds she was so fond of, including putting on trousers and climbing trees.
Dugan was an interesting man. For some reason, he felt it necessary to hide his intelligence, though not from Delilah. He was head over heels about her but didn’t have the confidence to pursue her, especially when his best friend, Seth, squired her around town. The scene at the dance and the ensuing events were great! The very strong attraction between Delilah and Dugan resulted in some swoony kisses, yet they remained clean and appropriate. It was evident that the pull is not merely physical.
I love the way author Shanna Hatfield managed to impart so much information about meteorology, birds, and other things relevant to the time period into Lightning and Lawmen and yet doesn’t make it sound like she is simply spouting off facts. Each piece of knowledge is wrapped into the story in such a way that it is very natural and just fits.
Included with the romance were a murder and a mystery. Someone was breaking into the weather station and also into Delilah’s house, but why? The way that was resolved was interesting and the rescue was so much fun.
The Baker City Brides (and their husbands) from previous books of the series all play prominent roles in this one, which allowed me to catch up on how they are all doing. The details included from the past were just enough to not make the reader feel lost if they had not read the others and not so many to make those who have read them feel like their story was being rehashed in this one.
(Feel free to take any of these quotes for your use. The photographs on them were taken by me.)
Preview of Lightning and Lawmen
Shanna Hatfield’s Lightning and Lawmen Pinterest Board
(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
Excerpt from Lightning and Lawmen
Whatever was in the tree certainly didn’t belong there. Snatches of brown stood out among the green leaves. A few more feet closer and he concluded the intruder in the tree was of the human variety, most likely a boy. Why wasn’t the youngster in school?
Dugan moved directly beneath the tree and looked up. A grin spread across his face and his eyebrows rose toward the brim of his hat. The person in the tree might be dressed like a boy, but with a curvy backside like that, and a long tendril of wavy brown hair escaping the cap tugged on their head, he had no doubt he was staring up at a woman.
But what woman would wear britches and climb trees? This one shimmied up to a branch where he could see a bird’s nest close to the end of it. She straddled the branch and inched her way forward.
The only female he could think of who’d do such a thing was on a train heading east. Wasn’t she?
When the woman stretched out on a limb, trying to get a better view into a bird’s nest, he caught a glimpse of her profile and sucked in a breath.
“Delilah?” he asked in baffled wonderment.
The woman gasped as she whipped her head around to look at him. She lost her grip on the branch and would have fallen if she hadn’t quickly regained her composure and wrapped her arms around the branch.
“What in Sam Hill are you doing up there?” Dugan shifted so he could get a better look at her face.