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End of the Trail

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Overview

He enters a poker game and wins a new life

She loses the only home she has ever known

Two hostile adversaries are forced to work together

In 1896 Brooks Morgan pulls into the town of Shoofly, Texas, to take refuge from a storm. He befriends Will Langston in the local café and agrees to help him out in exchange for room and board. A high stakes poker game ends in Brooks ...

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Overview

He enters a poker game and wins a new life

She loses the only home she has ever known

Two hostile adversaries are forced to work together

In 1896 Brooks Morgan pulls into the town of Shoofly, Texas, to take refuge from a storm. He befriends Will Langston in the local café and agrees to help him out in exchange for room and board. A high stakes poker game ends in Brooks holding the deed to Will's ranch with a promise to "take care of Keri." His joy is short-lived, for when he returns home he finds Will dead - murdered.

When Brooks finally rides to Raven Creek Ranch, he is greeted by a rifle pointed straight at his chest. The same woman who came to his rescue earlier is now ready to shoot him. This is the "Keri" he promised to take care of-Will's niece-who believes Raven Creek is her inheritance.  Keri and Brooks have only one thing in common - they both want to protect the ranch. Is this really God's plan to save Raven Creek Ranch? Or did Will stage the whole fiasco?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What a truly wonderful book! Brooks Morgan is the ultimate slightly-flawed hero with a cocky grin that's bound to make any female reader fall in love. After a decade of drifting and learning life's lessons the hard way, Brooks wins a ranch in a poker game. Trouble is, feisty Keri Langston thinks Raven Creek Ranch belongs to her. If she'd known Brooks Morgan held the deed to her property, she might have left him hanging on the end of the rope she found him on, instead of shooting him free and saving his sorry life.But she didn't know. She did shoot him free. And now he's a way-too-happy, far-too-handsome thorn in her side.The End of the Trail is a hilarious, heart-rending, soul-searching rollercoaster ride. I loved it, and didn't want the ride to end. But then, I always love McDonough's work. This author presents stellar writing; wonderful, unexpected humorous moments; touching, heart-wrenching situations that make it hard to know who to root for; and consistently riveting storylines.I dare you to read this book and not smile! Thing is, you will smile...and get a little weepy...and gasp in surprise a few times, as well. End of the Trail really is that good." -- Review by Vickie McDonough

"Because the Morgan Family Series has several authors, there is a great deal of difference in the quality of the various reads even though characters remain consistent. In End of the Trail writer Vickie McDonough does a better than average job of producing a work that is readable, entertaining, and consistent with the feel of the series as a whole. Her research is woven naturally into the plot and character details without the excessive insertion of archaic terms or extraneous facts that seem to plague other historical novels.

I would recommend End of the Trail to anyone looking for a light summer read. It's a good book to take on vacation or trip to the beach and has the rare quality of incorporating Christian culture and views without giving the impression they were tacked on to please the publisher." -- Review by Elizabeth Baker, www.ElizabethBakerBooks.com

"Vickie McDonough is a favorite local author (I have lots of favorite authors), and her humor shines through in spite of some serious subjects. I doubt that anyone will be surprised when the boy finally gets the girl. If you like historical novels, especially set in West Texas, or are already a fan of Vickie McDonough, you should enjoy this book." -- Review by Cathy Bickerstaff, Tulsa Beacon, 8/1/12

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802404084
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/25/2012
  • Series: The Texas Trail Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


VICKIE MCDONOUGH is the author of over twenty books including the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. Vickie's books have won the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, and the ACFW Noble Theme contest. Vickie lives in Oklahoma and is a wife of 35 years. She has 4 grown sons and one granddaughter. Visit Vickie's website: www.vickiemcdonough.com.
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Read an Excerpt

END OF THE TRAIL


By VICKIE McDONOUGH

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Vickie McDonough
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0408-4


Chapter One

Central Texas, 1896

Lightning skittered across the granite sky. The boom of thunder that followed spooked Brooks Morgan's horse into a sideways crow hop so unexpectedly that Brooks had to grapple for the saddle horn to keep from losing his seat. He tightened up on the reins and guided Jester back onto the trail. He had hoped to make it to the next town before the storm let loose, but it looked like he was in for a soaking. He didn't mind a good washing down, but Jester hated rain.

Rocks crunched beneath Jester's hooves as he trotted up the trail. A gnawing in the pit of Brooks's belly made him wish for a home-cooked meal, but those were hard to come by for a drifter like him. He glanced up at the ominous sky as another bolt of lightning made him squint. Tugging down his hat, he pulled Jester to a stop atop the hill to get his bearing. The sky looked as if twilight had already set in, though it was just two in the afternoon. Another bolt of lightning zigzagged from heaven to earth, with an explosion that set Jester prancing. Rain was one thing, but Brooks had no hankering to get hit by lightning.

He clucked out of the side of his mouth, and Jester leapt forward with no more encouragement. The black horse was as game as any, but send a little rain his way, and you could almost see a yellow stripe appear on his back. They topped another hill, and a small town came into view, barely visible because of the sheet of rain that was falling between Brooks and the place. Several lights flickered, welcoming him.

He reined the horse down the hill, thankful that the rain hadn't reached him yet to make the passage slick. At the bottom of the valley, he nudged Jester into a gallop. The horse slowed when the first raindrops hit him, but then stretched out into a long-legged gait that ate up the ground. Something hard hit Brooks on the shoulder, and he glanced sideways to see who had lobbed the object, but not another soul was out in this weather. Another rock hit the back of his hand, then the sky let loose in a storm of hail.

Brooks hunkered down. Rain was bad enough, but hail could kill a man. He reached the end of town, reined Jester to a trot, and rode him right up onto the boardwalk. The horse was the only thing of value he owned, and Brooks wasn't about to let him be pounded by hail. He slid off, rubbed his shoulders where the frozen rocks had pelted him, and listened to the loud thunking on the roof overhead. A layer of white had nearly coated the street.

Jester pawed the wooden floor of the boardwalk and jerked at the reins. Brooks ran his hand over the horse's coat, checking for injuries, then patted Jester's shoulder. "You're all right, boy."

A woman with a face that reminded him of a fox scampered out the door of a dress shop, shooing him away. "You can't have that beast on the boardwalk. He'll make a mess."

Brooks bit back the first thought that came to mind and smiled. He ducked his head, tipping his hat, and a river of water poured down onto the walkway. The woman yelped and jumped back. Brooks smiled and led Jester toward her. The horse hugged the wall, as if trying to get as far away from the hail as he could. "Sorry, ma'am." Brooks raised his voice to be heard over the clatter. "We'll just mosey on down to the café and see if we can't get something to eat."

She sucked in a breath, blinking her eyes as if she had dust in them. "Why ... they don't serve horses at the café—and get that beast off the boardwalk before—"

Her words were drowned out by the pounding of hail on the roof overhead. He passed a barbershop and nodded to the two men seated inside, one whose face was covered in lather. He brushed a hand across his own stubble. That was something he'd have to tend to himself since he had no money for luxuries like a shave in a barbershop.

The delicious scent of bread baking—or maybe pies—pulled him to the third shop. Clyde's Café was painted on the window, and a light shone from inside. Maybe the place was still open, although 2:00 p.m. was rather late for lunch. Brooks glanced at the street. The hail had lightened up but still thunked against the wooden rails and walkway. If a man didn't know better, he'd think it was winter by all the white that covered the ground, instead of late summer. He dropped Jester's reins, ground-tying the horse, and opened the door of the café.

One old man sat sideways in his chair, leaning against the wall, studying him. A rifle lay across the table next to him. Brooks nodded and glanced at the empty tables.

"C'mon over and join me, if 'n you've a mind to." Curious, light-blue eyes shone out from under a set of bushy, gray eyebrows that matched the man's thick moustache. He looked tall, if his long legs were any indication, but his frame was overly thin, like a man recovering from a long illness.

Brooks flashed a grin and nodded. "Don't mind if I do. I'm gettin' tired of eating with just my horse for company." He pulled out a chair, tugged off his wet hat, and laid it on the table behind him. He yanked on his shirt, which clung to his body, and peered up at the man. "I've had my bath now. Looks like I could use a change of clothes."

The man nodded. "Smells like it too." His gap-toothed smile softened his words.

A heavyset man with a day's growth of whiskers plodded out from behind a stained curtain. "Help you, stranger?"

"Just coffee." Brooks longed to order whatever it was that smelled so good, but that would have to wait until he had more money.

"That it? Just coffee?" The big man frowned then waddled to the back room. He returned with a coffee pot and a cup, which he set in front of Brooks, and filled the cup. Lugging the pot, he returned behind his curtain.

The old man chuckled. "Clyde takes it as a personal offense if folks don't buy his food."

"Nothin' personal about it. My pockets are just a bit lean at the moment." Brooks wrapped his hands around the cup and sipped the brew. A pleasant feeling of warmth traveled through him and helped satisfy his empty belly.

The man nudged his chin toward the window that Jester stood in front of "Nice horse."

Brooks nodded, liking the old man. "My pa gave him to me, a long time ago."

"Where's your pa now?"

"Waco." If he was still alive. Brooks pushed the barrel of the rifle back toward the wall so it wasn't pointing right at his heart.

"Know what kind he is?"

"Yep. A Morgan. My family raises them."

The man held out his hand. "I'm Will Langston. Welcome to Shoofly."

Brooks shook hands. "Brooks Morgan."

The man's fuzzy brows lifted, making his pale eyes seem larger. "Same name as your horse?"

Brooks nodded and took another sip of his coffee. "Yep. Even spelled the same."

Will chuckled. "I like you, boy." He looked over his shoulder. "Clyde, bring this fellow some of those chicken dumplin's and pie, if you've got any left over."

"I can't let you pay for my food—not unless you've got some kind of work I can do," Brooks said.

"That can be arranged. I'm in need of someone to help me while I'm in town."

Brooks studied the man, wondering what kind of help he needed. "Like what?"

Will ran his fingers over the engraving on the stock of his rifle. "I'm good at reading people, and I sense you're all right." He leaned forward, tapped his finger on the table, then glanced up, pain lacing his eyes. "There's no easy way to say this, but I'm dying."

Brooks sat back, staring at Will. That had been the last thing he'd thought the man might say. "I'm sorry."

Will pushed out his lips. "Don't be. I've lived a long life, and I'm ready to meet my Maker." He heaved a sigh that tickled Brooks's cheeks. "There are days, though, that I don't feel so well and could use some help. Nobody in this little town has the time. I thought maybe you'd be interested."

Rubbing the back of his hand against his cheek, Brooks stared at the old man. Being a nursemaid wasn't exactly the job he'd been looking for, but something about Will pulled at him. Maybe he could help out while he looked around for other work. "I reckon I could help for a bit."

Will's expression softened, and he smiled and leaned back. "Good."

Clyde set a plate heaping with chicken and dumplings in front of Brooks, then a fat slice of peach pie. Brooks wolfed down the food, hoping he wouldn't regret his decision. But how hard could it be tending an old man?

* * *

Wesleyan Female College Georgia

Keri Langston swatted at the badminton shuttlecock and smacked it clear across the net to the back row. She gave her roommate, Emily Adkins, a victorious smile. While she thought the game—one brought back from England by a student returning from break—was a waste of time, she seemed to be the only woman who could play it as well as the men. Maybe she hadn't lost all her rough edges.

Across the net, Emily dabbed at her cheek with an embroidered handkerchief.

Keri watched the shuttlecock fly over her head, then heard it whiz back after being hit by a player standing behind her. It smacked Emily in the forehead. Emily's eyes went wide, she back stepped, and fainted. The gentleman behind Emily caught her under the arms, and his surprised gaze collided with Keri's.

"Let's take her to rest under one of the trees," she said.

The man scooped up her friend and followed Keri to the nearest live oak. He set her down. "Should I get some water? The headmistress?"

Keri stooped beside her friend and peered up into the man's kind gray eyes. "Maybe some water. Emily has frequent bouts of fainting." She could hardly tell the man that Emily insisted on lacing her corset as tight as possible to make her waist extremely thin.

She waved her hand in front of Emily's face as several of their classmates gathered round.

"Is she all right?" Corrabelle Stuart asked.

"She will be." Keri swatted her hand in the air. "Y'all just scurry on back to whatever you were doing."

Charlotte Winchester leaned toward Keri's ear. "A refined lady does not say y'all, and we don't scurry." She straightened, her nose pointing up, and glided away.

Keri scowled at the wealthy young woman who'd been her nemesis ever since she first arrived at the Wesleyan Female College in Georgia. The only thing Keri liked about Charlotte was her last name—the same name as Keri's rifle back in Texas. How many times had she wished for her rifle, if for nothing else than to instill a little fear into Miss Charlotte Winchester. But no, two years at college had refined her into a lady—and a lady never shot someone who was unarmed.

The man returned with a glass of water just as Emily started stirring. Keri thanked him, lifted Emily into a sitting position, and held the cup to her friend's lips.

"Here, drink some of this."

Emily's lashes fluttered as she gazed past Keri to the young man still standing there. "Whatever happened?"

"You fainted," the man said.

"You got walloped in the head with a shuttlecock." Keri stared at the red spot on Emily's forehead. If her friend knew it was there, she'd probably faint dead away again.

"I'm heading back to the dorm to rest," said Corrabelle. "I'11 take her with me."

The man and Keri helped Emily stand, then Corrabelle wrapped an arm around Emily's waist, and the two toddled away.

"I'm Allen Dawson from Alabama." He tipped his hat. "You certainly handled that well. Calm and collected."

"Thank you. I'm Keri Langston from Texas."

"Ah, well, that explains it."

Keri frowned. "Explains what?"

"Why something like your friend's fainting didn't faze you. Being that you are from Texas, I would imagine that you're used to fighting outlaws and Indians."

Keri resisted rolling her eyes. That was all anyone in Georgia thought of Texas. "Why, that's correct. I've killed a dozen outlaws and more than twice that number of Indians."

Mr. Dawson's eyes widened; then he smiled, and his ears and cheeks reddened. "Ah ... you're joshing me, aren't you?"

Keri just shrugged. These Georgians were an uppity bunch, most turning their nose down at her because she didn't come from a wealthy Georgian family. Just two more weeks, and she'd be returning to Texas. She couldn't wait to get home.

She meandered across the wide lawn, glad to have a day free of her studies. Two men rode up on a near-matched pair of bays. They dismounted, and Keri studied their horses. Riding was one of the things she missed most. Oh, the school had riding classes, but she'd been forced to ride sidesaddle. What a horrible torture that had been.

Someone walked up beside her, and she glance sideways.

"That's Ben Martin and his brother, Arthur." Anna Kate Howard held her purse in her hand and swung her hips, making her skirt swish back and forth. "They're from a wealthy family that lives just outside of town. They're both so charming." Anna Kate blew out an exaggerated sigh.

Keri didn't bother to explain that she was more interested in the men's horses than them.

Someone sped past them, and Anna Kate shrieked. "Why ... why ... he stole my handbag. Somebody stop him!"

The lithe youth dodged around the few people who'd been close enough to hear Anna Kate, then tore off across the lawn. Keri's feet moved before her brain did, and she picked up her skirt, running toward the Martin brothers. "I need to borrow your horse. Give me a leg up."

Both men stared at her as if she'd gone loco. She snatched the reins from Arthur's hand, mounted without their help, and kicked the bay into a gallop. She focused on the thief and began closing the distance, but Miss Marks, the headmistress tried to head her off, arms waving. "Miss Langston, what do you think you are doing?"

Keri reined the eager bay to the right and passed her shocked headmistress. The boy had reached the edge of the school's lawn, and if he got to the side streets, she may well lose him. But the horse was fast. She rode past the boy, heading him off, and pulled back on the reins. "You there, give me that purse."

The youth tried to dodge past her, but she reined the horse around, as if cutting a steer out of the herd and pulled in front of him again. "You're not getting away unless you give me that purse. And a crowd is coming this way, so you'd better hurry if you don't want to get caught."

The boy glanced over his shoulders, his gaze frantic when he turned back. He flung the purse toward Keri and took off running the other way. She let him go this time. She hated dismounting and returning the horse, but she didn't want to be called a horse thief. Once on the ground, she picked up Anna Kate's purse and dusted it off.

The Martin brothers were the first to reach her. "Quite excellent riding," Ben said.

Arthur frowned. "She took my horse." He ran his hands down the animal's legs as if checking for injuries.

"I'm sorry for that, but I couldn't allow that thief to steal my friend's purse."

Ben grinned. "No, we can't have that, can we?"

"But she could have caused injury to Charlemagne." Arthur walked the horse around, keeping his eye on the animal.

"Ah, lay off her, Art. Can't you see she's a hero? Uh ... I mean a heroine." He smiled again and tipped his hat. "Ben Martin at your service. And that was the finest riding I've ever seen by a woman."

"Keri Langston, and thanks."

The crowd parted as someone struggled to the front. "Miss Langston, I need to have a word with you, right this instant."

Anna Kate followed on the headmistress's heels, panting hard. Her blue eyes sparkled. "Did you catch him?"

Keri nodded and handed the beaded bag back to her friend.

"Oh, thank you." Anna Kate hugged her purse to her chest. "All the money I have is in here."

"Then you shouldn't have brought it today." Miss Marks peered at Anna Kate through her thick spectacles, then turned her glare on Keri. "In my office, right now, Miss Langston."

The headmistress grabbed Keri's arm and dragged her through the crowd. Ben Martin tipped his hat to her with a wide grin on his handsome face. Keri ducked her head. She hated being the object of everyone's attention and could almost hear the snooty upper-society girls gossiping about what a backwoods ignoramus she was.

She had never wanted to come here in the first place, but Uncle Will had insisted she needed to learn to be a lady. Just two more weeks, and she could leave.

Two more weeks and she'd be home.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from END OF THE TRAIL by VICKIE McDONOUGH Copyright © 2012 by Vickie McDonough. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The descri

    This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The description isn't clear, but you only get 34 of 256 pages. Get the full book

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Would recommend

    This is a good, well written Christian story. I looked for and found the first book of this series. Enjoying it and hope to get all of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Great Novel

    End of the Trail is the sixth book in the Texas Trails series. Vickie McDonough weaves the tale of Brooks Morgan and Keri Langston. Brooks has been drifting in life for the past ten years, with no real ambition until he stumbles upon the small town of Shoofly, Texas. Brooks comes to the aid of an old man, and wins the deed to a ranch in a high-stakes poker game. Before the old man dies, he quips to Brooks to "take care of Keri." No problem, he grew up on a ranch and knows how to handle critters.

    Except Keri isn't the animal he was anticipating, but a beautiful young woman instead. Brooks doesn't know the first thing about what to do with her, and isn't about to give up his opportunity of a home of his own. Will they be able to solve their differences or will one of them need to go packing? I'm sure you'll enjoy this delightful tale set in 1896.

    This book was provided free for review by Moody Publishers and the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoy Vickie McDonough's writing style. Her stories flo

    I really enjoy Vickie McDonough's writing style. Her stories flow effortlessly and always leave me satisfied. This one is no different. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer! Brooks rides into the town of Shoofly during a hail storm, and the story takes off from there. There is a little bit of everything in this book. I loved that the story was fast paced, yet I still felt connected to the characters.

    Brooks Morgan started out as a spoiled, angry young man. I enjoyed watching him grow into a mature man of God. His attitude changed slowly througout the book from a man who smiled all the time to cover to pain to a man who smiled because he was actually happy and enjoying life. Keri Langston was a woman after my own heart. She is strong-willed, independent, and lonely woman. Everyone she loved has left her, giving her the feeling of abandonment. Watching her change from a lonely woman, to a woman loved by her God was exciting!

    Overall, this is a satisfying conclusion to the end of the series. As the back of the book states, "Doubt meets hope, and fear gives way to faith..." in this book, and throughout the series.

    **I received this book free from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brooks Morgan never saw the importance of learning how to run hi

    Brooks Morgan never saw the importance of learning how to run his family's ranch because he had no intention of taking it over when it was time. He also never understood the needs for doing so many chores when there were plenty of other brothers and sisters to do it. He'd rather spend his time fishing, hanging out with his friends or riding his Morgan, Jester. Yet when a confrontation with his father left him feeling less than wanted, he rode off and never looked back.

    Yet when opportunity presented itself to Brooks through needs of an elderly but friendly old man, Will Langston who hired him to help him out while he was dying, Brooks knew he couldn't run from this. In time, he actually grew to appreciate and care for Will and when fate dealt him a winning hand in a poker game, he found himself the new owner of Raven Creek Ranch, a 4000 acre cattle ranch owned by Will, with the promise he would care for Keri. When Will returns from town he finds the cabin in a disarray and Will looks to have been murdered. Rather than spend his time searching for revenge, the Marshall tells Brooks to head out to the ranch and leave the investigation to him.

    Keri Langston has spent two grueling years at Wesleyan Female College in Georgia and couldn't wait for her final days to be free. Even though she went under duress, she knew her Uncle and the boys on the ranch couldn't help her with knowing what a lady should know even though she didn't want it. They knew if she didn't attend finishing school, the likelihood of her finding a suitable husband would be hard to come by. Now she was looking forward to getting back to her Uncle's ranch and out of corsets and dresses and back into trousers and boots!

    When Keri arrives in town, she finds it odd that no one arrives to pick her up from the train station but believes perhaps her Uncle or one of the ranch hands didn't receive her letter informing them of her arrival and decides to head home. Along the way, she comes across a man about to be hanged and she knows that no justice ever comes from vigilante hangings. She is advised by the men to head on out so they can dispense with their task but Keri doesn't like anyone telling her what to do. She warns the men to turn the man loose or risk her wrath with a loaded shotgun. She sends them enough knowledge about her shooting skills when she shots the noose off the man and they leave but with a warning, they are both going to pay for this! What Keri doesn't realize is the man she saved is Brooks Morgan, the new owner of the ranch she still believes is hers and this is where the story gets exciting! But you'll have to pick up the book because that is all in the first couple chapters and there is loads more excitement behind the covers of Vickie McDonough's latest novel, End of the Trail, the six and final book in the Texas Trail Series.

    So if you love a great western romance with a little bit of intrigue and laughs tossed in for good measure, you'll want to pick this one up. But with it comes a warning. If you haven't read the other 5 books in the series, you'll want to pick those up as well but you can read this one as a stand alone and still LOVE it!

    I received End of the Trail compliments of Moody Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review and have to say being a huge Christian Western Romance lover, this one spoke to my heart and soul. I love the strong female character of Keri Langston and seeing how she handles the men that she meets along the way, doesn't show a girl can't wear a dress and still know how to rope, ride and shot like the best of the men. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and just know you'll love it too!

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brooks Morgan has been heading West working on one ranch after a

    Brooks Morgan has been heading West working on one ranch after another. As he rides into the little town of Shoofly it comes a downpour that turns into hail and sends him high tailing it up onto the boardwalk and into a cafe. As he entered a tired looking old guy invites to Brooks to sit at his table and offered to buy him a meal. The man introduces himself as John Langston and offers Brooks a job. Brooks was running out of cash so he excepted the job offer. It turned out that John is terminally ill and needs someone to stay with him until he succumbs to the disease. It was a strange request but he needed to earn some cash if he planned to eat and have traveling money to get him further West.

    Brooks didn't realize the job came with a renewal of his faith in God. John's friends had planted seeds of faith that took root in his hardened heart.

    One day while playing cards with John and some of his friends John and Brooks were the only ones left in the game. John laid down a deed to some property he owned outside of town and asked to see Brooks cards. Brook laid out his cards and John folded. It looked like Brook was the property owner of the Raven Creek Ranch.

    After John passed away and all was taken care of Brooks decided it was about time he saw this so called ranch. He wasn't expecting much but it would be his to do with as he chose. As he headed out some angry rough looking men stopped and questioned him about his proof of ownership of the ranch.

    Meanwhile back in Shoofly, Keri is just stepping off the train. Since her Uncle wasn't there to pick her up she went to the livery to rent a horse and headed on out to the ranch. As she rode out toward Raven Creek Ranch she noticed some men were in the process of trying to hang a man. Since she was a crack shot she aimed at the rope just above the man's head. No way could she let those scoundrels take the law into their own hands! As soon as the shot rang out and the rope fell the man's horse took off with him and Keri didn't waste anytime either. She was out of there fast. She was totally unaware that the man's hands were still tied and he had something over his face and no way of controlling his horse. Not good! Not good at all!

    I could go on and on but that would spoil the book for you. I wouldn't want that to happen. So grab the book and find out what happens to Brooks. What will Keri find or not find when she get's to the ranch? It looks like both of their lives are in for a big change.

    This book, just like the others in this series did not disappoint me. It was sad, intriguing and at times down right funny. I really like the story line of this young man running from responsibility for years only to end up in the same life he left. But now he is in a different town with his own ranch and letting God lead the way. I was really sorry for the book to end. I will miss the Morgan family.

    Vickie McDonough wrote two of the books in this series. Each books in the Texas Trails series can be read as a standalone book or as a series.

    I highly recommend this book along with the other books in the Texas Trails series.

    Disclosure
    I received a copy of this book from RiverNorth/Netgalley for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my own opinion.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Vickie McDonough in her new book, “End Of The Trail”

    Vickie McDonough in her new book, “End Of The Trail” Book Six in The Texas Trail Series published by River North Fiction Division of Moody Publishers takes us to Texas in 1865.

    From the Back Cover: He enters a poker game and wins a new life

    She loses the only home she has ever known

    Two hostile adversaries are forced to work together

    It didn’t take long for Brooks Morgan to make a name for himself in Shoofly. A high stakes poker game ends with Brooks holding the deed to his new friend Will’s ranch, a vague promise to “take care of Keri” and Will’s mysterious demise.

    When Brooks finally rides to the Raven Creek Ranch, he is greeted by a rifle pointed straight at his chest. This is the “Keri” he promised to take care of-Will’s niece-who believes Raven Creek is promised to her. Keri and Brooks have only one thing in common – they both want to save the ranch. Will their differences make this impossible?

    Doubt meets hope, and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family.

    It is with deep emotion I write that with “End Of The Trail” Vickie McDonough brings the Morgan Family series to their end of the trail. It is been a great series of six books that was begun with Darlene Franklin with ”Lone Star Trail”. You can read each of them as a stand-alone but it is much better when you read them in order.

    “End Of The Trail” is another romance set against the backdrop of Texas. Vickie McDonough takes up the story of the Morgan family that she began in book three, “Long Trail Home” as Brooks Morgan is Riley Morgan’s oldest son. Me, I really like Westerns. I like what authors can do with them and Vickie McDonough really knows how to write a Western. Anytime that a gambler can win a ranch in a poker game means that an exciting story is brewing and brew it does. Someone else wants the ranch, another wants Keri, Keri and Brooks don’t really get along and they need to if the Raven Creek Ranch will continue to belong to them. Let me assure you that this is an exciting book. In addition to being suspenseful it is also a romance. Then there is the theme of growing up, taking responsibility not only for your own actions but for others welfare and allowing God to mold you. If you enjoy history like I do then this book is for you. Ms. McDonough’s characters seem to come alive and it is like you are there at the Ranch fighting for it along with Brooks and Keri. “End Of The Trail” concludes the rich tradition of being all about families and relationships. I enjoyed this book a lot and am sorry to see the series end. Perhaps these three talented authors will team up again and bring us another series. I certainly hope so.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

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    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Wynn-Wynn Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough is a fascinating tale of lo

    End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough is a fascinating tale of love, restoration, trust, and reconciliation set against a plot of life-threatening greed.
    Brooks Morgan, a drifter, stumbles into Shoofly, Texas, in 1896 to get out of storm. He befriends a man, Will Langston, who sets him on a life-changing course. Brooks wins Will’s ranch in a poker game. Brooks sees it as an opportunity to finally settle down and prove, at least to himself, he’s not the lazy, good-for-nothing who ran away from home ten years earlier.
    What Books didn’t count on was Will’s niece, Keri. Back from what she saw as a two year exile to finishing school, she is anxious to change her dresses for pants and resume the life she loves, riding horses and tending cattle.
    They meet when Keri saves Brooks from being hung by men who want to take over the ranch. Fireworks explode when she learns Brooks now owns the ranch, a ranch she dreamed of owning.
    This is a most enjoyable read, especially for those who like historical romance. For me, it is a well written Western which captures the full flavor of the times as it tells the story of Brooks and Keri fighting to keep the ranch while also struggling in their own relationship.
    Danger and excitement will keep you turning pages as the two battle an evil land baron and a crooked banker who demands that Keri marry him.
    Ms. McDonough does an excellent job of allowing the relationship between Brooks and Keri to develop in a way that is believable. The two move from adversaries to reluctant allies against a common foe to struggles with growing affection for each other. She adroitly uses humor to both build tension between the two and then to soften each of them.
    The book never slows down as the author ratchets up the stakes and adds unexpected, yet believable, plot twists that keep the reader engaged to the very satisfying ending.

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  • Posted July 1, 2012

    I love Vickie's books. I did read her other Texas Trail book, bu

    I love Vickie's books. I did read her other Texas Trail book, but I haven't read the other four books by other authors. I didn't feel like I missed anything. This book can be read as a stand alone. However, I do believe this would be a fun series to follow from book one. One thing that drives me crazy is a sagging middle of a novel. You won't find that in End of the Trail. The story really picks up momentum in the middle where other books begin to sag. Like all her other books, Vickie does a fantastic job of pulling you back in time. You feel like you're riding up to the ranch, hiding in the woods, walking through the barn. She has a real gift for pulling you in. The story is fun with several twists. Her character's are flawed and real. A great book to put on your TBR pile!

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lynn F. for Readers Favorite "End of the Trail

    Reviewed by Lynn F. for Readers Favorite

    "End of the Trail" by Vickie McDonough is the sixth and last book in the 'Texas Trail series'. The novels revolve around the Morgan family that spent turbulent times in Texas spanning 50 years. In the final book one meets up with Brooks Morgan who in all reality was quite spoiled by his mother. Refusing to do the chores it takes to help run the ranch he leaves home and so his new life begins. Taking shelter from a storm he becomes friends with John Langston. Winning the deed to his ranch in a poker game John only asks of one thing, to take care of Keri. Now Brooks is in for a surprise because Keri is not what he thought she was. Though Brooks and Keri start out on the wrong foot they eventually turn to each other and to God.

    I have to admit that I have not read any of the other books in this series so I am not familiar with what took place previously but I do feel that this book can be read as a stand alone. I enjoyed the characters and liked to watch as Brooks finally grows up as he has to take on responsibilities. One of the main things I got out of the book is how we think when are children that we do the right things, but in the process ruin our life and learn our lessons through the hard knocks in life. I enjoyed the book but would have liked to have more insight into the Morgan family's struggles as that would have made the connection to Brooks stronger. If your forte is historical westerns then I feel you will enjoy this book.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    End of the Trail, the most recent offering from Moody Publishers

    End of the Trail, the most recent offering from Moody Publishers in the Morgan Family Series, is the story of Brooks Morgan as he struggles to grow from rebellious adolescent to manhood. He left home in anger at age sixteen and drifted for ten years before stumbling into Shoofly, Texas, during a rainstorm. Broke and hungry, he takes a job caring for an ageing rancher, Will Langston.

    Nursemaid to a sick, old man is not Brooks usual occupation, yet he grows to deeply care for Will who reminds him of the father he left behind in Waco. When he wins the deed to Will’s ranch in a friendly game of poker, Brooks tries to give it back but the dying man insists it was won fairly. His only request is that Brooks care for Keri after he is gone. Thinking “Keri” must be the family dog, Brooks agrees.

    In truth, Keri is an attractive niece that Will raised and sent to finishing school two years earlier. When she returns to Shoofly on the same day that Will is riding out to claim the ranch, misunderstandings and angers flare. These are complicated by the fact that her first encounter of Brooks is when she saves him from being lynched by shooting the rope around his neck loose from a tree limb.

    The author develops a touching and believable romance between Keri and Brooks that forms a delightful subplot to their joint efforts to defend the ranch from a land-hungry baron and a crooked banker. There is plenty of action to move the plot along and well developed characters without the predictability and shallowness too often found in Christian romance.

    Because the Morgan Family Series has several authors, there is a great deal of difference in the quality of the various reads even though characters remain consistent. In End of the Trail writer Vickie McDonough does a better than average job of producing a work that is readable, entertaining, and consistent with the feel of the series as a whole. Her research is woven naturally into the plot and character details without the excessive insertion of archaic terms or extraneous facts that seem to plague other historical novels.

    I would recommend End of the Trail to anyone looking for a light summer read. It’s a good book to take on vacation or trip to the beach and has the rare quality of incorporating Christian culture and views without giving the impression they were tacked on to please the publisher.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    What a truly wonderful book! Brooks Morgan is the ultimate slig

    What a truly wonderful book!
    Brooks Morgan is the ultimate slightly-flawed hero with a cocky grin that’s bound to make any female reader fall in love. After a decade of drifting and learning life’s lessons the hard way, Brooks wins a ranch in a poker game. Trouble is, feisty Keri Langston thinks Raven Creek Ranch belongs to her. If she’d known Brooks Morgan held the deed to her property, she might have left him hanging on the end of the rope she found him on, instead of shooting him free and saving his sorry life.
    But she didn’t know. She did shoot him free. And now he’s a way-too-happy, far-too-handsome thorn in her side.
    The End of the Trail is a hilarious, heart-rending, soul-searching rollercoaster ride. I loved it, and didn’t want the ride to end. But then, I always love McDonough’s work. This author presents stellar writing; wonderful, unexpected humorous moments; touching, heart-wrenching situations that make it hard to know who to root for; and consistently riveting storylines.
    I dare you to read this book and not smile! Thing is, you will smile…and get a little weepy…and gasp in surprise a few times, as well.
    End of the Trail really is that good.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Up front I need to admit that I have not read the other books in

    Up front I need to admit that I have not read the other books in the Texas Trails series. However, End of the Trail stands fabulously on its own. Never once did I feel I was missing something for not having read the previous books. Although, I must admit to being curious about some of the Morgan Family predecessors. Might just have to go pick up some of the other books. *grin*

    Vickie McDonough crafted a lovely story of two flawed characters. Both Brooks and Keri have been estranged from their families and have dealt with it in different ways. Brooks by charming his way through life and drifting from town to town. Keri by proving herself "man" enough to work a ranch despite having to suffer through two years of finishing school torture. When their lives intermesh, the sparks fly, but along the way, the need for family that they both harbor leads them to each other, to the ones they left behind, and to God.

    There is a bit of "Taming of the Shrew" in this story to liven up the interactions, although at times Keri's petulance got a bit old. However, I loved her spunk, her dead-eye aim with a rifle, and her dedication to the ranch. There is plenty of action and drama with a land-grabbing neighbor and a spurned suitor to keep the pages turning. And the powerful message of family reconciliation is one that will stay with me.

    End of the Trail is a fun, quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Readers who love western inspirational romance, will enjoy Ms. McDonoughs fast-paced tale.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

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    Texas Trails: A Morgan Family Series Book 6

    End of the Trail by Vicki McDonough
    Texas Trails:A Morgan Family Series Book 6
    In book 3 of this series: Lone Trail Home, we met Riley Morgan who had married Anne Sheffield. They lived near Waco, Texas. This book is about Brooks Morgan, their oldest son.
    After being a bit too spoiled as a youngster, Brooks has become a bit of a lazy boy by age sixteen. In a moment of anger he takes off on his horse, Jester. Ten years later we find Brooks too stubborn to face his family, broke and in a hail storm. He meets Will Langston, a man who is dying and needs help. Just a short time later Brooks has buried his friend, gained a ranch, and is about to walk into a heap of trouble. Not only from a greedy man wanting his ranch but also from a woman he promised to take care of. At the time he thought Keri was livestock, not a beautiful young woman.

    Keri Langston hated the school in Georgia Uncle Will sent her to. Soon she could be back on Raven Creek Ranch, with Uncle Will and out of the fancy dresses and back into her britches with her Winchester and horse. That was the plan. Instead she finds her Uncle Will is dead and some smiling handsome gambler now owns her home. She don't give up easy but neither do those around her. Dengler the neighbor wanting the ranch nor Carl Peters who has wanted to be her beau for years. Between their pride and stubbornness can these two people find not only love for each other but to allow themselves to see God's love in their lives?

    I really enjoyed End of the Trail. Vickie brought the characters to life and we got to see Brooks mature right in front of us. Taking care of Will taught him some responsibility. It also brought the real life fact into the book how pride can keep us from doing the right thing and selfishness can stop us from thinking about anyone but ourselves. Poor Riley & Anne never knew for ten years whether Brooks was alive or dead. I also enjoyed when Keri was in Georgia learning to be a lady. They just couldn't take the Texan out of her. The book also shows how parents do what is best for us, sometimes we don't get to see the whole picture until much later in life...as Keri did. Just a great story all the way around.

    This is the last book in this series. The trails have been long and tough and filled with violence, hate, prejudice, death and greed. But they have been filled with good things as well. We watched as the Morgan Family grew and spread out, where God blessed them in some ways and walked with them through sorrow to make them stronger in other ways. If you enjoy history, adventure and romance all in one...this series is worth the time to read. The three authors have come together in their writing these six books to put these great stories together.

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    Posted November 26, 2012

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    Posted February 10, 2013

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