The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger

by Lorraine Heath

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A version of this work originally appeared in the print anthology To Tame a Texan, under the title "Long Stretch of Lonesome."

A hired gun falls for the one woman who's completely wrong for him in this Western romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath.

Chance Wilder never wanted to be a hero. A road-weary gunslinger with a ruthless reputation, he focuses only on his next target—and his next payday. That is, until a young boy offers Chance everything he owns—a piece of string, a harmonica, and a bent penny—if he'll save his sister from a couple of thugs. Chance agrees, only to discover that the beautiful, fierce young woman in need of rescue is actually the very person he's been hunting: his next mark.

But after he saves her, Lillian Madison awakens in him long-buried dreams and possibilities. Facing the demons of his past, Chance is forced to question his next move. Dare he risk everything by following his heart … and trust that the road to redemption begins with Lillian?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062353078
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 90,018
File size: 516 KB

About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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The Gunslinger 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
Copy received for an honest review Although I know that Lorraine Heath is an accomplished author I had my doubts about liking about this novella. I’m glad to say that I was wrong. This was a great story and the characters were really fantastic. Usually I read Heath’s historical romance because I really love them. This story takes place in the Wild West. Chance Wilder, adequately named, lives his life as a hired gun. He is rumored to have killed over twenty-eight people. His life is a serious of chances. Every fight he gets into is a chance to life or die. He has no home and drifts from town to town helping the people that hire him. Chance is hired by Toby, a young fourteen year old to save his sister Lillian. Although Lillian is in a very dangerous situation she thinks that she can take care of herself. When Chance rescues her she is grateful but repulsed by his lifestyle and his reputation. Chance never attaches himself to people or towns and tries not to get attached to Lily and her brother but he soon realizes that this job won’t be like the ones before. As Lily and Chance get to know each other they both discover that their mutual reputations lack truth. The town has Lily pegged as a whore when Jack Ward is found dead in her bed. The Ward family wants to run Lily off the land that Mr. Ward left her. They rationalize that the only reason that he left her the land was because they had some type of illicit affair. Chance also falls into this category but he can’t help to grow to care for both Lily and her brother and before long he is trying everything in his power to protect her. I’m so glad that this short novella is a part of a series because I really enjoyed it. Although only a few hundred pages I really loved both Lily and Chance and loved that they both really got to know their mutual truths. Both their reputations are not the least bit warranted and they are both genuinely caring and good people. Heath was able to make me love the characters, wishing they both had a happy ending and at the same time deliver a couple of surprises that I did not see coming. I really enjoyed and highly recommend this short novella.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chance saves Lillian when she is about to be gang raped in an alley by five men. They have already broken her little brothers nose and one of the bullies is holding a gun at his head. He shoots one and the others back down . Is Lillian grateful. Not one iota. In fact when he accompanies them home and collapses because he has been shot she debates with herself whether or not she should save his life. Hard to believe that a woman would have all this sympathy for a bully rapist and none for the man who took a bullet to save her. On top of that if she would have explained to the rancher next door why his father gave her the property he would not have been hiring gunslingers at 10k a pop to drive her off. She said she couldn't get near him. Well send him a note dumbo before you or your little brother get killed. Lorraine Heath is so much better then this. Big disappointment. Still gave it 3 stars because stupid story that it is she still has a nice writing style.
jojoNE More than 1 year ago
Lorraine Heath is my go-to author for western reads full of heartwarming moments and The Gunslinger once again solidifies my beliefs. When a tarnished hero with a hidden heart of gold comes to town on a mission to force a woman from her land he does the unexpected and changes his future irrevocably. Chance has been living a lonely existance since a tragic event befell his brother and set him on a path of self-destruction. His reputation as a master gun-for-hire has him always looking over his shoulder and only able to dream of settling down and having a family. That dream taunts him even more when he comes to the rescue of Lillian, the woman he's being paid to drive from her property. As she nurses him back to health he comes to realize that love is the only thing worth fighting for, and dying for, but when another gunslinger comes to finish what Chance started the future he hoped to have with Lillian might be over before it starts. Chance was a man of few words but his actions spoke volumes. He was thought to be a badass but he was a kind man who had a strong moral code. My heart ached for what happened to him when he was young and the years of self-loathing he heaped upon himself that led to his solitary existence. Being with Lillian and her brother brought out flashes of humor and a few carefree moments that were endearing and had me cheering him on to take a chance at making a life with them. The whole town thinks Lillian's a whore after Mr. Ward dies in her bed so they stand by as she's endlessly harassed by the man's son who wants to run her off his family's land. The truth is drastically different but the opportunity to reveal that truth never seems possible until an unexpected savior arrives in the guise of an enemy. Olivia is a kindhearted woman who just wants to live in peace with her younger brother Toby but soon ends up making a deal with the devil to save her home. She abhors violence and at first it colors her impression of Chance. While tending his wounds she soon discovers he's an angel in disguise, a man with a painful past she longs to soothe. With time running out and with his enemies always on his doorstep a future with him seems unlikely, but unexpected events occur that changes both of their futures. Olivia is an immensely likable heroine who's sweet yet has a fiery spirit when those she loves are in jeopardy. She wants only the best for her brother as their past was a painful one and it's left her his sole caretaker with the farm being their dream and the lone bright spot amidst years of loneliness and struggle. As she gets to know Chance though she finds a new dream and to save him she'll sacrifice everything. Along with two strong main characters there's the delightfully endearing and sweetly humorous Toby. He's a ball of energy and a breath of fresh air that brings out a sweet side to Chance while his presence brought a smile to my face and he'll make a wonderful hero of his own one day. The sexual tension was obvious from the moment Chance swooped in to save Lillian and slowly evolved into more. The lone sexual encounter was a bit rushed and not too finely detailed but still satisfying. These two lonely souls are clearly a match made in heaven and their love story was one that kept me on the edge of my seat with danger coming from every direction. Ms. Heath beautifully balanced that tension with a sweet and sensual romance that was wrapped up in a heartwarming bow and proves her talent once again!
Anonymous 12 days ago
I've read a lot of western romances and this one had so much potential. But packing it into 75 pages, including the epilogue, did a disservice to the story. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could but I'll settle for 4 because I don't regret reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a short and sweet read, worth it.
Karenls1956 More than 1 year ago