The Lone Warrior: Once Upon A Time In the West

The Lone Warrior: Once Upon A Time In the West

by Lori Austin

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The third book in the exciting and sexy "Once Upon A Time In The West" Series from Lori Austin.

Rose Varner needs a man…
But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne.  Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary…
Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test…


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451242327
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: Once Upon a Time in West Series , #3
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lori Austin is the pseudonym of two-time RITA Award–winning romance author Lori Handeland. She sold her first novel in 1993 and has written many since. Lori lives in southern Wisconsin with her husband, enjoying occasional visits from her two grown sons.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A brilliant and talented storyteller who doesn’t disappoint.”—USA Today Bestselling Author Lorraine Heath

Praise for the Once Upon a Time in the West novels
“Lori Austin knows how to build tension and keep the pages turning.”—Kaki Warner, award-winning author of Bride of the High Country
Refreshingly different…leaps off the page”—Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters

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The Lone Warrior: Once Upon A Time In the West 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Shortstride More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book. First one I have read of Lori Austin and already a fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you write a book? Tell me about it here!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RhondaRFK More than 1 year ago
The Lone Warrior is my first book by this author and although being part of a series I read this book first and it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the first of the series. One thing I discovered by the time I reached the end is the I definitely wanted to go back and read the earlier books. This author is simply, in one word, great. The setting is the old west with a damaged, although sexy hero who survived being a captive of the Cheyenne. The brave and strong heroine is no measly miss but needing help to rescue Lily from the Cheyenne. The couple faces danger and steamy sexual tension while undertaking the rescue mission. Lily, the heroine’s daughter, is taken captive by the Cheyenne and staying strong she sets out to rescue her. Who better, she believes, could help her other than an ex-captive of the Indians, Luke, the hero. As a result of his past experiences Luke has problems of his own and has no interest in going down that road again and wants nothing to do with getting that close to the Cheyenne again. Rose, the heroine, being headstrong and determined, will not take no for an answer. The roadblocks and issues the couple must face on their journey reveals that everything is not a bed of roses and helps them develop strength and hope through each other. The hero had to, throughout his past, literally fight to stay alive and meeting a woman who is not afraid to fight to get what she needs or wants or believes in is surprising to him. And Rose is definitely that, as she is every inch a female warrior willing to fight, and even faces death several times, to gain back her family. The trials they endure will provide a strong foundation that will last them a lifetime, if they can survive. The author grabs your attention from the start and holds it until the end with all the events throughout the book. The reader actually feels as if they become part of the story and you will remember the characters long after having read the book. The story is not a fairy tale but creates a picture of living within the period of time. The hero and heroine helps each other overcome damaged pasts and through trials develop love towards each other. Nothing is predictable throughout the story and each character and event is absolutely believable. This author deserves grand applause for presenting a believable romance while maintaining harsh dangers and reality of the time period. This will not be the only book I read by Lori Austin. The third book in the exciting and sexy "Once Upon A Time In The West" Series from Lori Austin. Rose Varner needs a man… But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne. Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary… Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test… Don't miss the first two books, BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY HUNTER and AN OUTLAW IN WONDERLAND
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was Book 3 of the "Once Upon a Time... Trilogy"... I loved all three books and the story of Luke and Rose was right up their with the first two... But that said, I can't read too many books like this because they are really sad... This book details the settling of the West following the Civil War and details the horrible ways the Native Americans were treated by both settlers and the Army...This book also went to great length to describe an Indian culture that was both kind and cruel... In spite of it Ms.Austin weaves beautiful but sad love stories and somehow manages almost happy endings... Ms. Austin's writing skills, her obvious research and her well developed stories speak to her talents as an author...
Bitten-By-Love-Reviews More than 1 year ago
 Rose had her two year old daughter stolen from her over a year ago and has been searching for her. Now she is searching for The White Ghost who seems to be her only chance of finding her daughter. They have to battle not only the Indians but the Military in hopes of finding Lily. The clash of the real and not so real are ever present.     The plot was interesting and had you wondering what was going to happen next. Was the romance going to get in the way or Luke's background with the Cheyenne? The heartbreak of a mother having a child stolen wants a happy ending. Will her child be found safe and if so will she remember her mother or is she now one of the Indians.         I liked this book and think the author Lori Austin did a great job in bring all the emotions of grief and hope into this story.  The descriptions of the events that took place also were beautifully written.
lvsgund More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy westerns and emotional stories, this one if for you! The Lone Warrior is the third book in Lori Austin's "Once Upon A Time In The West" series. As with the other two books, Lori writes wonderful descriptions of scenery and events. She describes in gritty details traumatic events that her characters face while on a desperate journey to retrieve a child taken captive by the Cheyenne. This story involves Luke Phelan who lives as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas, who is known as the "White Ghost with Hair of Fire." Rose had her two year old daughter stolen from her almost two years ago and believes that Luke is her only chance of finding her. Together they battle the Military and the Indians in hopes of finding Rose's daughter, Lily. Like all of Lori's books, the plot moved quickly and kept me guessing what would happen next. I really enjoyed the interplay between Rose and Luke, and you couldn't help but root for them in their quest for Lily. 
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
This book is simply irresistible! It’s everything you’ve come to expect from a Lori Austin book! Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down! This book has action, drama, suspense and passion.When Rose Varner sets out to rescue her kidnapped daughter from the Cheyenne, she knows just who to look for. She’s heard all the rumors and knows that in order to save her daughter, she must be brave. She sets out to the Smoky Hills and finds the man known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire”. Only he won’t agree to help her. Desperate to find Lily, Rose sets out on her own. When Luke witnesses her courage and bravery against two attackers, he is captivated by her determination and changes his mind. As the two set out to locate the Cheyenne, bad luck greets them at every turn. Luke is wanted by not only the white man, for the deaths of countless people seeking find him, but by the Cheyenne who believe he betrayed them and caused the death of many of their people. Rose and Luke must battle all those seeking revenge as well as their own demons. As the two begin to spend time with each other, Luke finds Rose is awakening parts of him that he believed had died forever. But when Rose learns of Luke’s past, will she find it in her heart to love him, or will she see him for the monster he believes himself to be? This book is a must read, whether you have read the previous books in the series or not! I will be reading this book again and again! Rose and Luke’s story is amazing. This is my favorite book in the series so far! The history of Luke and all the hardships that he has been through really helps the reader understand how tortured his soul truly is. That he is willing to help Rose locate her daughter and sacrifice himself for a second time to the Cheyenne is nothing short of unbelievable. The love story that unfolds between Rose and Luke despite the difficulties they have both endured in the past and the bad luck that continues to find them as they travel to locate Lily is inspiring and enjoyable. Don’t miss this book! It’s everything you could want from a Wild West Novel! Bounty Hunters, Bad Guys, Mad Indians, and lots of drama and action. Just when you think that Luke and Rose are on their way to finding Lily, another obstacle is thrown in their way. While there is a bit of tie in with previous characters towards the very end, there is not enough that you feel as though you must read the others to enjoy this novel. A perfect stand-alone read! Rating: 4.5 Heat Rating: Mild Reviewed by AprilP Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Rose Varner's daughter, Lily, was taken by the Cheyenne. She believed the only person capable of helping her get Lily back was The White Ghost with Hair of Fire, Luke Phelan. The white man that had lived with the Cheyenne for a time, was now a recluse believed to be living in the Smokey Hills and is said to be a little crazy. Follow Rose and Luke's journey to find Lily and maybe a little sanity along the way. Bravo! Fabulous book! I couldn't put it down. This is the perfect ending to the "Once Upon a Time in the West" trilogy. I loved how the author brought all the characters, from all three books, together and each one had a purpose for being in the story. I was happy, sad, angry, hopeful, worried, and I could go on and on about the wide array of emotions I went through while captivated by this story. Lori Austin has outdone herself again! I can't wait to see what's next for this amazing author. I was given a copy for an honest review.
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
WOW! Lori Austin really delivers in this novel! I was so impressed with her writing and her talent for portraying the Wild West. Even though I am not a historian I thought she really depicted the nit and gritty about life in the Wild West. She also depicted both horrors of the savagery from the U.S. army and also from the Cheyenne and the Sioux. Now on to the characters. “Rose Varner needs a man…”this is a fantastic opening to Rose. First, Rose is fierce! I had to catch my breath with her. One of the reasons that Luke Phelan decides to help her is because he is so impressed with her courage and wow is she courageous. In one of many scenes, she comes face to face with a Sioux Indian that is ready to scalp her! She does not back down!! I’m glad that Lori Austen decided to name this book “The Lone Warrior” but I think she should have add women warrior as well. Ok, so besides coming face-to-face with a Sioux that wants to scalp her, she also has to fight for her life-several times! This women does not back down. Granted she is looking for her three year old daughter and is determined to find her, but she has nerves of steel. There is one part where Luke has to sew her stitches on her head and she doesn’t whine or utter one word of pain. There is also a part where she is covered in blood and instead of stopping and cleaning herself up she puts a hat on and jumps on top of her horse. I mean, seriously??!! I bow to Lori Austin, Rose is a force to reckon with! Luke Phelan is also a terrific character. He made a promise to her, he would help her find her daughter Lily and get her from the Cheyenne. The author really portray all parts of his personality. He is a hero/traitor/ ghost/soldier/fighter/ crazy… You name it! Luke has been through many trials as a soldier and then as a prisoner to the Cheyenne though his quick intelligence and survival he is able to become one with them and finally earn his freedom. He is very tortured and reading about his ordeal was not easy. Hats off again to Ms. Austin she does not romanticize any aspect of what Luke with through as a soldier and as a prison. One of Luke’s struggles, besides the wanted poster with is face on and being wanted by both the U.S. army and the Cheyenne and Sioux he also has to learn to forgive himself and come to peace with his past. Luke is incredibly courageous and also very caring and protective of Rose. You cannot go wrong with this story. There are so many great lessons to learn about struggle and courage. Both Luke and Rose are equally matched. They are a perfect combination of strength, bravery and courage. I would re-read and recommend this great adventure!
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
The final book in Lori Austin's Once Upon a Time in the West series, The Lone Warrior is set against the back drop of the post Civil War frontier. Readers who are looking for a gritty romance with a Western theme will find just what they are looking for in this book. Austin is adept at drawing out the emotions of both her characters and her readers. With a hero, who might be a little on the crazy side, a courageous heroine who will stop at nothing to find her child and more twists and turns than a crooked road, this is a great final book in the trilogy. What I liked: Now, I will be the first to tell you that I love a tortured hero. One who has a lot to overcome and doubts about himself that are hard to explain even to himself, but I wasn't sure I would enjoy a hero that was perhaps a bit unhinged. The White Ghost, Luke had some serious issues when readers first meet him. He once lived with the Cheyenne and now become a recluse. I wasn't sure if Austin could pull this off, but I'm happy to report she did a fantastic job with this character. Taking him slowly from being a bit on the mental side to becoming the man he knows he wants to be. It kind of reminded me of the relationship between Quigley and Nora in Tom Selleck's movie, Quigley Down Under. I love that aspect of this one. It just goes to show that love often heals more than just a broken heart. Rose had a lot of heart. She is searching for her daughter who was taken by the Cheyenne during a raid. Though she realizes that she needs help, when she doesn't get it, she doesn't give up. I liked that tenacious attitude in her character. Often courage isn't about not being afraid, it's about how you channel that fear, and I think Austin did a great job of showing that with Rose. I liked the fact that even though she missed Lily and she needed to get her back, she still took time for herself and her relationship with Luke. They both gave something to each other that the other needed desperately. Rose needed to feel like a woman who was cherished and loved. She was a great character. Austin really knows how to wring the emotion from the characters and from the reader. She doesn't skimp or hold back when it comes to describing the tragedies and the horrific circumstances that her characters have to face, but she also doesn't beat around the bush when how they are feeling. These are strong, passionate characters who were living on frontier in desperate times. I liked the fact that Austin makes the dramatic moments count just as much as the romantic ones. What I didn't like: I did feel like the end was a little rushed, but that sometimes happens in a book with a lot of action. The pace could have been a bit slower to let the reader savor the ending more, but that didn't really take too much away from this very well written book. Bottom Line: I loved this one. If you are looking for a romance with some grit and some tenacious characters who have a lot of obstacles to overcome this one is for you. I thought Austin did a fantastic job with setting but it was mostly a character driven book. And these characters were remarkable.
Susannah_Hardy More than 1 year ago
In The Lone Warrior, Lori Austin has created characters that will stay with you a long time after you close the book. Caught between the worlds of the Cheyenne and the post-Civil War U.S. Military, Luke has been scarred and damaged to the point where he is thought to be crazy. Tough-as-nails heroine Rose, who carries her own scars both physical and psychological, enlists Luke's help to find her stolen daughter. Together, Luke and Rose undertake a journey that will lead to the ultimate reward: love and healing for them both. This rather dark, serious book is well researched and the author has done a masterful job of world and atmosphere building. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I loved every moment of reading it. You will too.
HeidiU More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, sexy, intense, emotional When I first picked up this book, I was skeptical. I had not read Western historicals in a long time. I was immediately intrigued by both characters. Luke Phelan is a former Confederate Soldier given a second chance to make right by fighting Indians out west. During one of the forays, he offers to be exchanged for Indian hostages and he lives with the Cheyenne for many years, first as a slave, then warrior, and finally an exile. When we meet Luke after the exchange, its many years later and he is called the White Ghost, a white Indian living in the hills in isolation, barely knowing how to interact with the world, happy to remain there in limbo until death takes him. Rose Varner invades his valley, desperate for someone to help her rescue her 3 year old daughter from the Cheyenne, after trying every other avenue for over a year. Everyone turned her away including the army and other bounty hunters and lawmen. He was her last hope and, instead of killing her, he protects her and decides to help her, knowing going back to the Cheyenne could get him killed at best. What I liked most about this book was how smooth and fluid the story was – it focused on the plot and the characters – their goals and motivations, and the developing romance. It moved along with the right balance of action and intimate moments. We saw the development of the romance from both characters’ perspective and the love scenes were scorching hot! Her descriptions made me feel like I was in the west with the characters, yet not so overdone that I felt like I was reading a travelogue. I loved both characters and was fully absorbed in their story, rooting for them, and on the edge of my seat. Then, to bring back characters from the previous two books in the series added the icing on the cake (although you don’t need to read the other two books to enjoy this one)! This is not a sweet story sugar coating their romance. There are difficult scenes, and gritty action, but nothing over the top or gratuitous. In fact, it added to the realism and yet maintained the romance. This is a book not to be missed! I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
Paranormal-Lover-1 More than 1 year ago
Miss Austin draws the reader into a wonderful story rich in History and Passionate Romance! Lone Warrior is the third book in Lori Austin’s fabulous Historical Romance series, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West.’ Truly, I can’t say enough about this series and in my opinion - this book is the best yet. Once again we return to Ms. Austin’s frontier where she has intricately woven in the rich history of this period in time. To this she has added an array of characters that embody what life was like during the tumultuous years following the Civil War. And just so you know, the romance is intense, wild and tender at the same time! Luke Phelan is a man alone, wanted by the white man and outcast by the Indians he once called family. He has lost everyone he has ever loved and lives in tormented solitude in the wilderness. He’s been alone so long he believes he has lost his mind; the wind speaks to him of his failures and danger. He is a shell of the man he once was and has eluded anyone who has ever searched for him…..until a desperate woman with nothing to lose seeks him out. Rose Varner has been searching for her daughter Lily, who was stolen by the Cheyenne the day they attacked their farm and left her badly beaten. Refusing to give up, she hears of the elusive ‘White Ghost’, a white man who once lived with the Cheyenne and could help her locate Lily. When she finally finds Luke, she’s not sure he will be any help as he rambles wildly and seems quite crazy. But he is her only hope. The depth of loss and the extent of loneliness both our hero and heroine have endured is gut wrenching, and oh so believable. It is what makes their attraction to each other, and their lovemaking, so primal and poignant. Their journey to get Lily back is a test of their human spirit and endurance, their love a raw sexuality that grows into energy so strong it fuses them together. I also absolutely loved the fact that all the previous characters from the first two books in this series are part of this one and we get to see how they are doing. I give this book a solid 4.5 stars and it is so very worth it. I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review and I am so happy I got to read it.
dwatson More than 1 year ago
Lori Austin has a knack for bringing the wild west to life in her Once Upon A Time In The West series. The third installment in the series called The Lone Warrior is just as good as the first two. The year is 1871 and Rose Varner has been searching for her daughter who has been kidnapped by the Cheyenne. She has been searching for quite sometime and there may be only one man who can help. That man is called the White Ghost with Hair of Fire. He was once a prisoner of the Cheyenne but his courage and ability to see the future caused the Cheyenne to accept him as their own. Rose finds her man but sometimes legends aren’t as great as reality. The White Ghost is really Luke Phelan and he’s been living in the hills as a recluse, he has a love for alcohol, hears voices and sees things that aren’t there. Luke doesn’t want to help Rose but he has never seen a woman as brave as Rose and can’t resist the urge to help find her daughter. Their journey will not be an easy one though, Luke has bounty hunters after him and they also  have to deal with hostile Native Americans, rough weather on the plains, outlaws, armies and insanity. The Lone Warrior  is an action packed historical romance with deep characters and vivid scenery. The first thing I want to say is don’t let the cover of the book fool you. While the main story is a love story there is much more going on here then just romance. For one thing I loved all the descriptions of 19th century America and hearing how the Native Americans of the times felt about the white man and how the settlers felt about the Native Americans. I also liked how the book gets into the era’s politics also. Lori Handeland who is writing as Lori Austin has done a lot of research and it added to the story. Another thing I liked about this book was hearing about Luke and Rose’s background. They have both suffered through a lot of pain in their life but they are both strong people. Rose was not a pretty woman and married a man she wasn’t suited for while Luke was a Civil War prisoner and a captive of the Cheyenne. These two are not the kind of people I would expect in a romance, which to me made the story better. I loved how the two come together. Rose feels that no man would want her while Luke thinks he is too crazy and Rose would never want him. I think the main theme of this book was to never give up no matter how bad things get, there is always something to survive for.  This is a fast paced book but it also manages to fit some humor in. In particular I liked the scene where Rose and Luke meet up with Alexi and Cat and Rose learns how to pull off a con. Alexi and Cat are from Beauty and The Bounty Hunter  which was the first one in the series. The Lone Warrior is a self-contained novel, you don’t have to read the others but after this great book you will want to.