The Wild Rose Press
available in Ebook & print
Kaedon Turner is a federal marshal in the days just after the War Between The States. After his parents are killed by Indians, Kaed is rescued and raised by the Choctaw before setting off on his own path, first as a soldier, than as a marshal. When he is severely beaten trying to rescue two young Choctaw girls, the Indians rescue him and drop him at the door of Jessica Monroe.
Jessica is a young widow caring for a baby not her own in the wild Oklahoma Territory. While taking care of the marshal and nursing him back to health, she finds herself falling for his advances. He shows a promise of giving her the attention and devotion she never received from her husband. Still, she’s wary, especially when she learns he’s on the track of the notorious Andrew Fallon – the man who murdered her husband.
Both Kaed and Jessica enter the story with plenty of personal baggage. Fire Eyes is the story of how they face their own intimate fears while battling external dangers. Jessica is afraid of the Choctaw and of allowing herself to trust Kaed. He, in return, is haunted by his own loss and determined not to feel it again. Along with these two deep, true-to-life characters are several supporting characters we get to know well and care about. Fallon is one of the most evil villains you’ll run across, complete with background. The side story of two young girls who escaped Fallon’s clutches is endearing and adds a wider scope to the whole picture.
Along the way, we get lush detail of the landscape as well as some historical background of the times. Cheryl Pierson has a knack for creating intensity with both description and plot that refuses to let you out of the story until you’ve read the whole thing, and even then, it stays with you. There are no clichès concerning the ‘wild west’ or Native American life. I wasn’t always fully convinced that the group of marshals would be quite so open with their emotions as they were, but at least they did have emotion instead of being impervious to their pasts and present (ie John Wayne).
Overall, Fire Eyes is a smooth, realistic read with wonderful characterization, real dialogue, and an absorbing fullness. Any reader interested in romance and westerns will enjoy this one!
A light note of caution: this is on the spicier side of non-erotic romance in places, but readers can easily move past those short scenes if bothered by them.