"Welcome to a terrific new series."
Reviewed by Sandra Wurman
Posted January 5, 2017
Western | Romance Contemporary
Welcome to Wind River the new series by
Lindsay McKenna. I can't think of a better intro than WIND
WRANGLER. Lindsay McKenna loves to mix her paramilitary
folk with regular folk. Somehow this amazing author always
manages to accomplish that task with aplomb. WIND RIVER
WRANGLER is awash with mystery, crime, special ops,
cowboys and of course a damsel in distress. It wouldn't be
a Lindsay McKenna entry without any of these elements.
I can't think of anything more terrifying than being
followed by a stalker, an unknown person who seems to
hide in the darkness and yet the hair on your neck is
keeping you uber aware of the possible threat. Shiloh
Gallagher was frozen with fear of her stalker, practically a
prisoner in her own apartment. But someone
was playing with her mind, someone turning her doorknob,
sending faxes, breathing heavy on the phone. This was not
her imagination at play. Police told her to ignore her
instincts, it was probably a harmless fan.
Shiloh is definitely one tough young lady who survived
physically and mentally a beyond tragic experience when
only ten. Now as an adult with this stalker practically
freezing her in place, preventing her from even
performing daily rituals she needs to go somewhere safe,
a place she knows, people who care, far away from NYC.
Wind River Ranch in Wyoming.
Roan is a wrangler at the ranch but so much more. He
seemed the best qualified to help the ranch owner Maud
give Shiloh a safe place to work and with his military
background offer protection if needed. Roan and Shiloh
would be sharing one of the employee cabins on the vast
ranch so he could keep an eye out for any potential
Roan and Shiloh would appear to have little in common but
with Shiloh's work as an author and Roan as former special
ops they both are keen observers. Shiloh uses observation
about people and places in her stories. Roan uses his to
keep people safe. Although he notes Shiloh is lovely,
bright and sensitive, he quickly recognizes a
vulnerability, perhaps due to her recent angst.
Shiloh is immediately take by Roan's gentlemanly ways and
if being honest finds herself attracted to this rough
cowboy on many levels. But Shiloh is on the ranch to get
her head straight and shore up her inner courage so that
she can return home to her beloved city.
Sharing a cabin with Roan was going to be an exercise in
restraint for Shiloh. Surely it was all one sided. But
Roan was having his own difficulty remembering that Shiloh
was a guest and friend of Maud's. Hands off was the order
of the day. But when it appears the danger has somehow
followed Shiloh to the ranch, well all bets are off.
Caution: Don't mess with cowboys.
So WIND RIVER WRANGLER is just the first entry in what is
sure to be a fabulous series. Lindsay McKenna has already
introduced some terrific eye catching characters who have
the requisite qualities needed to grab your heart and
interest and make you want more.
From the moment Roan Taggart picked up the pretty redhead
the Jackson Hole airport, his training and experience
him she was spooked. She’s left New York City to visit
Wind River Ranch, where Roan is a wrangler, and just as
can pick up a horse’s mood, he can feel the tension
off her body. And that vulnerability is triggering all
Shiloh Gallagher likes the gray-eyed cowboy’s dry humor—
the Special Forces background that lends him a stoic,
powerful presence. But she’s been scarred by trauma and
mother’s murder . . . and knows a strong man can be
dangerous. She came to wide-open Wyoming to flee a threat
that’s left her unable to write her novels. Now, as she
rides horses with Roan and helps him build an isolated
cabin, she’s slowly letting down her guard. But danger
followed her west, and they won’t have a future together
unless they defeat a killer from her past…
ExcerptThe hair on the back of Shiloh Gallagher’s neck stood up.
The late May weather was warm, inviting and she’d been
dying to get out and do her daily jog in Central Park.
People were all around her, the slopes and flatter areas
lavished with rich green grass, the trees sporting Spring
growth. Her pace slackened on the concrete sidewalk, the
sensation making her feel someone was nearby, watching
her, wanting to hurt her. Threat flooded her.
Anxiety gut punched her as Shiloh’s gaze ferreted to the
right, swiftly to the left, over her shoulder and then,
looking straight ahead. Why was this happening? She
wanted to cry out in fear and frustration. For months,
someone had been stalking her. She didn’t know who.
Only of late, she would rather remain in her apartment in
Manhattan than venture outside because he followed her.
He was close and she could feel it, feel his hatred of
her, wanting to hurt her, kill her... The sensation was
so visceral it nearly made her freeze with terror every
time it happened. No matter when she left the safety of
her apartment, HE was there. In the shadows. Unseen.
Watching…just watching her. Now, Shiloh knew what it was
like to be an animal being stalked by a predator. It was
life-changing. It had turned her entire way of living
inside-out, helplessness invading her in every possible
way. She couldn’t fight a shadow. Whoever it was? He
was invisible, no matter how hard she tried to seek him
out and find him staring back at her. In all those
months, she’d never saw her stalker.
But the day was so warm, so inviting and she HAD to
escape the apartment which had become her prison! Shiloh
felt as if she spent one more hour in there, she’d go
insane. There were other joggers around her, mother’s
walking with a child, or a baby in a stroller or someone
walking their pet on a leash. Central Park was busy on
this Saturday at noon, everyone taking advantage of the
Her heart was pounding and it was from adrenaline. Fight
or flight? Should she run? Should she stop, find the
bastard who was doing this to her? Confront him? Gulping
against a dry throat, Shiloh couldn’t tell WHO it was.
There were at least fifty people right around where she
was jogging. The lake was off to the right, reflecting
the blue of the sky, looking so calm and beautiful.
Trees were in groves here and there. It looked so
But it was dangerous. To her.
WHO was following her? And why? Why? Who was scaring
her so much she had gotten writer’s block? She had a
book contract that had to be finished and she hadn’t
written a thing in the last three weeks. Afraid to call
her editor at the publishing house, Shiloh wanted to
scream and run away from it all. Even now, she was a
prisoner in her mind despite how big Central Park was.
Rubbing the back of her neck, her red ponytail swinging
back and forth behind her, she speeded up. It FELT as if
a pair of predatory eyes were following her every move
right this instant. How could that be? She’d entered
the glade and her hair stood up. He was HERE. Now.
Would he jump her? Beat her up? Kill her?
Her gaze snapped to a bunch of flowering bushes that she
had to run past up ahead. Was he waiting in there for
her? To grab her and drag her back into the thick
foliage so that no one could see her being beaten?
Raped? Murdered? All the above?
Oh, God, her creative mind was going wild with a hundred
thoughts circling in her head. None of them good.
Picking up her pace, Shiloh wanted the safety of two lean
male joggers who were just ahead of her. There was
safety in numbers. She would maintain that pace with
them through that thicket area in case her stalker was
waiting to jump her in that shadowy, deeply shaded area.
Adrenaline was crashing through her and she maintained
her speed and listened to the slap of her Nike running
shoes hitting the concrete sidewalk. Her eyes narrowed
as they approached the bushes. Her gaze darted to every
dark spot along the trail. Every tall, thick bush looked
like a man hiding, waiting to jump out and nab her.
Sometimes, she hated being a writer. Her mind was never
still, always pregnant with ideas, with what if’s and
possibilities. She jogged to the other side of the
sidewalk, feet on the edge of it, watching the brush, the
shadows, the dancing play of light and dark among them.
Her hair was still standing up on the back of her sweaty
neck. It meant she was in danger.
A lump started forming in Shiloh’s throat and she wanted
so badly to scream. The two male joggers in front of her
didn’t even seem to be aware of her. Feet slapping down
rhythmically, within a minute, Shiloh was safely out of
the area. Now, straight ahead it was flat an there were
lots of people with blankets spread out on the green
grass, having a picnic. Children were running, laughing
and shouting at one another. A Golden Retriever galloped
eagerly after a red ball thrown by her owner. It all
looked so happy.
And she was terrified. Already, Shiloh was thinking of
how to get back to her apartment and avoid this area on
the way back. Slowly, the sense of dread and danger
began to ease out of her. By the time she was another
quarter of a mile away from that darkened area, still
following her male joggers, Shiloh began to breath a sigh
But the stress, the strain never really left her. Her
stress would never leave. It was just a question when it
would suddenly sharply spike upward or when it would jag
up and down in her at other times. She would have to
find another jogger on the way back because she’d have to
retrace her steps in the opposite direction to go home.
It would give her stalker a second opportunity to grab
her. Oh! If only her too-fertile imagination would just
turn off! But it wouldn’t.
By the time she reached _______, she’d been ready to rest
and crop down to a cooling walk. Shiloh tried to move
her mind to the happy people around her who were
utilizing Central Park. Forcing herself, she remembered
happier times, hoping it would stop the adrenaline surge
within her. Already, she knew from too many times before
that once the adrenaline shot into her bloodstream, the
jittery, charging effects to get her out of danger’s way,
would only last so long. And then, she’d crash. There
was an ice cream vendor ahead, and an empty park bench
nearby. Digging into her small purse she kept pinned on
the inside of her waist band, she went and bought herself
a strawberry ice cream cone.
Just licking the sweet, cold cone, settled her nerves.
She kept looking around. To her relief, her neck hairs
hadn’t raised in alarm. At least, not yet. She sat on
one end of the dark green metal bench, out in the
sunlight, absorbing the heat and light. It felt so good
to feel a breeze against her skin, the heat of the sun
embracing her compared to being stuck inside her parent’s
apartment. She loved where she had been born and grew
up. She missed her parents more than she could ever put
words to it.
Closing her eyes, she licked the ice cream, focusing in
on it, not her grief and loss. She had no one to help
her out of this present predicament. The New York City
police laughed at her calling them to say someone was
trying to break into her apartment. In her mind, she
replayed it because it was always the same.
Some beat cop would answer her door and she would answer.
He had his pad and pen out, ready to take her report.
“There’s some one stalking me, officer.”
“How do you know, ma’am?” He wrote down her reason for
Shiloh stood in the doorway, furtively looking up and
down the quiet, empty hall. “He was at my door.”
“How do you know that?”
“The knob kept turning.”
The officer looked down at the knob. “Did you see the
person through the peep hole in your door?”
“Uh…no,” she stumbled. Gesturing to her desk that sat at
a window, frilly white curtains across it, making the
light scatter, she said, “I-I heard it and then turned,
seeing it turn back and forth.”
“Why didn’t you get up and go look?” the officer
demanded, giving her a look of disbelief.
“I-I was scared, officer. I had this worry he had a key
to unlock it and if I went near the door to look through
the peep hole, I knew he’d opened it and push his way in
here.” She licked her lips, her voice growing scratchy.
“This has been going on for months! I’m so scared. I
need help. I need this to stop. I want my life back.”
The officer scowled. “Well, ma’am, I can’t help you if
you can’t get up and come look through your peep hole.”
He studied the door knob.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve called the police. The
last time they came, they brushed the doorknob for
“Yeah? What’d they find?”
“Nothing,” she admitted bleakly. “It was clean.”
“What were you doing home at the time this incident
“I was revising one of my chapters of my book for my
publisher,” and Shiloh pointed toward the desk that had
scattered paper across it.
“You’re a writer?” He began writing again.
“I write fiction, officer.”
“I don’t recognize your name,” he said. “Do you have a
pseudonym you write with?”
“I do,” and she told the officer.
“Still don’t recognize your name and I’m a pretty heavy
“I write romance novels, officer. I’m sure you probably
don’t read that genre.” She saw him suddenly grin,
amusement in his eyes.
“A romance writer? You write that sexy trash?”
Bristling, Shiloh snapped, “I write stories that have a
happy ending, officer.”
“Hmmm, okay. So, you’re a writer and you probably have a
pretty wild imagination. Wouldn’t you say?”
Anger started percolating through her. “Only when it
comes to writing books.” She jabbed her finger down at
the doorknob. “I saw it being twisted back and forth. I
heard it. It went on for ten minutes. I was so scared…”
She saw the officer’s mouth crook, his eyes going flat.
Her stomach dropped with fear. Not again. Every time
she called the police, they didn’t believe her. When
they found out she was a romance writer? She could feel
their derision toward her, telling her either in blunt
New York style that it was all in her pretty little head
or just walking away without a word. Some of them
laughed at her. One suggested she was horny and maybe
police were a turn on for her? Was she sure she heard
something? Mortified, Shiloh had stopped calling them.
The humiliation, being treated as if she were stupid, a
woman who made things up, was just too much for her to
handle any longer.
“Unless you want to pony up to that peep hole,” the
office said flatly, gesturing toward it, “there’s nothing
I can do. I need an identification. Without that, I’m
helpless, Ms. Gallagher.”
What do you think about this review?
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!