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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review - All or Nothing by Ashley Ludwig

Title: All or Nothing

Author: Ashley Ludwig

Publisher: White Rose Publishing

Buy All or Nothing Here!

Rating: You NEED to Read

Reviewed by: MarthaE

A widow finds love.
A soldier seeks redemption.
A murderous bandit threatens to destroy them both.

RuthAnne Newcomb, a young widow starting over, nearly dies on the perilous winding road to Tucson, Arizona in 1876. The accident is a cover-up for a heinous crime at the hand of the murderous bandit El Tejano. Robbed and left for dead, all that remains for RuthAnne is her faith and her God-given talents. She needs both to endure the handsome, vengeful cavalry captain who saves her life.

Captain Bowen Shepherd offers aid in exchange for information leading to the criminal's capture. El Tejano is bound to strike again, likely against the only living witness to his crimes.

Bowen and RuthAnne must work together and risk everything to unmask the bandit. Will their newfound love, or their lives, be the cost of bringing a murderer to justice?

This is a very enjoyable western historical! It has likeable characters and an engaging plot.

RuthAnne is a very resourceful young widow. She manages to escape from the terrifying bandit although her sister is badly injured in the process. They are rescued by Captain Shepard and taken to a mission to get healing help for her little sister. Rather than stay idle, RuthAnne commits herself to working at the nearby Army fort as a laundress. The work is heavy and hard on the hands, but she jumps in cheerfully and goes the extra mile garnering the admiration and respect of the soldiers. She also serves as a “doctor” to the injured cavalrymen and designs and modifies dresses for almost all the ladies on the base. It was hard to figure out when she got time to rest as busy as she was! I liked that RuthAnne steadfastly trusts that God will take care of her throughout the troubles she faces.

Captain Bowen Shepard is one of those soldiers who is “married” to the military. He once dreamed of finding a life/soul mate, but that was when he was young and innocent. Now he has blood on his hands and doesn’t believe he could ever find a mate to follow him in his army career. Bowen also gave up trusting God because he believes his past actions are too bad to be forgiven.

The author does a good job of blending details of the rugged hardships of army camp life with the action of hunting down the bandit. There are numerous unique supporting characters that add depth and reality to the story and the Arizona scenery is described with great beauty.

The only draw back that I had with the book is that RuthAnne is almost super human. I did like her character and her faith. I also liked Bowen and his slow shift to acceptance of his right to be less than perfect and to maybe have a life mate! All in all this was a wonderful story with a warm, lovely and sweet romance. You Need to read and enjoy this!

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