Book Review: TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray

Publisher: Brava

Published: December 24, 2012

Format: Paperback (288 pages)

ISBN: 9780758281043

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

For Peyton Muldoon working in a man’s world came with challenges.  

The first one had been her dearly departed mother, Sylvia.  Forget gaining her mother’s approval, Peyton had spent most of her time keeping Sylvia from killing off her father’s ranch. Her mother hired the wrong people, slept with the worse people, and chased Peyton’s siblings away from home.  

However, Peyton couldn’t leave the M-Star ranch. 

From early on, the land was in her blood, and while her father brought Peyton to tag along, he hoped to pass the ranch off to his son, Peyton’s brother, Trace.  The only problem was Trace had the bug for the rodeo, not the land.

The ranch was left to his wife and his children’s mother—until she died, but it was Peyton who worked the land, caring for the animals. Now, after facing down the truth about the thief on the inside, Peyton fired her mother’s former lover, Sam Nylen, leaving her with one big problem. Who could she get for her trainer?  There was only one answer.  Red Callahan.  His name drew a shudder, especially since she just now heard him telling a man not to do business with M-Star.  

Red Callahan was a drifter, of sorts.  

Meanwhile, his reputation allowed him to pick and choose what jobs he took, and he always took them on a temporary basis.  Sometimes, this was out of necessity. Red wouldn’t let a ranch owner boot out help to hire him.  However, most times, the temporary lifestyle suited him.  Red was from bad stock too.  His father, Mac Callahan, left his parenting skills on the train to nowhere and looked to his son to bail him out of trouble.  With his last job ending, he already had a folder filled with offers.  Most times, he went on instinct but when instinct didn’t answer he did it the old-fashioned way . . . eenie . . . meenie . . ..  

A knock sounded to interrupt his unscientific picking process.  The woman on the other of that door took his sense right away.  

The Peyton “spitfire” Muldoon was laying out an offer that he needed to walk right away from, but his instinct decided to malfunction on him now.   He could think of at least 100 reasons why this would be the wrong move.  He would have been able to recite them to Peyton too, but she just issued him a timeline for a response and walked her fine form out the door.  

A timeline?

Peyton was a fine filly who acted like a sulky mare, but she’d cut you down faster than blink. He understood her situation more than he wanted to admit.  She was fighting the bad reputation her mother actively forged, being a woman—a handicap in this business, and her own stubborn streak. Not to mention, she was doing everything herself.  If there was a ranch who really need him, it was M-Star.

However, he couldn’t bring himself to do it.  

Well, maybe that was the problem, he could bring himself to do it, but she wouldn’t be receptive to that.  

He’s been in lust with this woman a long time.  To be around Peyton meant all his senses would be on high alert, teasing himself with something he could never have.  Walking away was the right thing to do.  However, he couldn’t do that either.  He stayed hold up trying to will his instinct into submission and reject the offer.  This was a battle he wasn’t winning, but the clock ticked passed the allotted forty-eight hours.  

Now, like it or not, Red Callahan was going, hat in hand, to M-Star to drive himself crazy every day, hoping for something that would never be.  

However, for the first time, Red was nervous.  What if she turned him down now? 

My Take:

TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray is Western, with a sexy twist and a hint of mystery!

I fell in love with Red long before Peyton, but I knew Peyton wouldn’t be far behind.  He cared about the land and the horses the same way she does.  This is Peyton’s life and Red has a part in that now.  Her tenacity and strength draw you in, and you’ll feel about M-Star the way she does.  Soon, you’ll figure here’s a woman inside those boots who is afraid. Peyton’s not afraid of making choices, but she worries how those choices will change her way of life.

Red knows lust from love, but the respect he has for Peyton changes everything.  He wants her dream to succeed, and it doesn’t take him long to know that he wants to be a permanent fixture at M-Star, with Peyton.  Although Red knows his horses, he doesn’t know the fairer sex, and he’s in for a bumpy ride.  A ride he’d take no matter what the cost. 

TAKING THE REINS by Kat Murray is a standalone novel, but you’ll look forward to the release of BUCKING THE RULES coming June 2013 from BRAVA! 


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