Book Review: Reese (Rock Creek 6) by Lori Handeland

Reese is the first book in the Rock Creek 6 series by Lori Handeland. I have read other romance from Handeland, but this is my first historical and non-paranormal romance of hers that I have read. I read and enjoyed most of her Nightcreature series before I started recording and blogging my reviews. 

Six elite Confederate soldiers band together after the War Between the States, hiring out their guns to protect lawless towns. Violence is all they know, until they make their way to Rock Creek, Texas. Mary McKendrick, a headstrong schoolteacher who wants nothing more than to find a home, takes charge when a band of ruffians attempts to destroy Rock Creek. With very few men left in town after the war, Mary travels to Dallas to hire Reese, the mysterious and reluctant leader of a band of guns for hire. Reese is haunted by the war and all he did during it. The only constant in his life are the five men willing to come whenever he calls them. They will do anything for each other; they are all they have left. Though Mary prides herself on managing everyone and anything, she can't manage Reese or her feelings for him. Reese doesn't believe he is worthy of loyalty and devotion; he certainly isn't worthy of love. In Rock Creek, Mary McKendrick teaches him differently. 

Reese is a historical romance in America, which I have not read much of in the last few years. However, it caught my attention quickly and did not let me go until the book was complete. Reese is the leader of a group of guns for hire, ones that solve problems that linger in the aftermath of the civil war. He has some serious guilt and self doubt, keeping himself emotionally distant from everyone- even his team. Mary is a school teacher that has finally found a home, a job, and a community. She will do anything to save Rock Creek- even pay this group all of her money in order to have them protect the town. We have former soldiers with the emotional wounds the try to hide, and a town of women, children, and misogynistic cowards. In the midst of all this Reese and Mary come together to face their attraction, and the danger that El Diablo and his bandits bring to Rock Creek. I like that Reese and Mary actually talked things out, once the walls came down of course, and that Reese's past was revealed. I also liked that Reese respected the ideas and opinions of Mary and the other women, which many other characters did not. I am not exactly thrilled with the resolution for Mary when she and Reese find their happy ending- however I have hope that as the series continues the might change.

Reese is a book that grabbed my attention and has me looking for more. I am now looking to keep reading the series, because I need to see what happens next. I was glad to be reminded of why I binge read Handeland's book in my preblogging days.
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