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Rachel and the Hired Gun (Men of Defiance #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  552 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
From a captivating new voice in romance comes a sexy, intriguing tale set amidst the rugged grandeur of the American frontier...

When Rachel Douglas left her aunt's house in Virginia for the wilds of the Dakota Territory, she knew the journey would be long and arduous. But she didn't realize that she had been summoned west to be used as a pawn in a ranch war with her father
Mass Market Paperback, 341 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Zebra
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(showing 1-30 of 1,177)
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Ahhhh, Rachel Douglas, what have you gotten yourself involved in?

Her mother died years before the start of her story. Her father sent her to live with his wife's family back east who were not the upstanding kind people others thought them to be. At 18 years of age she runs away to find her father, now living in the Oregon territory. On the way she meets Sager, a hired gun her father sent to bring her safely to him for the remaining trip. Yes, there are some inconsistencies but overall the narra
Nov 12, 2014 Foxfire rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2016 Zoe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The overall flow is not bad at all. But I found the relationship development non-existing. Sager and Rachel went from not knowing each other at all to Sager calling her "Rach" as if they were old friends. I kept asking myself: what did I miss? The relationship is missing something for me.
Jan 08, 2016 Jenn rated it really liked it
I wish I remember what my review was for this- but I know I had really liked it yet, for some reason, my review and rating to each of the books in this series has been deleted from GR. :(
Sep 16, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing
While I didn't read the MOD series in order (I actually read Leah's book first (book 3) and fell in love with Elaine's writing there), once I discovered Eleaine's series I had to go back and get them all - and I'm so glad I did!!! I absolutely adore Rachel and Sager's story! I couldn't put it down once I started! It's one of my fav historical books ever! I love watching the two fall in love. There were so many sweet moments, tense moments, and just enough drama to keep it exciting, but not so mu ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Steffi rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Review coming soon....

I found another author to feed my American Historical obsession. Woot Woot!
Danielle Taylor
I don't read historical romance, and in fact I got this book accidentally but then figured why not read it. Rachel has left her abusive uncle and is returning to her father's ranch. The trek across the west is long and she is accompanied by her father's hired gun, Sager who was raised with Indians until he was 14 and plans on using Rachel in his revenge. Sager is bringing Rachel to the ranch to be married to his step brother but plans to seduce her and ruin her before she marries. However, he fi ...more
FicTalk Blog
Aug 23, 2012 FicTalk Blog rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-in-2012
Reviewed by Heather

Rachel Douglas leaves her aunts home to return to her father’s. The journey is long and treacherous, but she is accompanied by her father’s hired gunman, Sager. Rachel feels an immediate attraction to Sager, but she has no idea of his real intentions.

Sager knows that Rachel is being summoned home so that she may be married off to his step-brother. He is dead set on revenge and plans to seduce her and ruin her before the marriage can take place. What Sager doesn’t plan on are h
This book ticked me off because it started out just fine and gradually got worse until I had no idea why I was still reading it. The first couple of chapters are a fast-paced, breezy read as long as you don't mind the lack of fidelity to historical mores. But over the next few chapters the story starting slowing down. Too many plot points were dropped, things were explained haphazardly and characters failed to behave in a remotely plausible fashion given the situation.

There is an overall disjoin
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Another pleasant surprise this year. That's not to say it's a great read, it didn't inspire me to fangirl like some others I've read, but I'd been ignoring this on Amazon for a while, consigning myself to the belief that it was probably unspeakably terrible. So imagine my surprise when I discovered it wasn't. The writing isn't top-notch - the pacing is manic and there are plot points that are occasionally ignored - but there was enough intrigue to make me want to keep reading, and a minimum of r ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Evelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Summoned by her father, Rachel Douglas leaves Virginia on a wagon train going West. She pays a family for traveling protection, but half-way there Rachel elects to travel with the hired gun sent by her father because she has been shunned as a loose woman. But what she didn't realize is that she has been summoned west to be used as a pawn in a ranch war with her father's neighbor - or that her fierce, sudden attraction to Sager, her father's hired gun, would put her heart and her life in jeopardy ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Nikki rated it it was ok
Wish this book was better paced. The hero and heroine had a ton of great backstory that was really glazed over. And their love felt very convenient to me.
Sep 16, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, 2011
In spite of the excellence of this book's title (how many romance novel titles even mention a woman, much less her name?), I found the prose to be overwrought and the hero insipid. Some hired gun. All he does is stomp around and angst over being raised by Indians (seriously? I thought the old half-breed trope flamed out in the 80s, but this guy (EVEN THOUGH he is white?!) has like raven-black hair and of course he loves being alone and he whispers to the heroine, "You will not survive me." Next! ...more
Wonderful story, wonderful characters. I loved it! Will be definitely re-reading this one someday.
Jul 24, 2016 Heathy rated it it was ok
Why?!?!?! Why did the author take a really awesome story and run it into the ground? The first chapter had me hooked. It was intense, it was exciting, it was mysterious, it was.... sexy. I flew through the first few chapters after that because I couldn't put the book down. I was addicted. Then the author started getting way too repetitive.

Without giving any spoilers, let's just say the heroine has the worst luck of anyone and finds herself needing rescue about every other chapter. The hero is al
Teya Peck
Nov 08, 2012 Teya Peck rated it it was ok
I was disappointed. I reluctantly finished this book. I had to skip several words, and discriptions unpleasingly discriptive. Not clean. It's mostly well written, however more inteligence could have been thought out for better words that I skipped several times. I'm quite embarrased to have to admit I read this book. I will be more careful on recommendations.
Greta Branas
Aug 25, 2013 Greta Branas rated it it was amazing
I generally do not like historical, but I decided to give it a try. I was really happy I did, Elaine Levine is a very talented author. I was so in story from the beginning. It tell a story about how hard life was in the early years. You fall in love,with characters and I can't wait to start book 2.
Dec 08, 2014 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: cowboys-indians
Would have been a higher rating, but all of Sagers back and forth as to weather he was going to be with Rachel was a bit annoying. A little back in forth I get but my gosh, you are a grown ass man. Make a decision already.

And liked that Blue Thunder made his pay the bride price.
Glenda Bettin
Oct 13, 2014 Glenda Bettin rated it it was amazing
Wow that girl sure knows how to write, really liked this beginning of a new series, awesome
People you need to read this book
Jul 06, 2011 Susinok rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant surprise, this was really a good story.
Oct 06, 2015 Lorka rated it liked it
Well, I loved the book cover! Sure beats a Fabio cover :) The story wasn't bad, it just could have been so much better. I felt that a lot of information was left untold from beginning to end. I would have loved to have read more interactions between Rachel and Sager from the moment he rescued her from the wolf to the moment they arrived at her dad's ranch. I thought that would have been a great opportunity to show them falling in love... but instead what I got to read was a super fast journey wi ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Mar 03, 2012 Babs rated it really liked it
Rachel's father Old Jack, sends a hired gun, Sager to fetch his daughter who has left Virginia with a wagon train heading to the Dakota territory. Sager came upon Rachel and a wolf about to attack her as he was trying to save a little girl. He arrived in time to save both. He stayed a bit on the wagon train until they could both get to her father's ranch. Sager was not accepted well as he is half indian half white man. The other people were not to kind. Rachel did not care she thought Sager was ...more
Heather (Fic Talk)
Jun 28, 2012 Heather (Fic Talk) rated it it was amazing
Rachel Douglas leaves her aunts home to return to her father’s. The journey is long and treacherous, but she is accompanied by her father’s hired gunman, Sager. Rachel feels an immediate attraction to Sager, but she has no idea of his real intentions.

Sager knows that Rachel is being summoned home so that she may be married off to his step-brother. He is dead set on revenge and plans to seduce her and ruin her before the marriage can take place. What Sager doesn’t plan on are his feelings toward
Patricia Davis
Apr 20, 2013 Patricia Davis rated it it was amazing
Yup I'd say that I was a bonafied virgin where western romances were concerned and so I didn't know which author would deliver stories that would capture my fullest attention and sweep me away to to another time, another place,where men were men and law meant looking down the barrel of a shotgun if you did wrong and women were built with a strong constitution. Elaine was my choice to begin my western romance journey and let me tell you that she delivered one helluva, smokin hot series. Each stor ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: westerns
This was a wonderful first book of a series. It had wonderful main characters that really made you like them. There were not a lot of extra charcters to keep track of,but there were a few that you could see were going to have their own book in the future.
Rachel was not your typical female character, she was flawed and real. There were a few characters that I totally disliked with a passion, but they were gone by the middle of the book.
if you are looking for a typical western romance this might
You know, sometimes only a western will do. This one was ok. It was run of the mill and nothing special stands out about it, but it did scratch that itch. I may try one more in this series by Elaine Levine, the next time I need to cast my imagination back into the old West. I can't say that my expectations will be very high, but I am glad to have her work in my TBR pile, nonetheless.
Apr 10, 2013 Patricia rated it it was amazing
I'm new to western style of books and I must say that I'm glad I chose Elaine's Men of Defiance to introduce me to this genre of stories. In Rachel and the Hired Gun, I truly found the story flowing with consistency and it definitely held the elements of a really great read that kept me absolutely glued until the end which led to a very late night of reading. I loved the humor and laughed out loud at certain scenes in the story and then found myself rooting for the main characters. I loved the l ...more
Finally a great western romance!

Is it just me or does it seem like all the good western romances are from the 90's? This genre has become very limited and I'm so happy to have found a new author! This was a great read full of adventure and romance, with likeable characters.
Dec 19, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman escapes from cruel relatives and her father's hired gun rescuers then guides her home. She has so much fear, he filled with anger & thoughts of revenge. Together they conquer obstacles & heal breaches. Life affirming.
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"Elaine Levine is a wonderfully fresh and original voice in western romance.
RACHEL AND THE HIRED GUN is full of fast-paced action and powerful emotions. I loved it!"
-- Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of A STRANGER'S GAME

"A pair of appealing, well-matched protagonists (with a bit of a history), a slimy villain, well-drawn secondary characters, and plenty of action make this rough
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Other Books in the Series

Men of Defiance (5 books)
  • Audrey and the Maverick (Men of Defiance, #2)
  • Leah and the Bounty Hunter (Men of Defiance, #3)
  • Logan's Outlaw (Men of Defiance, #4)
  • Agnes and the Renegade (Men of Defiance, #5)

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