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The Reluctant Outlaw

(Smoky Mountain Matches #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A Kidnapper—and a Gentleman?

The ruthless criminal who took Juliana O’Malley hostage was a thief and an outlaw—or so she thinks. But on a perilous journey through the Smoky Mountains, he becomes her unlikely protector. And when he pledges to return her home safely, she somehow finds herself believing him.

Evan Harrison has risked everything to find the men who killed his br
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Love Inspired (first published January 1st 2011)
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  369 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
I loved this book. I wasn't sure what to expect from it since I'd never heard of the author and sometimes think Love Inspired books in general are a little too quaint for my edgy tastes. But hey, it was free straight from the front table at the "Spotlight on Love Inspired Publishing" at the ACFW conference last month. I was in the front row (of course) and picked it because of the-- what shall I say-- good-looking cover? Attractive cover? Well, yeah-- you can see it. It's a good cover.

Anyway, I
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of those stories you want to get comfy and curl up on the couch and enjoy every minute of it. This story is about Evan Harrison, who is quite handsome, chivalrous, revengeful and has quite the heavy heart. Juliana happens upon a situation that puts her in the care of Evan. Evan is part of a deadly gang who, rob and kill to get what they want, if need be. Juliana is taken in by Evan and notices that there is something different about him. He doesn't seem as crude as the rest of the ga ...more
Juliana O'Malley is in the wrong place at totally the wrong time and ends up kidnapped by outlaws in 1800s Tennessee. Fortunately for her, the outlaw who unwillingly took her hostage, Evan Harrison, is far more of a gentleman than his cohorts and his single-minded goal is getting her back to her family, unscathed. What neither of them banked on was the spark that ignites between them, leaving them both befuddled and uncertain about their prospective futures.

This is a fairly sweet little Christia
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Julianna happened to be at the wrong place, she is taken hostage by an outlaw and made to journey far from her home. Evan, an outlaw with a big heart is searching for the person or persons responsible for the brutal slaying of his brother Daniel. He feels responsible for Julianna's present predicament and vows to protect her with his life. Complete with suspense and romance I felt as if I were there along with the characters, listening to the conversations and riding the terrain. I really loved ...more
This is the first book I've read by Karen Kirst, but I look forward to reading her other books in the future. I was drawn into the story from page one and found it interesting through to the last page. I really enjoyed the inclusion of Scripture throughout the book and the fact that it didn't feel forced or preachy. I liked the two main characters and enjoyed watching their relationship develop...the ups and downs. I recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.
Adriana Silva
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Won This book through Good Reads. I loved this book! I don't usually read harlequin books but this book by Karen Kirst was nothing like your regular Harlequin novel. The story was very touching and beautiful with a touch of mystery. I really enjoyed the charater of Juliana, she was a sweet and yet very strong willed character. Karen's great writing made you feel like you were part of this amazing novel!!! Would definetly read more of her books:).
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, the only reason I checked this book out from the library is because it’s set just a few miles from where I’m from. But man, am I glad I read it! I loved this book!

This is the type of book that makes you want to get cozy in your comfiest chair with a cup of coffee. This is my first Love Inspired book but certainly not my last!

5 stars all around.
April Suter
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Julianna is kidnapped by a band of outlaws and Evan takes his claim. Did he do it to protect her? What are his secrets? What do you do when you are falling in love with an outlaw? This story based in 1880's Gaitlinburg, Tennessee is a mixture of a western, a love story, and a journey getting closer to God.

279 pages
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this book. Fun romantic quick read. Makes you think how at times we may not understand why things happen but god has a plan in all that we go through. Even if at times we do not like someone we should give them a chance and not judge by appearance or circumstances.
recommend it to all. my first boook by karen kist and will definately no tbe my last
susan murray
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
really enjoyed the story between the 2 main characters and how they found love through all the turmoil.It was love as well as action brought highs and lows to the characters.
Eva Hamilton
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this action packed book! Loved it! Can't wait for this author's next book!
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a cute book!!
Just FYI, I didn’t give this book 5 stars just because there is a smoking hot dude on the cover! 😂😍
I did find that toward the end of the book I started to get bored, but I think that was just me because I haven’t had a lot of time to read, so I was only reading a few pages at a time. Still give it a 5/5 🌟 I loved visiting the smoky mountains again in the book as I grew up an hour east of there & grew up going to Gatlinburg! I can’t wait to continue this series. I hope peop
The Reluctant Outlaw was a fun Historical Christian Romance with great characters and an entertaining plot with several unexpected twists. I really liked Evan and Juliana and seeing how their relationship develops throughout the story as well as the way the author rotated the story's perspective between both of them.
Aimee M.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked how the romance in this book came about. That sometimes in bad situations, things to turn out for the good for both people.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was easy to read and kind of predictable. Maybe some of the actions of the heroine were not realistic but it was a fast read.
Jamie Harrington
I love this whole Smoky Mountain Matches Series by Karen Kirst!! I actually read book #2 (The Bridal Swap) in the series a couple of years ago and when I read #5 (Married by Christmas) at the end of last year, I realized it was part of a series. So I got this book, The Husband Hunt, His Mountain Miss in order to complete the series. Karen Kirst is so good at creating believable, endearing characters that you just can't help but feel and cheer for. These books are just complete page turners, neve ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was fun, and clean. A great romance. Good for my teen daughter. I'd look for more from this author. From the book...The ruthless criminal who took Juliana O’Malley hostage was a thief and an outlaw—or so she thinks. But on a perilous journey through the Smoky Mountains, he becomes her unlikely protector. And when he pledges to return her home safely, she somehow finds herself believing him. Evan Harrison has risked everything to find the men who killed his brother. Saving spirited, str ...more
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story

I enjoyed this historical romance. The characters were easy to like and there were enough plot twists to make for an interesting story. There were a few instances where I found myself skimming the story because those areas seemed like filler not really essential to the story. This was my first time reading this author's work and I liked it enough that I will certainly look for more of her work.

A digital copy of this book was provided by my local library.
Keyanna Shelnutt
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books. Evan Harrison goes undercover as an outlaw to figure out who murdered his brother. Juliana O'Malley is taken hostage by a criminal. She doesn't know that the guy holding her hostage is not a criminal at all. Evan risks everything to keep her safe from the gang. This was such a good book filled with suspense. I couldn't put the book down.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't like this one as well as Bridal Swap. It seemed a little more preachy to me than the other one. That said, the story was entertaining. Julianna O"Malley is kidnapped by Even Harrison when she becomes a witness to the robbery of the local mercantile. He is undercover with the gang, looking for the killer of his brother. The action is fast paced, the ending satisfying.
Rachael Dorronsoro
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
After being kidnapped and taken from her home, Julianna managed to escape, but then she decided to come back, Julianna's life has been quite the ordeal.

I don't want to say too much about this book as I don't want to give anything away, the book was a little boring and I found it difficult to finish.
Katie Skaggs
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is one of the best I have ever read, it is one of my favorite books! It keeps you guessing in some parts and it is just amazing all the way around! I highly, highly recommend this books and give is a huge 5 star rating! If I could go higher I would! :)
Marvy Herrera
This was a trully lovely story.. And i think the best was the end.. Perfect!!! :)
Traci M
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've re-read this book a couple of times. I loved it.
Susan Neiss
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book out of all I have read of Kirst's. I love all the action. A wonderful way to start the series.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quick easy read. Probably more 3.5 stars but that's not possible and I enjoyed the engaging a nd light read it was, definitely kept me up to late one night.
Teya Peck
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a well writen, CLEAN, fun, exciting book! After reading the embarassing on this was refreshing. Clean and smart, I was very happy with it. Enjoy this read!
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really sweet story with great characters
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I ended up reading these books out of order but I loved this start to this series. It was really good and you couldn't help but fall in love with the characters.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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Karen Kirst was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn't until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated...years, in fact. In the fall of 2010, she got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historical wanted to publish her manuscript-a true ...more

Other books in the series

Smoky Mountain Matches (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Bridal Swap (Smoky Mountain Matches, #2)
  • His Mountain Miss (Smoky Mountain Matches, #3)
  • The Husband Hunt (Smoky Mountain Matches, #4)
  • Married by Christmas (Smoky Mountain Matches, #5)
  • From Boss to Bridegroom (Smoky Mountain Matches, #6)
  • The Bachelor's Homecoming (Smoky Mountain Matches, #7)
  • Reclaiming His Past (Smoky Mountain Matches, #8)
  • The Sheriff's Christmas Twins (Smoky Mountain Matches #9)
  • Wed by Necessity (Smoky Mountain Matches #10)
  • The Engagement Charade (Smoky Mountain Matches #11)