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Beautiful Bad Man

(Sutton Family #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,275 ratings  ·  202 reviews
In 1866 on the empty Kansas prairie, two children shared a few desperate moments that changed their lives. For years afterward, each nursed a secret dream—that the other had grown into a special person—brave, good, kind.

When Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton cross paths again, dreams die. She is a bitter, suicidal widow. He is a gunman with little conscience and f
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published September 28th 2012
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,275 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review completed September 30, 2012

4.5 stars.


Cal's eyes are very dark but his hair is dark blond. Anyway, reading is a personal experience as well as a little fantasy of mine and my Cal has dark hair. <3 <3 <3

Preliminary thoughts about my rating
Beautiful Bad Man is another great historical western penned by the very gifted Ellen O'Conn<3

4.5 stars

"...He's a very bad man, but he's a beautiful bad man."

Two children meet briefly on the Kansas prairie in 1866. The memories run so deep they last a lifetime.

Fifteen years later they meet again.
Caleb is a gun-for-hire.
Norah is a downtrodden widow.

Ellen O'Connell has written an authentic western in Beautiful Bad Man . Combine this with a tender romance and no wonder Ms O'Connell is my favourite author of historical western romance.

Steam: 2-2.5
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ingie by: Kathleen
Written August 15, 2015

4 1/2 Stars - Lovely, tender and just an amazing good Western HR

I finished this lovely story yesterday morning and I still feel that happy feeling in my heart. — A good one!!

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Wow, this "old" paperback, as I bought already in March 2013, really made my days (evenings) this (working) week. Such a good romance. Highly recommended to m/f HR fans who wants to leave the British no2015
5+ Stars

Edited Sept. 2013 to add: Congratulations to Ellen! In August 2013, Beautiful Bad Man won InD'Tale Magazines' American History division of their 2012 RONE awards...8/2013

Ellen O’Connell has once again crafted one of the very best Western Historical Romances I’ve had the pleasure of reading. She's my go to author for this genre and never disappoints. You can always count on superlative writing with a story that will keep you invested from beginning to end. But the pull for me are always her characte/>
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's a re-read. 3 years ago it were 5 stars and now it's the same!
I prefer a wonderful reread to bad book. For me it's awesome and inspiring story.
It's historical romance.
There are triggers.
Mcs are both beautiful people, they are the team, they are partners in everything
Safe read. No cheating. No OP scenes.

Author, thank you for such unique and beautiful story!

Quotes from this book:

“That was a boy’s love for a dream he didn’t think would/>“That
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Ahhhh... Finally!!!
I savored this book as a very best chocolate!
The story flew like smooth silk and the descriptions were fantastic, the action coherent and the feelings real a strong.
I loved both Norah and Caleb.
Norah was almost dead inside when Caleb found her, but Caleb too was not very far away from there too! They help heal each other step by step and it was a joy to read it!
Every action had its reason why and every word coming out of their mouths was just perfect.
❤️ Dorsey aka Wrath Lover Reviews ❤️
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ❤️ Dorsey aka Wrath Lover Reviews ❤️ by: Karla
Shelves: historical, cowboys

4 Gunslinger & The Widow Stars!!

This was my first Ellen O'Connell book and I can guarantee you it won't be my last!!!

Norah Hawkins was a willful young girl who made a decision to disobey her father and save a boy caught stealing from their wagon train, that one decision marked a change in her life. Now 15 years later she is widowed and lives on her own on the Kansas prairie in her sod house with very little resources, life is hard for her especially since her land is wanted by a greedy ruthless land baro
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing

“...she was honest enough to admit she married him because actions other men would not conceive of to start with or carry out to finish with were ordinary for [him]... not that she ever wanted or needed a husband who would steal without compunction, but she wanted that toughness, that hard eyed indifference to what anyone else thought, to - danger.”

Loved this. I just can'tclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-historic
(Content: Explicit sex, murder, violence, minimal swearing)

O'Connell is a superior writer, the author of Dancing on Coals (engrossing and unique, reviewed here).

This story is also good, even though not as tightly plotted. Relationship development is the great strength of Beautiful Bad Man. I loved watching trust and love grow from bitter despair and cold apathy. I enjoyed the secondary characters, too -- even the dog, Early.

SUMMARY: The story revolves around Cal Sutton (aka Caleb) an/>
Instead of the Magnificent Seven, we have the Magnificent One.

The original 1960 theme for listening pleasure;

In a nutshell, bad cowboy helps the widow keep her land from the greedy land magnate.

The long version:

Cal and Norah first meet as children when Norah saves the almost starving Cal from being lynched by the drunk bunch of wannabe settlers. She prays that he will make something grea
Jacqueline J
Another great story from Ellen O'Connell. I continue to be surprised at how much I like her books. They just have a realistic feel that I like. The plot here had no element where I thought that OTT or implausible stuff happened to make me roll my eyes. That said, this had a range war/lots of people dying vibe straight out of genre westerns that some might have a problem with if they haven't read many books by Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey and the like. One of the things I liked here is that EO'C didn ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Western romance.
Recommended to Ian by: Jill

Cal was caught stealing from a group of free settlers. They planned to lynch him but seeing the injustice of it, Norah, herself just a young girl helped him escape.
"Everyone you see is either predator or prey, wolf or rabbit. Wolf is better."


Cal is Webster van Cleve's newest gun for hire in his efforts to run settlers off their land so he can claim it for himself. Arriving at a run down earthen house with a group of hired guns, he discovers a defeated widow just waiting to die. When he realizes the woman is the giescape.
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy by: Jill
You will not get the Lorelei James type cowboys here. These men are the old fashioned gun slinging cowboys. There's no hot and heavy loving either; it's slow building and just good old fashioned romance and chivalry. So it's all good!
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Buddy-Read with Bubulinea:)

Bravo, Ms. O'Connell! I’m in complete awe of your talent!

After I read the last page, I wanted to go back and re-read the story right away. The plot, the characters, the romance, the setting was perfection. My kindle is full of notes and I just want to paste them here and let them do much better justice than anything I can say to relay my admiration for the story. I don’t know how the author does it. It seems to be so effortlessly written with subtle humor tha
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
3.5 Stars. Just doesn't compare to Eyes.
Another read by Ellen O'Connell that I thoroughly enjoyed. There's just something about her characters that work for me every time. No push and pull, characters that speak to and listen to each other, no TSTL, no arsehole moves. That'll do :)

4.5 stars
Regan Walker
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: western, 5-star-reads
Another Great Story from a Wonderful Author of Western Romance!

Set in Kansas in 1880 (except for the prologue set in 1866 and 1871), it tells the story of two people who met one night at a circled wagon train when they were young. He was a thief looking for food and she was his rescuer when some drunken men wanted to hang him. Neither forgot each other, but when they meet years later, all has changed.

Caleb Sutton has become a hardened gunslinger, good at killing men; and
This book changed my concept of Western historicals or Western romance novels. I like history, I enjoy some historical romances but I just never thought I would be interested in a western historical romance. I am not sure what I had in mind, but Beautiful Bad Man changed my mind. Beautiful Bad Man was the first book I read by Ellen O’Connell and remains one of my favorites. It begins with two children, one who needs the help of the other – desperately. After given, that help is never forgotten b ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr, 5-stars, perfect
Buddy read with Lyuda

316 pages of utter perfection. 316 pages of wishing the story wouldn't end. 316 pages to remind me again why I read this genre.

I won't say more about Beautiful Bad Man. I couldn't do it justice. Norah and Caleb will stay with me for a while.

Thank you, Lyuda, for buddy-reading this with me. It's been a pleasure! And thanks for getting me to read this.
Well, well, well...!

This has been a giant surprise for me. For the first time in . . . uh, however many years it is, I find an author that gets five of the highest 4.5/5 stars ratings for five of her books in a row, one after the other. And it's just such a pleasant experience that I'd not thought to repeat soon. O'Connell is now there with the likes of Colleen McCullough, Sharon Kay Penman and Dorothy Dunnett in getting the same uninterrupted high rating, and she has a satisfied followe
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

Norah Hawkins first saw Caleb Sutton when she was a girl and saved his life and hasn't seen him since but in her heart she imagines she has turned into a good man. However, when they meet again as adults they are both disappointed, Norah is bitter and slowly killing herself and Caleb seems to have grown into a killer with no conscience. But the memories from childhood seem to draw them together until they agree to marry for the sake of partnership, Norah will get Caleb's protection and Caleb w
From one of the best American Western Historical romance authors comes another fantastic installment, this time a book entitled Beautiful Bad Man, a most appropriate title for a book that delivered a story that was beautiful and fascinating as the hero in the story truly was, a book that made me sigh and yearn in all the right places as Ellen once again wove her special brand of magic on me.

To read the full review with quotes, please visit MBR's Realm of Romance

Rating= 4.75/5
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Norah never expected to see the boy she saved a long time ago. She certainly did not expect him to be a gunslinger working for the very man who killed her husband and now is after her land.
The moment Caleb recognizes Norah is the moment this story starts.

After you read the blurb, you'd expect a story like many others you've read or watched. And you would be wrong. Sure, there is a gunslinger who finds something he wants to protect, you have a horrible man who hires thugs to scare peopl
Beautiful, unforgettable love story. Since Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold was not as good as I thought it would be, I went into this book with low expectations. But what a wonderful read this was, I loved the heroine, the hero is now one of my favorites, great plot, great everything, didn’t want the book to end.
HERO is a Loner, ruthless, cold-blooded and fearless. No one cared about him since his mother died, had to escape his cruel uncle when he was a teenager, and has lived ever since by h
The first book in Ellen O'Connell's Sutton Family series. As a child, Norah Hawkins helped a boy escape from a bunch of drunken farmers intent on hanging him for stealing. Then fourteen years later, they meet again. Norah is a bitter widow who doesn't care if she dies and Caleb Sutton works for the man who would see it happen. But Caleb remembers The Girl who helped him and it's his turn to do a good deed.

Every book I have read of Ms. O'Connell's have been winners. This one included. Flawe
Jane Stewart
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good romantic relationship development, but depressing due to child abuse and bad guy’s deeds.

Rich landowner Van Cleve threatens, burns, destroys, and kills in order to get small farmers to sell at cheap prices. Van Cleve’s men killed Norah’s husband, burned her house, and took her food. She has no desire to live. Van Cleve’s men plan to rape her. Caleb stops them. Caleb had been working for Van Cleve for a month, but he quit the job and helps Norah. He is now the o
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread-books
I love finding new A books by new authors. And i equally love rereading A comfort reads. Some readers will read a book and even if they really enjoy the book, don't or perhaps very rarely go back and reread a book. I'm the opposite. I love to reread or rereread abook and so on. I last read Beautiful Bad Man in April of 2015 and here i just had to read it again. And it still gets 5 stars. Below is the review i wrote last year around this time.

I’ve already read this book a few times, b
Despite LOVIN the other books I’ve read by her- 3.5 out of 5 on this one.

Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton meet as children when she rescues him from a bunch of drunk men ready to do harm. Years later they meet again only he doesn’t recognize his once savior.

Beaten down by a life where a greedy land baron is after her farm- one in which her husband gave his life defending- Norah doesn’t recognize the gun slinger who talks a bunch of men who were sent to cause trouble out of
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Do you know that moment when you have very high hopes for a book because you loved other books by the same author, but for some reason that third book doesn't really work for you the way the previous two did? When I first got acquainted with O'Connell's work when I read Without Words back in July, I was very pleasantly surprised and now, when I read Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold, a couple of weeks ago, I got to thinking that all of O'Connell's work would be of similar quality. But unfortunately, I didn't f ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book deserves a better review than my hazy memory can provide. Make no mistake O'Connell is an extremely talented author and I expect that eventually I will have made my way through her entire back catalogue. This was a strong story with two strong characters. O'Connell's stories are set in the wild west [no idea if this is the right phrasing: my knowledge of frontier history is less than zero] and are gritty and earthy and violent (the attempted rapes, the treatment of women is particularl ...more
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“What she'd done was give him a glimpse of something that scared the bejesus out of him, something never meant for men like him that could start a hunger that would eat away what little was left inside him that didn't need to be shoved into the dark place.” 4 likes
“That was a boy’s love for a dream he didn’t think would ever come true. What I feel for you is a man’s love for a woman, a wife.” 1 likes
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