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Brighter than Gold

(The Western Novels/Matthews Novel)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  736 ratings  ·  74 reviews
In 1864 Columbia, California, the gold rush is over. Spirited Katie MacKenzie helps her father run a saloon and writes articles for the local newspaper about the Griffin, a Robin Hood-style highwayman who robs the unscrupulous mine owners and gives back to the townspeople.

Irresistibly roguish Jack Adams, an adventurer with a dark secret, rides into the sleepy Sierra town
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published January 8th 2014 by Boxwood Manor Books (first published March 13th 1990)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  736 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you like romances with absolutely no excitement
If you want a romance that is a bland, inoffensive and predictable Ball of Soporific Suck, then do pick this one up.

I really get annoyed at 2 star books. There's nothing to enrage me or make me want to throw it into a bonfire, but my feeling the entire time is one of simmering boredom that never boils. It's not fair to hate them - because they are technically competent - but they are lacking something vital just the same.

That's what this book was. There was nothing new or even interesting in it.
Meh. Nothing really exciting to write home about. The California gold country setting was a plus, but the foot stomping too independent heroine wore thin pretty fast.
Trashy Katie
Jul 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-e-book
I found this book insulting.

I'm tempted to leave the review at that, but you probably want some evidence to back up my assertion. Here it is, but I warn you there are spoilers below....

1. A stranger, Jack, comes to town and saloon owner Brian, befriends him. He (and frankly, most of the characters in this book) takes the stranger's advice over his daughter, Katie's. She is level-headed, capable, and practical so her advice should have merit. However, as soon as the stranger makes a recommendatio
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know there's been some negative reviews but i quite enjoyed this book even with the errors made on the year. I would not class this as a BR though.....more of a historical romance.
Candace N
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story was gold! Jack is a VERY magnetic character, you can’t help but be drawn to him. I liked Katie too, she was independent, headstrong and passionate. The storyline was awesome! It was interesting, full of humour and moves at a perfect pace. I also learned a few things I didn’t know and looked up afterwards. I completely enjoy when actual historical figures make their way into a fictional story. There is a lot of things going for this story! Brilliant read!
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
150 pages of plot shoved into 350 pages.

Everything dragged. Every single thing. I ended up skimming 75% of the book because the conversations were pointless. While I'm okay with including slice of life moments to help with pacing, this book stopped the pace dead in its tracks. There were countless unnecessary scenes that did nothing to drive the plot or develop characters -- most of them were intended to show something else about the protagonists that the reader could pick up on their own withou
Nov 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book as a throwaway light read, good for queues and doctors' waiting rooms etc. But the more I read of it the more the charm of the simple tale won me over. I enjoyed the setting and the time period, and think the author did a good job with small details to really bring it all to life. The description of lavish dresses and foods was great! I liked the characters, although they were both annoying at certain points, which just adds to realism, in my opinion.I think a lurid cover is ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rogues-go-west
BRIGHTER THAN GOLD is the first in Cynthia Wright's Rogues Go West (or sometimes called Western Rebels) series. Set in the mining town of Columbia, California in 1864, Kathleen (Katie) MacKenzie works at her father's saloon and writes for the local paper. She meets newcomer Jack Adams and takes him into instant dislike. Katie is more interested in learning the identity of the mysterious vigilante known as the Griffin, whom she sees as heroic. A tragic accident leaves Katie alone in the world and ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
With all of the negative reviews, I expected this to be a quick easy read to get me on to the next great book -- I really didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either! I found it to be a fun story -- especially the appearances of Sam Clemons! Being as it was a historical romance, one could surmise that it was going to have a happy ending, I just wasn't sure how that bow was going to get wrapped up and tied! I didn't appreciate some of the over the top vocabulary-- which I felt was out of place an ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Calaveras County Gold Rush Love

A fun, romantic tale of life, love and controversy in California's gold rush. From Katie's journey into womanhood to Jack's struggle with himself, this is a sweet though passionate story of the human rites of passage on so many levels. Ms. Wright's telling of the diversity of lives during the growth of the nation is compelling and so much more fun than the dry history we learned in school. Katie and Jack's story is fun, wrenching and filled with emotion from beginn
Aurora Harner
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very good read

I found this book very entertaining and definitely one of the best romance novels I have read in a long time. There were parts that I read and I would think I knew what would happen next and then I would be surprised all over again. The relationship and banter between the heroine and the hero was comical and we'll entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on reading more from this author.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful story about a young lady who takes responsibility for herself and her life and is happy to help everyone around her. All she wants in return is truth, honesty and love.
She meets up with a man who has secrets and this is when the story really begins.
There are many twists and turns to keep one interested and eager to find out what is going to happen next.
It is well written and very easy to read and follow and I am quite happy to recommend it as a great read.
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an easy well written to read book. Has some good history in it even if it has some errors on the year. There was a lot of research done. It shows how the chemistry goes between men and women. I loved the descriptions given on the dresses and the many different foods. Keep up the good work.
Sandie Parrish
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brighter than Gold

This is a fun book to read starting with Katies' birthday celebration then ending with the following years.birthday party. During that year she meets and falls in love with a Robinhood, her father is accidentliy killed, she gets married and is expecting her first child. She has quite a ride during the year. I hope you enjoy the book.
ann cheeseman
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I did not want to put this book down... I was either lulled into a sense of either happiness, understanding, anticipation and emotion. Then I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see the hero right many wrongs that a gready pair of men who had no morals. This almost clean romance was thoroughly worth reading... Thank you Cynthia. 💯 % Enjoyable.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not my taste

I stopped reading early in the book because I found the personality of the hero to be positively repulsive. In my long life, I have found that in real life, men with his combination of arrogance and suaveness tend to be egotistical if not narcissistic. Sexy, but very bad bets for marriage.
Barbara R. Cady
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gold fever

As I'm sure really did happen, this story of gold rush times had villains, heroes,, historical figures and a headstrong female! It was well written, very enjoyable and full of a variety of emotions. Well worth the read.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good read. Small town caught up in the later gold fever in west. Declining town and the robber baron guys who were ripping off small miner and people of the town and using hydraulics to tear up the town to find more gold underneath. The came the Robin Hood of the west called The Griffin..
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What A Charming Read!

This writing captures the hints of time gone by and makes it come to life. The characters become real through the story telling. This book gives you mystery, deception, human kindness and love. Sit back and enjoy as you turn the pages.
Terrie Wimberly
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well developed characters.

Good storyline, interesting characters and a glimpse of Mark Twain all combine to create a satisfying read. I recommend to all who enjoy a romance that must overcome a few bumps to survive.
Carissa Beattie
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good read.

The characters were believable and very interesting. The storyline moved at a good pace. The historical line was informative and interesting. I highly recommend this book.

pat white
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read

I have just discovered this author, and read her book which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was full of wonderful characters with a hero and heroin that you fall in love with. A truly fabulous storyline that you will love and enjoy. I adored it.
Mary E
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Story!

I hated for this book to end! Brighter Than Gold had it all: romance, intrigue, conflict, and danger. The addition of Samuel Clemens was a nice touch. Very well done, Ms. Wright!
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
California history

I grew up in Northern California and have been to the towns in this story. Adding a famous historical figure and weaving him into the story was a good idea.
Barbara A. Faw
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this western romance even though it was a little long & a slow moving plot.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack lives a double life. He meets spirited Katie. Adventure, romance and laughter makes this another fantastic book from Cynthia.
Michele Polanis
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable.

Well developed characters and loved the weaving of actual people into the story! Well thought out plot line. Look forward to more.
Angeline Salvas
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good read

Good read for me. Kept me interested and wanting to get back to reading it when I set it down.
A. Jones
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad. I wish the storyline was a bit more interesting, when it stayed in the same place for so long.
Deborah K Van Loan
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrific western romance

Plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest! Sweet story with happy ending. Well written. It was free but would have paid for the enjoyment.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 30, 2015 12:08PM  

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Cynthia Wright is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the two Rakes & Rebels series, 11 intertwining historical romances starring the irresistible Raveneau & Beauvisage families. She has also written beloved series set during the Renaissance and in the American West. Romantic Times Magazine hails Cynthia's novels as "Romance the way it was meant to be."

Cynthia’s newest n

Other books in the series

The Western Novels/Matthews Novel (3 books)
  • Fireblossom (The Western Novels/Matthews Novel #1)
  • Wildblossom (The Western Novels/Matthews Novel #2)