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Without Words

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,342 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Bounty hunter Bret Sterling kills Rufus Petty, thief and murderer, less than ten feet away from a frightened, half-starved woman. Rufus should have surrendered. The woman should have kin to help her. But Rufus went down shooting, and the woman has no one. Bret figures by the time he finds a safe place to leave Hassie Petty, he'll earn the five hundred dollar reward several ...more
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published September 30th 2014
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  2,342 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
3.75 Stars

I have a hard time properly rating/reviewing Ellen O'Connell books.

She penned what is probably one of my top ten books of ALL time, which I originally read in 2012. Since that original read, I have probably re-read it at least four times a year if not more (I am truly not exaggerating) and I know I will always continue to do so. I just love it that much.

The flip side to that though is that I want every O'Connell book to be as good...but lightning just doesn't often strike twice, does it?

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
I love Ellen O'Connell's writing. Without Words was a great read. The romance had a nice slow burn. I really felt the connection between Hassie and Bret. I loved their relationship had a nice build up and tons of meat to it. There was plenty going on in the plot to keep it from getting boring. Bret was an amazing hero. Hassie was different as she couldn't talk. I always have had a soft spot for damaged or scarred heroes or heroines. Overall another great read from Ms O'Connell.

4.5 stars

Hassie Petty's husband, a man old enough to be her father has just died. Her husband's son is a wanted man; a bounty hunter is on his trail. When the lawman catches up with him and kills him, Hassie is left with no family and nowhere to go. Making a living on the rundown farm by herself isn't an option.

Being a bounty-hunter is dangerous work. But after failing to secure Hassie's safety in the local town, leaving the widow to fend for herself isn't what bounty hunter, Bre
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
Reread 2019

Ellen O'Connell is my most favorite author for western historical. I usually read her books at least once a year. And looking at my review below, it's obvious I need to update it, it's an old one, from way before I started blogging. lol


I don't think Ellen O'Connell can do anything wrong.

Again she created a couple that is so unique and wonderfully perfect for each other, I'm still thinking about them long after bei
Lisa Kay

★★★★★ Oh, my! This was my first book by the talented Ellen O'Connell. I know, I know. Where have I been? To tell the truth, just afraid she would make me cry too much. I shouldn't have worried; any sniffles were worth it.

I cracked this book open, planning only to get a taste by reading the first chapter, expecting to get to it later. Instead, I stayed up all night reading non-stop!

This book has everything a Historical Western Romance should have: a heroic hero with a brain who doesn't take any crap; a
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

4,5 Stars

We're in 1871 Missouri, and the book opens with newly minted widow Hessie Petty burying her husband. Rendered mute by a terrible childhood accident, she's a neglected young woman whose quiet strength has though allowed her to survive an unloving marriage to a drunkard old enough to be her father and a dreary life with his uncaring family. Wondering about the uncertain future awaiting her on the patch of desolation that is now the barren and rundown Petty farm, Hessie unexpectedly finds a r
This is the second Ellen's book I read and I'm so not happy about getting on the bandwagon this late!

Bret and Hassie didn't let me put the book down even to eat. They were so amazing together. And Hassie's self appointed defender, Gunner, won my heart with his unwavering loyalty. They made a picture perfect family. Along with Brownie, Jasper and Packie. And of course, their rifles!
Bret's real family was so selfish and terrible, with the exclusion of Caroline, and his uppity ex-fiancee and smar
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book in one word? Heartwarming. The hero? Heart-stopping. The heroine? Lionhearted.

Western romance novel by one of my favorite authors in this genre. Rated R, with explicit sex, bloody violence, and some cussing — but not much, to my relief. A mix of action, tenderness, steam, heart-pounding danger, and humor. Some really great dialogue, even though Hassie can't speak well (now that's quite a trick!).

This mostly-mute heroine stole my heart, and the hero who learned how to "read" H
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it

Mismatched in every way, the sterling man and petty woman travel the West together, hunting thieves, deserters, and murderers. Wary traveling companions, friends and partners, lovers, Bret and Hassie must decide what they want, what they need, and the price they're willing to pay for love.

Enjoyed this one. Started off a bit slow but really got into it after a while.

I really should do revie
Wow. I am now 2 for 2 with Ellen O'Connell. Being from Texas, I stay clear from cowboy tales and big buckle rodeo guys (please ignore my hypocritical exclusion of Lorelei James's books. Buckle bunnies negate any real cowboy action. Yuck.). For the most part, fictional cowboys in romance are simply too ridiculous to take even within the context of a romance novel.

Oh, but EC's characters simply don't apply. Monosyllabic, honorable, rugged heroes that do what is necessary; heroines that suck it up and m
Duchess Nicole
Ellen O'Connell is a guaranteed good read. Low angst and pointless drama. Beautiful, meaningful romance. Tough cowboys, tougher women, both flawed. Loved it.
4.5 Stars!

Ellen O'Connell is one of my favorite Historical Western Romance authors and she doesn’t disappoint as she delivers one of the best with Bret and Hassie's story. This action packed romance is certainly a page turner and she serves it up well with a delicious, sexy bounty hunter along with a heroine I adored.

Hassie Petty’s life has never been easy. A tragic childhood accident has left her with no voice and unfortunately her worth as a female plummets. Ridiculed, mistreated, and misunder
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
3 star

I liked this but if I was to compare it to the other two westerns I read lately I enjoyed the other two a little more. Maybe if I had read this first I would have liked it more I duno. I thought the characters were very likeable and the romance well done. My only complaint is that I found it a bit slow.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After finishing a dark read I wanted something completely different and I got that here. This is the second book I've read by Ellen O'Connell and I'm a fan. I love her style of writing, it draws me in from the get go with a fabulous story without having to resort to any unnecessary drama. Her characters are fantastic, the heroes are alpha without the ridiculous "I'm man - beat my chest and speak in one word sentences" and the heroines are strong, resilient, calm and not a TSTL move in sight. Her ...more
Hassie has lost everything. Her voice, the result of a childhood accident; her mother who she loved; her alcoholic husband; and Rufus, the good for nothing son of her husband after he pulled a gun on the bounty hunter who had tracked him down.

With no money and absolutely no way to get by, Bret, the bounty hunter takes her with him in the hopes of cutting her loose at the first opportunity. But the world is hard on a woman living on the frontier and he soon realises her only chance is to stick with him.

SB*needs low angst books*
Re-read and still love it.

Bret Sterling is a bounty hunter who meets the heroine Hassie Petty because her stepbrother is a wanted man. She is left abandoned on the farm that was owned by her late husband. Bret steps in to help but at first feels she is a burden and Hassie fears him at first due to how they meet and being unsure of his intent. As they travel and hunt the men for their bounty feelings change and walls come down leading both to a life they never thought was possible.

Hassie is mut
Jane Stewart
Horseback riding western and romance. The author reminds me of LaVyrle Spencer.

This book kept me walking on the treadmill long past when I normally stop - twice. That’s a sign of a good book. I have NOTHING BAD to say. The author does it right. She doesn’t use cheap devices like stupidity and contrivances. The characters are likeable. The relationship develops in neat ways. Bret does smart things catching outlaws. I liked Hassie’s role in catching outlaws and other things.

❤️ Dorsey aka Wrath Lover Reviews ❤️
4 Bounty Hunter & The Widow Stars!!

Another fantastic Ellen O'Connell read! Once again many of my friends beat me to the punch and have already read and written fabulous reviews. So all I have to say is, this is a must read!!

If you like (or love) Westerns, Historicals, HEA's, a feisty heroine, and a fantastic Hero you need to read this book!!

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Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fabulous slow burn I lost myself in for a couple of days.

I admit I know bob-all about American history; If ever my school had included it on the syllabus then giving me this to read would've been a sure fire way of grabbing my attention. Instead of that we did the Romans and WW 2 and volcanoes using home made models and crackly videos. That's all I remember anyway. An opportunity squandered. I digress.

Anyway, this is a historical tale set in the US wild west. He's a tou
When bounty hunter Bret Sterling kills Rufus Petty, he is left with the decision of what to do with Hassie Petty, the dead man's step-mother. Hessie's elderly husband died only days before and she is near starving with no money or food. Bret thinks to leave her in a nearby town but circumstances prove that to be a bad idea. So Bret and Hassie head out together to catch bad guys.

The story begins in the year 1871, six years after the American Civil War. Bret fought for the Union, again
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it

Given the chance, other women would develop the physical strength, but how many ever had the inner resilience, the strength of spirit that kept joy alive no matter how oppressive the circumstances?

Loved this! And I have to say, I was skeptical at first. With a heroine named "Hassie" who couldn't speak... I was wondering how she was going to pull this off. But she most definitely did. Thesclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Close your eyes and imagine an accident that happened when you were a child. It caused you immense pain. And after you healed, your life changed.


Breton J. Sterling was a gunman: a bounty hunter. He collected his pay, his money, by hunting down outlaws: men that engaged in and profited from illegal acts. When he caught up with Rufus Petty, he was forced to kill him. And, at that time, he met Hassie.

Without Words had an opposite-attract essence that permeated the pages. Two people: each affected by a life-alter
Michelle [Helen Geek]

Overall Rating = 3.5 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 1 / 4 / 3 = 2.5 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 3 Stars
Character / Secondary Character Development = 4 / 2 = 3 Stars
“Did I like” Hero / Heroine = 4 / 3 = 3.5 Stars
Story / Background Story Development = 4 / 2 = 3 Stars
“Did I like the Damned Thing” = 4 Stars
Ending = 4 Stars
Worth the Chili = 5 Stars -- [$4.99 on Amazon, a Kindle Unlimited selection]
Smexy [HEAT] Rating = Mild/>
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
This is my first book by the author and I really enjoyed it.

She is mute and has nobody in her life but a loyal dog named Gunner and an adorable horse named Brownie. I am so taken by Hassie’s inner strength and how she learns to be happy with what she has. She's what made the book for me.

Believable Romance:
No insta-lust/love. There is no dull moment between Hassie and Bret.

Well-developed supporting characters:
The best supporting characters go
Captured me from start to finish. I highly recommend.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it

It took some time to for me to warm up to this one but once I did I enjoyed it. And talk about a slow burn romance. Hassie (got to love that name LOL) and Brett were thrown together from the get go and from all things that were apparent one wouldn't think they'd ever make it the point of getting busy under the sheets but thank the lord they did! :)

She was sweet. He was stubborn. She always seemed happy. He was skeptical. She had a horse one would consider a nag. He a had a beauty. She wouldn't
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's official, I'm one of Ellen O'Connell's fans.
She is on my very few automatic buy list:)

How to explain how I feel about her books?
Let me tell you something, English is not my first language.
I'm a multilingual person, unfortunately I can say I'm very good at all of them.
Even my mother tongue is awfull now due to not live in the country almost 20 years only speaks once in a year while I visiting or on the phone, yup even my mum said I speaks like a foreigner:
Katrina Passick Lumsden
With the exception of Rottweiler Rescue, I've read every one of Ellen O'Connell's books, and while Without Words can't be counted as a favorite, it's far better than a couple of O'Connell's previous releases.

O'Connell has a talent for writing good dialogue and believable, likable characters. There isn't that characteristic imbalance present in most romance wherein you really like either the hero or the heroine, but never both. No, with O'Connell's books, if you like one, you'll probably like the other. Whi
The very first note that I made as soon as I started reading Without Words by Ellen O’Connell was, “Reading an Ellen O’Connell after so long. I’m so excited.” That excitement pretty much started as soon as I stumbled upon Ellen’s newest release and held all throughout, since then up till I turned the very last page. Ellen O’Connell is a master unto herself. A force to be reckoned with when it comes to self-published and otherwise authors out there. Her writing style rivals that of one my favorit ...more
I love EOC's western's. I always feel like I'm coming home. Oh, not because I lived in the western part of the US at some point in my life- because I didn't- but because they are exactly the type of romantic novel that made me fall in love with reading.

The story opens with our heroine, Hassie Petty, in the middle of burying her much older, drunkard but otherwise innocuous, husband. Unbeknownst to her, the man helping her bury him, (her step-son- who happens to be older then she too)-
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“Her laugh had done that. A woman with a ruined voice shouldn’t have a whispery, silvery laugh that crawled up a man’s spine with delicate little female claws and roused things long dead and better left that way.” 0 likes
“He moved slightly, his voice as soft in its way as his hands had been. “I think this moment right now is worth every day of the years wandering in the wilderness it took to get here.” 0 likes
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