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Sierra Legacy #1

Wild Horses

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This wild stallion can't be tamed

Todd Williams is still the naive idealist he was in college. Only now he's endangering lives—Nora Hoffman's to be exact. Nora hasn't seen Todd since he decided that saving the rain forest was more important than their relationship. Until the night she's nearly crushed by the stampede he causes. Now Todd is determined to make amends, for everything.

She may not agree with his methods, but even Nora can't deny the importance of his fight to save the wild horses. With the attraction between them still sizzling and the fate of the horses in the balance, Nora must decide just how much she's willing to risk.

384 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 1, 2016

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About the author

Claire McEwen

49 books618 followers
Claire McEwen lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she can be found digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green thumb. She loves discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach, dancing, traveling and reading, of course!

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5 stars
25 (55%)
4 stars
11 (24%)
3 stars
7 (15%)
2 stars
2 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Love Books.
10 reviews5 followers
February 29, 2016
Wild Horses made a nice change from the usual when it comes to Western romances. The setting and the issues surrounding the horses was really refreshing but it still had the same comforting feeling of small town and beautiful descriptions of rugged countryside. True to the Superromance line, Wild Horses delivers more than romance. It brings light to the plight of the wild horses and of the issues facing people living in a small town. Nora is desperate to escape her past but is unable to when having to return home to help her brother with his ranch.

Shadowed by her past and her need to be perfect, Nora is pretty uptight. I found it quite hard to connect with her, in spite of understanding why she was the way she was. I was really hoping for some more light-hearted moments from her but even when she was enjoying banter with Todd, it didn't seem natural. Todd is a good counterpart to her--easygoing and understanding though I felt he had more patience than I would have done. Whilst I found him likeable and certainly heroic, I didn't fall for him. He was sometimes a little too perfect.

The theme of growth and understanding was strong in this story. Having dated in the past, the story could have been one where they hashed over all their previous issues. I'm glad they both realised quite early on to let go of who they were in the past. Though their growth wasn't complete, both managed to realise neither of them were like the teenagers they were in the past and they were honest with each other. It was a breath of fresh air to have two adults behaving just like that--like adults. And the story offered a heart-warming promise of a fresh start that was both satisfying and beautiful.
Profile Image for E..
1,892 reviews19 followers
March 8, 2016
“Wild Horses” by Claire McEwen is the first book in the ‘Sierra Legacy’ series and follows Nora Hoffman, who has been hired by the Department of Range Management to study the environmental impact of wild horses on the native plant populations of a region of the Eastern Sierras. Her traumatic re-introduction to Todd Williams reminds her of the difficult decisions made in their shared past, and discovering that their intense attraction has not fizzled out makes it even more difficult to deal with the fact that they are on opposite sides of Todd’s struggle to rescue wild mustangs. Each will have to decide whether scars of the past will prevent them from finding a future together.

This contemporary romance does a great job of presenting the complexities surrounding the impact of development on the environment and the delicate balance of the ecosystem. The theme of past lovers reunited is enhanced by the changes in the characters as they have matured and follows them as they learn to cope with some of the issues from the past. This is an enjoyable sweet and sensual romance that touches on several serious topics, including PTSD and the difficulties of living with abuse and unethical role models, and deftly lays the framework for other stories to follow. I enjoyed getting this glimpse of the land and learning more about the issues surrounding the plight of the wild horses that are trying to eke out an existence in a rapidly decreasing range.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Profile Image for Angieleigh.
688 reviews124 followers
November 7, 2016
I have long loved Harlequin novels and when the opportunity arose for me to review a book set in the West about a couple that had broken up ten years previous and were renewing their relationship, well, I jumped at the chance.

However, I dislike reading a book in the middle of a series, so I grabbed this and the secondary book to get to know the characters and what the series is about.

McEwen tells a great story of a man who is passionate about his causes, one of them being the plight of America's wild horses that are being rounded up, treated horribly, and driven away from land that rightfully belongs to them. I adore Todd, character flaws and all, but did find his stubbornness when it came to projecting his views and moral code onto others, especially Nora, to be a bit tedious at times.

Unfortunately, I could not really connect with Nora as I found her too unyielding and the chip on her shoulder to be mountainous. She was so rigid and unable to give the town she grew up in a chance to get to know the adult Nora that it became monotonous at times. I did sympathize with her for trying to overcome her past - an absentee mother who abandoned her family to move to Europe and away from her criminal husband and oldest children - but she just refused to see the forest for the trees until Todd helped her see reason.


I do wish the author had expounded upon Nora's profession; the most rudimentary of details are given. Nora is a plant biologist in charge of researching the impact of wild horses on native plants in the Sierra mountains. I would have liked to know exactly what the native plants are that she was studying, to be honest.

I can't wait to get to know Wade, Nora's former Marine brother that she had done her best to protect nearly all of his life. He has taken charge of their dilapidated family ranch and trying to keep busy after the effects of the war and trying to right the sins of his father and brothers.

Please note: This book contains strong language and sexual situations. Not appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Profile Image for Jess Lawson.
539 reviews11 followers
May 19, 2017
Wild Horses is the First in the Sierra Legacy series. Which is set in Benson, mostly on Marker's Ranch. A ranch that was owned by The Hoffman family and then abandoned.

Nora and Todd had a relationship years ago that was ancient history or was it. Todd was the last person she ever thought she would see in her home town. He absolutely broke her heart and walked away when she needed him most. Todd has many regrets and he never thought he would get to make up for hurting Nora and here she is at the place he has now decided to make his home.

The rekindling of the relationship between the to seemed inevitable but also a little long and drug out. They both were passionate people yet they also carried to much pride. Neither of them could put each other before what they felt was most important. Nora cared way to much about what other's thought about her because of the way she was raised. She had to be the strong one and become an adult way before she was meant to. Todd was carefree and only wants to make amends as well as fight for his new cause.
1,527 reviews31 followers
May 12, 2017
Claire McEwen has written a great series of books called the Sierra Legacy. Each book is heartfelt, has an interesting plot, and has likable characters. The first book in the series is called Wild Horses. It gives us our first look at the Hoffman family. The patriarch and his sons have not exactly been law abiding citizens and have long since left Benson, California. Nora and her brother Wade Hoffman return to the family Ranch after Wade returns from serving in Afghanistan. This is a story of second chances for the siblings. When Nora reconnects with her ex, Todd Williams, will they be able to get past their differences from their college break up and move forward? Will Wade find a way to deal with his PTSD? McEwen has written a believable story of slowly rekindling a friendship. She also has treated the subject of PTSD with respect. I have liked every book of McEwens that I've read and I am ready for more.
608 reviews4 followers
August 7, 2017
A man with a history of working for causes, in this case, wild mustangs. A woman who is a champion of the native flora, using her degree to help justify the wild mustang roundup for the BLM. They have a history with each other. Who's wrong? Who's right?

This story was great on so many levels. A couple with a romantic history, seemingly on different sides of a battle. They clash, then come together. I was happy that they were able to compromise and reach a HEA. Both Todd and Nora had family issues that had to be shared, and resolved before they could leave the past in the past and more forward. Add Nora's brother with PTSD and Todd's falling out with his family, well, there were so many things to overcome.

The addition of facts about range land being over grazed, and the politics of the horses vs. the cattle was interesting to me. When I was done reading this book, I felt like I'd learned something, too!
Profile Image for Olivia.
471 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2020
Loved it

Absolutely loved this book and the characters. Lots of emotional upheaval and growth for the characters. As well as a great ending.
Profile Image for Chick Lit Shop.
8 reviews20 followers
April 17, 2016
4.5 Stars! Very Unique Book! Loved it! (Which Wins - Professional Calling or Calling of the Heart?)

Wild Horses presents a very unique and thought-provoking storyline. Nora Hoffman, the main character, is a field biologist, who is returning to her small hometown to deal with the economic mess legacy her not-there-for-her/crooked parents have left her and her brother. Her brother, Wade, is dealing with demons of his own, as a decorated U.S. Veteran coming back from war, and trying to start his own ranch. Both are dealing with the prevalent town negative gossip/backlash from their parents' bad choices during their childhood. Also, she has not dated since the love of her life (Todd) ditched her immediately upon college graduation, who is a head-strong, naive, overly-idealistic, passionate, eco-warrior, to pursue his own career dreams. To Nora's dismay, Todd and she end up in the same small town about a decade later at the same time for different and opposite professional work reasons. The question on the table is, which wins - professional calling or calling of the heart?

Pros: 1) The author delves into each character's head and creates three flawed and highly-believable characters fighting the inner demons of scarring childhoods. All the characters have incredible insight to their weaknesses and yet, harbor them as inner secrets, causing pain and heartache directly & indirectly to each other. None of these characters are fit partners or in the case of her brother, really fit for life, however, through their juxtaposition in the small town, all three begin a telling growth process. 2) This book has narrative believability. Claire McEwen proves that not only can you have an intelligent, scientific female main character, but that it does not have to de-evolve into "nerdy" or "Einstein" intelligence stereotypes. Unlike “The Big Bang Theory,” I am intrigued by Claire's emotionally fragile, more girl-next-door, feminine approach. I was also extremely impressed with how real-life accurate and dramatic the final conflict was.

Cons: 1) The Main Heartthrob, a “pretty boy,” isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It is the mark of a great writer, when a well-written character can invoke a negative response in a reader. This is not your typical "book boyfriend." Todd is extremely flawed, and some readers may get completely turned off by his style. However, I found his idealism realistically portrayed and liked it. 2) My one major caveat is that I found Nora’s romantic response to Todd _before_ the final conflict in the book slightly unrealistic to this otherwise exceptional book (which is why this is 4.5 stars rather than a full 5 stars).

Highly recommend this book to Romance & SuperRomance readers. It will keep you thrilled throughout. The grittiness of the small town, the country-western theme, the complex backstories and interesting small town characters, make this a perfect, take-me-away yet relatable real-life problems blend. For those who love environmentalism, buy this book and support environmentalism in romance! :)

Note: I was provided a free large-print paper copy of Wild Horses (Sierra Legacy) for an honest and non-biased book review.
Profile Image for DebbieReadsBooks.
2,363 reviews38 followers
April 24, 2016
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.

Cute. Nice. Easy read. These are the feelings I'm left with after finishing. I can't word it any differently, I've tried, believe me!

Nora returns to her home town to help her brother Wade on their family ranch. She never wanted to, but Wade needs her. She runs into her first and only love, Todd. Ten years have gone by and he still makes her heart beat faster. But Todd is working against the company that Nora is working for. Can they see a future together, one that lets them both be themselves??

I did enjoy this, for the most part. Its an easy read, without too much complication or mystery. You don't get all of Nora's history in one, you get it, mostly, just as Todd does, because was closed off in their relationship before, about her upbringing. We don't get all of Todd's history either, until Nora gets it, what happened after Todd went to save the rain forests without Nora.

I can't word this review differently, other than it was nice! And you all know how much I hate not being able to word things properly, cos although NICE is a good thing, its not really the right word I want to use, and I can't find that word.

Easy read, great to slot in between more in depth, darker books. A little too long to be a hang over cure, though.

3 stars

**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble**
1,292 reviews5 followers
March 13, 2016
This is the first book that I have ever read by Claire McEwen and it will not be the last. As I started reading it, I immediately felt connected to the Nora, Wade and Todd. As your reading you are able to feel their emotions and it seems like you are right there with them.

Nora struggled all her life, raising herself and her younger brother Wade. She left to go to College and make something of herself which she did. She also supported her brother and helped him make something of his life as well. Their mother left them when they were little and her father and her two other brothers never helped her and Wade to succeed.

At college, Nora met Todd, he didn't ask questions about her past which was fine with her because she didn't want to answer them. Nora always had a plan and Todd always did things that he thought was right but didn't weigh all possibilities of the future outcome of his actions.

He decided that there were Wild Horses that needed to be let go so without thinking that someone might get hurt, he let them go and Nora was caught in the stampede.

It is a great book and I would definitely recommend reading it. I will be reading more books by Claire McEwen. This one I received as and ARC in exchange for an honest review.
109 reviews
February 28, 2016
Nora and Todd went their separate ways after graduating, well, Todd went his way and left Nora broken hearted. She had to take care of her brother and not head off on another cause in the Amazon. After many years, returns to her home town to help her brother revive their families ranch. Little did they know how much work that would be. Heading to the fix it shop to get some machinery repaired, Nora couldn't prepare herself for who she would run into. Todd not only works, by lives in her hometown is not something she was prepared for. He is back with a new cause for saving wild horses. The feeling that were there before he left for Amazon all come back for the both of them. Can they move on, with or without each other?
Wild Horses is a great book. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Was not too excited about reviewing , but turned out something I couldn't put down. Loved the history between the two characters and of course, the relationships! Very good read, definitely recommend! Five hearts from me.
Reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock!
Profile Image for Kari Lemor.
Author 32 books153 followers
March 12, 2016
Claire McEwen is quickly becoming a must-read author for me. I loved her first three books and this one certainly didn't disappoint. The setting of the Sierra's and the familiar town of Benson is an amazing and beautiful location. She has a nice way of telling a story and developing characters that speak to you and make you root for them. What I really loved about this book was that the hero wasn't your typical take-charge, perfect male specimen who was too good to be true. Todd was someone who made mistakes, often, but usually with good intentions. But he made great efforts to fix the problems and pain he'd caused others. I loved the little side story of Nora's brother and his PTSD. I'm hoping we'll get a story about him too. I'd love to see someone come in and take care of him. The story was mostly sweet with a few sex scenes though they were nicely done and not too steamy if that's what you prefer. I'd definitely recommend this book to all who like a good reunion romance.
Profile Image for Kate Vale.
Author 24 books75 followers
March 1, 2016
If you want to get a taste of the wild horses remaining in the West, this is story may hint at what is happening to them. Todd Williams wants to protect them from going to the slaughterhouse, but much is against his efforts, not least of them the study Nora Hoffman is conducting about the effect of the horses on the native plant life of the Eastern High Sierras.

They used to be lovers in college, but now they find themselves on opposite sides when it comes to those wild horses. How Nora begins to soften her view of them and Todd learns to appreciate Nora's work is what will eventually bring them together, but will it ever happen? Especially when Nora is called to testify at a Congressional committee and Todd isn't sure anyone will stand up for the horses at that same hearing. Read on to see what happens...
Profile Image for Rachael.
770 reviews3 followers
March 23, 2016
While Nora is in her hometown helping her brother set up his ranch, she discovers that her ex boyfriend from college is now residing in town. Even though Todd broke her heart 10 years ago, she still loves him. However, she is reluctant to get involved with him because she is sure it will lead to another broken heart.

As Nora and Todd discover details about each other's pasts that they hadn't known while dating in college, they start to understand the decisions that were made all those years ago. After rekindling their romance, Todd's causes threaten to tear them apart again. I enjoyed this second chance romance and look forward to the next book in the Sierra Legacy series.

**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Sherry Bohrmueller.
1,249 reviews5 followers
February 29, 2016
Once again Claire McEwen has written a perfectly paced romantic story.
The writing was so wonderful and so full of emotion I felt I was in the book with them. It was so descriptive making it easy to visualize scenes.

Nora was very strong and determined in not being judge by people. She was worried they would look at her and remember her dad and brothers. Todd was a strong character also, who fights hard to win Nora back. Their story was so good I had a hard time putting the book down. Definitely recommend reading this book.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynn Brooks.
2,984 reviews30 followers
March 7, 2016
A sweet read about finding your way home again, even if you have to overcome a lot of heartache and stubbornness to be able to do it.

Nora Hoffman is almost trampled in a stampede of wild horses one night, and who does she find guilty of releasing them? Her old college sweetheart who she hasn't seen since he dumped her to run off and save the rain forest all those years ago!

Todd Williams has no clue that anyone is there that night when he's trying to help the wild mustangs, but he sure is relieved when Nora is not injured. He can't believe she's there, and he's so happy to reconnect with her ... and surprised to feel that old stirring of attraction.
Profile Image for Megan Wilkins.
97 reviews
April 1, 2016
I was gifted a copy in exchange for a honest review.
Claire McEwen is a new author for me and I can not wait to read more of her books. The story is set in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and being a Nevadan I loved the descriptions of the beauty of scenery. It is a story about second chances from another chance in Nora's hometown to a second chance with her first love Todd. The story is filled with great characters and touches on hard issues from PTSD to wild Mustangs to the difficulty Nora and her brother Wade had growing up. Once I started the book I could not put it down until I finished it!
Profile Image for Sherry.
973 reviews64 followers
March 26, 2016
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in the Sierra Legacy series and I loved this second chance romance. I was drawn into the story right from the start and loved Todd and Nora. This story had it all...great characters, romance, heartbreak, and touched on some serious issues such as PTSD and the plight of wild horses. A truly enjoyable story that takes you through a range of emotions and an ending that makes you smile. Can't wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Rhonda Ziglar.
3,534 reviews30 followers
March 2, 2016
Wild Horses by Claire McEwen was a great refreshing story. This book was very well written the Todd and Nora became part of your family, you felt all their emotions. This book was taste of fresh air for me, I am looking to reading more story by Claire McEwen. Do yourself a favor and read this book, you will love it too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
34 reviews8 followers
April 15, 2016
What a great book! It truly is a super romance! Sparks reignite when Nora Hoffman & Todd Williams, college sweethearts, meet again under strange circumstances. At first, it seems as though neither one of them has changed in the 10 years since they've been apart. Or have they? And can they, & his beloved wild mustangs, get a second chance for a future?
Author 4 books24 followers
December 24, 2017
This book pulled my heartstrings the way Nora cared so much for her brother and what she has had to overcome in her life. Plus the wild horses component is fantastic. The author handled it with just the right touch, not letting the horses take over the plot, and showing their beauty as well as their plight. The setting is amazing, I felt like I was there. Wild rugged beauty, I could smell the fresh air!

The second chance romance was great. Nora and Todd had a lot of good memories but also major conflicts to work through. It was a page turner to see them do so.

I'm looking forward to the series, it's emotional, romantic and wholesome.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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