The Drifter’s Kiss

Devon McKay

Narrator: Jacki Swinford


CONTEMPORARY/WESTERN:  This is a contemporary western, set on two neighboring ranches in Montana. Addison Reed runs one of these ranches after her parents perish in a questionable car accident when she is 18. William Ramsey, who wants to buy her out, runs the neighboring ranch. When her cattle start disappearing, Addie suspects Ramsey, but she lacks proof. Ramsey has recently hired a new ranch foreman named Sawyer Dawson. Sawyer and Abbie meet one night in a dive bar, where Addie hopes to gather information by listening to conversations between Ramsey and her own foreman, who she suspects is helping him. Together, they put some of the pieces together and Sawyer decides to help Addie.

This is a relatively short audiobook. The listener gets enough information to understand and accept each protagonist’s motivation, but not enough to delve too deeply. There are a few issues with believability, in that things that ordinarily take some time, seem to happen in warp speed. Examples include having a coherent conversation within minutes of getting out of surgery, or doing several significant and time-consuming activities in the early morning hours, but still being on time for sunrise ranch chores. Nevertheless, the story flows nicely and keeps the listener engrossed and caring about the outcome and about justice for Addie.

Jacki Swinford is able to do a good job differentiating between the various personalities and voices of the characters in this story. Each of these ranchers and every hand speaks with a southern accent, which isn’t common to Montana. Regardless, the recording quality is high for most of the audiobook. At one place toward the end, there are some unexpected background noises as if something is revolving. Other than that, the quality is maintained throughout the audiobook. The ending offers a nice and unexpected surprise!

Carey Sullivan