Diamonds and Dust (Gems of the West Book 1)

Marie Higgins and
Stacey Haynes

Dusty Sloan is on the trail of diamond thieves when his stagecoach is attacked. A dedicated Pinkerton agent, he can handle himself and catch his man. But dealing with Miss Callie Beckman, a beautiful woman with secrets of her own at the same time, might be the challenge Dusty didn’t know he needed. Callie desperately needs to find her missing brother without involving the law. But with a Pinkerton agent at her side, Callie finds herself struggling to keep to her plans. More than one person has their eyes on the diamonds, and with lives at stake, Callie needs all the focus she can muster to save her brother and return the diamonds to their owner. If only Dusty’s kisses weren’t so distracting.

Action and sparks from beginning to end, “Diamonds and Dust” starts with an attack on a stagecoach and ends with a bang. Dusty and Callie are both caught up in the theft of diamonds from Callie’s bank, but are chasing different leads. There are multiple antagonists and a couple of twists for good measure. At the same time, the pair essentially fall into love due to the circumstances, and the pace is rushed at times which jars both the romance and the action, which isn’t the most original. However, readers who enjoy strong female leads will find plenty to enjoy about Callie. Unlike most damsels in the Western period, Callie is smart, kind, and tough. She has weaknesses, but give her a boot and aim her in the right direction, and she’ll have the reader laughing and smiling. Add in Dusty’s charm and sharpshooting, and readers will have a wild and fun time.

Sarah E Bradley