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The Garnet Madam (A Montana Madam Novella, 3)

Rating: 5 out of 5

"Nothing made her more furious than when a man treated her like a child."

When the gold ran out and the miners left Virginia City, Johanna O'Connor was left to linger in the slowly decaying Painted Pearl Saloon. A letter from the brother she had long presumed to be dead sends her searching for him, and she finds herself embroiled in a stagecoach robbery and the bandits responsible for the heist. But the leader of the bandits is more than he seems, and may just be the man to melt Jo's frozen heart.

I have read each of the novellas in this series and this one was by far my favorite. It was a bit of a change from the others, where the brothel featured pretty prominently, but here is only part of the beginning. I think I fell in love with this one because it became clear from the start that Jo was not someone to be trifled with. She is fierce, independent, smart and able to think on her feet. She was such a stark contrast to the other two women in the novellas and I want more of her story.

So this one is a bit different from the others as Jo receives a letter from a brother she thought long dead and then decides to hunt him down. Along the way Jo encounters some circumstances that enable us to see just how fierce she is. She takes on a lot and isn't afraid to fight someone, even if they are showing her a kindness. When Jo finds her brother, she discovers a bit more than she expected in the process.

The romance in this one was very much a slow burn and a backstory to the journey of her finding her brother; but I wasn't even mad about it. Jo's story was just so easy to get invested in. I wish that I could have had a full length novel of Jo's story from start to finish. I think the romance she develops feels more realistic than the other two novels and it was built on mutual respect. The two characters have amazing banter and basically just go read this book now.

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