Danger Returns to Longview Ridge Ranch in Delores Fossen’s ‘Settling An Old Score’ [REVIEW]

Violence split them apart. Will it also bring them back together? (Photo courtesy Harlequin Intrigue)

She doesn’t trust him. He can’t forget her. Two years after they were violently torn apart, danger threatens them both once more. Will they be able to reconcile their differences in time to save both their lives? Find out in Delores Fossen’s third installment in her suspenseful Longview Ridge Ranch series, Settling an Old Score.

Harlequin Intrigue

The Slater brothers may all be Texas lawmen, but they also seem to have permanent bullseyes on their backs that villains can’t resist using for target practice. However, that’s not their only problem. They also happen to redefine the term “girl trouble” because they all have rotten luck with women.

In this episode, we find Texas Ranger Eli Slater trying to get some shuteye after a long, rough day at work. But then he hears something outside, and with his family’s penchant for trouble, he figures he’d better check things out before he rolls over and goes to sleep. When he opens his front door, there’s a baby girl resting at his feet, covered in a blanket and nestled in a car seat. Never having seen the child before, he looks around to see who may have deposited the baby there. He doesn’t have the chance to look long.

Ashlyn Darrow, the baby mama, comes flying at him with a gun drawn. She believes he kidnapped the baby due to the bad blood between them (she’s his ex and their relationship didn’t exactly end amicably before). The only thing is, she has the story all wrong. There’s no time to sort things out, however, between gunmen appear and start firing bullets overhead. But who set them up? And why are they trying to kill them, especially since there’s an innocent baby involved?

Determined to get to the bottom of this, Eli vows to protect Ashlyn and baby Cora. Thankfully he has his brothers to help him figure things out. Still, solving this complicated puzzle isn’t easy, especially since someone is determined to draw blood. Now Eli and Ashlyn must confront their own demons and figure out what to do about their undeniable attraction for one another. Then again, that won’t exactly be an issue if the villains achieve their goal first.

As always, Fossen delivers a novel that starts with a bang (or a baby’s cries, in this case) and refuses to let off the accelerator until the breathtaking finale. That’s one of the things I like most about this particular series, though. The author plunges us into action from the very first page, and although she wins us over with ruggedly handsome Texas men and their reluctant paramours, these are first and foremost thrillers with a bit of romance tossed in for good measure. The result is a story that keeps us riveted to the page, eager to answer the always relevant will-they-or-won’t-they question, but also to unmask the suspicious characters behind the guns.

As with the previous two novels in this series, the Slater clan is one family only a fool would toy with. These guys are tough, just, and compassionate, and just the right amount of dangerous. Most of all, they are loyal and the kind of men you’d want on your side whenever trouble comes knocking on your doorstep. They are also your typical siblings, and their frequent banter is sly and understated, laced with the love they have for one another, even if they like to get their digs in at every opportunity. This quality lends this series genuine heart and appeal, and makes us care about what happens to them.

If you’re looking for a novel that is suspenseful but concise, populated with great characters and drenched in mystery, you won’t go wrong here. This is category romance done right. It’s no wonder that Fossen is one of Harlequin’s rising stars and one of our favorite authors. The only downside is, now we have to wait for the final book in the series to hit store shelves and tie up the series’ overall arc. It’s sure to be a doozy!

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Delores Fossen
Delores Fossen (Photo by Sully Clemmer)


Delores Fossen is the Rita Award-nominated author of His Brand of JusticeSettling an Old ScorePeril on the Ranch, and the bestselling Appaloosa Pass Ranch series from Harlequin Intrigue. She is also the recipient of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice and Booksellers Best Awards.

As a child she dreamed of becoming a Texas Ranger or FBI agent, but now creates fictional cowboy cops and law enforcement officers in her romantic suspense novels instead. Before writing full-time, she also worked as an Air Force captain, a special education teacher and a rehab counselor.

She lives with her husband, an Air Force colonel, and her four children. Visit her home on the Weblike her on Facebookfollow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

By Delores Fossen
256 pp. Harlequin Intrigue. $5.75

Purchase Settling an Old Score direct from Jathan & Heather’s Beach Reads Book Shop or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, or Powell’s.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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