Kristy McCaffrey writes contemporary and award-winning historical western romances. She likes the peculiar, the fascinating, and the scientific; animals and the outdoors; her husband and children; history, symbols, and mythology. Grab a cup of tea and hang out by the fireside. Let's travel together.
I've included Amazon links, but most of the books are also available at Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, as well as print and audio.
The Lost City of Z
This book is part memoir, part modern-day adventure. Mr.
Grann recounts the life of Percy Fawcett, who in the early 1900’s explored the
dangerous Amazonian jungle along the Brazil-Bolivia border. Fawcett was in the
rarefied company of other extraordinary explorers such as Richard Burton (who
searched for the source of the Nile) and Ernest Shackleton (an early explorer
of the Antarctic), all members of the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Fawcett’s repeated expeditions into the jungle—along with his amazing ability
to survive lethal indigenous tribes, starvation, piranhas, and the particularly
ghoulish occurrence of maggots under one’s skin—left him convinced that a
mythical city (the Spanish conquistadores called it El Dorado) existed
somewhere in the area. His preoccupation would eventually lead to his
disappearance in 1925. He was never heard from again. Did the lost city of Z
exist? Read the book to find out! A gripping and well-written account of the
intersection of compulsion and passion within the human spirit.
A satisfying short read about single mom Angel Harper trying
to run a vacation ranch in Arizona and the cowboy/firefighter who turns her
world upside down. Boone Donovan isn't looking for romance but sparks fly the
moment he meets Angel. With many obstacles between them, not the least of which
is Angel's reluctance to let a man into her and her son's life, this romantic
tale will have you rooting for them. And don't miss the follow-up story,
Phoenix Heat, about Boone and Angel's daughter Harper. I loved both!
East coast city girl K.C. has come to Wyoming for the summer to work at a ranch. She's warned to stay away from bad boy Chay, but that soon proves difficult to do. Ms. Downing has written a romantic novella with a sexy hero and a smart heroine. Loved it! And don't miss the follow-up story, City Boy, Country Heart.
Breanne O’Donnell is training in the druidic arts when her
mentor Heremon is murdered. A mysterious knight named Ashlon Sinclair is left
behind, ill and unable to recall what happened. Breanne nurses him back to
health, but he is English and she is Irish, so she keeps his identity hidden.
But Sinclair, a Templar Knight, is in pursuit of a chest that has been stolen
from him and he ingratiates himself into Breanne’s clan to locate it. He’s also
drawn to Breanne but his nomadic life leaves him conflicted about what he can
offer her. She has seen with her second sight the fate that intertwines them
and worries for his safety, believing that he must leave her to stay alive.
This is an enchanting story filled with magic and Irish lore. Breanne is a
strong heroine and Ashlon a compelling and romantic figure, and you won’t be
able to stop reading this steamy love story until the satisfying conclusion.
Single-mom Violet Parker has got problems. Unless she can
sell a house, she’s about to lose her job as a realtor. Her prospects involve a
house-sniffing, enigmatic man named Doc (although he’s not an MD) and a
handsome Ken-doll client whose efforts to woo her may be too good to be true.
Throw in a paranormal mystery involving several missing girls alongside
Violet’s ensuing anxiety about the safety of her own two children, and you’ve
got a nonstop thrill-ride of a tale, which I dare you not to read in one
sitting. This is the first in an ongoing series told from Violet’s
point-of-view (Book 8 is soon to be released). Ms. Charles has a flair for
dialogue and humor, and you’ll fall in love with Violet and all the quirky
side-characters that populate Charles’ version of modern-day Deadwood. But be
prepared: this series will grab you and you’ll disappear until you’ve read each
and every book.
As part of his incarceration, outlaw Slade Barlow has been placed on work detail at the Prescott farm. Thrown in the calaboose on tenuous charges, he needs to keep his head down and bide his time until he can flee the Widow Prescott and her two daughters, Jillianne and Camille. But he hadn’t counted on his growing feelings for Jill or the fact that someone is stalking their property. As he digs deeper, he comes to realize that he may be more deeply involved in the mystery of Jill’s deceased father and the time the man spent away from the farm than he’d like to be. And, at the end of the day, can he walk away from Jill? This is a solid western romance with great descriptions that will put you right in the time period. Slade is a tormented hero, Jillianne is a kindhearted heroine, and their romance will hold you in its grip until the end. Don’t miss another winner from Ms. Lence!
In this historical western romance, Violet Webster is
looking for her father and her only option is to become a mail-order bride.
Garrett Sutherlin, her betrothed’s son, has been sent to escort her, a task
that will free him from living under his father’s dictates. Ms. Devlin takes
this standard trope and delivers a richly-drawn tale with a likable heroine and
a compelling hero. Fans of this genre will love the story! I certainly did.
Calvin “Choctaw” Taylor is a young Indian scout contracted
to guide a peace ambassador into the stronghold of the famed Apache leader
Cochise. Accompanying them is the man’s adopted Apache daughter Nahlin.
Together they enter one of the most dangerous areas in the old west—the Dragoon
Mountains. Their journey is one of bold intentions, treacherous encounters with
both Indians and white men, and, ultimately, agonizing heartbreak. This is a
well-told story of historical fact woven within fiction, of well-crafted and
flawed characters, and a plot that will leave you guessing and eager to reach
the conclusion. I highly recommend.
Ms. Brown considers vulnerability in all its many forms,
whether it be in the workplace, in schools, or in your own home. Through years
of research she’s compiled real-life data and offers practical and stark truths
about how to deal with the shame inherent in our culture as a result of being
The simple truth is that “to feel is to be vulnerable.”
Brown addresses fallacies of vulnerability: It’s not a weakness and it’s not
letting it all hang out. It does require trust and boundaries. She stresses the
importance of developing shame-resilience: recognizing shame and understanding
its triggers, practicing critical awareness, reaching out, and speaking about
it with a trusted someone.
The last part of the book deals with parenting and how we
can all do better by simply engaging with our children, developing our own
ability to be vulnerable and mirroring that to them, and forgiving ourselves
when we’re not perfect. Perfection is a form of shielding and freeing ourselves
of our “armor” is an important first step. “I am enough, I’ve had enough, and
showing up, taking risks, and letting myself be seen is enough.”
This book is amazing and authentic, and Ms. Brown hasn’t
taken the easy road—she digs deep into the subject matter, offering insights
that are painful yet ultimately healing.
Cooper Thorne lives in Battle Creek alongside his adopted brothers,
Rand and Brett. They were all raised in an orphanage and now steadfastly guard their
independence and freedom, which means no matrimony. They’ve even formed a ‘Bachelor’s
Club’. When determined Delta Dandridge arrives in town fully expecting to
become Cooper’s mail-order bride, his answer is a swift no. He never sent for
her, so refuses to honor a promise he never made. However, Delta decides to
remain in Battle Creek and forge a new life for herself, and Cooper can’t seem
to avoid the woman. And soon enough, he doesn’t want to. Ms. Broday’s novel is an
entertaining western romance with great banter between the leads, wonderful
side characters, and a steamy love story. The perfect tale to curl up with
In this follow-up to Book 1: Fluency, we find Dr. Jane
Holloway and Dr. Alan Bergen on the alien spaceship discovered near earth. They
are now headed to the home world of the creatures who mysteriously perished on
board. Guiding them is the only survivor, a massively intelligent squid-like
creature who controls the ship and is telepathically linked to Jane. Because of
this connection, Jane is now the commander. The tale unfolds as they make first
contact with a species known as the Sectilius. I really enjoyed this story,
especially the relationships between Jane and the entity and the prickly
romance between her and Bergen. Thankfully, it comes to a satisfying ending and I'm eagerly awaiting Book 3!
The Farallon Islands—a rocky and barren chain of jutting,
granite peaks—sit just 27 miles from the San Francisco coastline. A handful of
biologists reside in this remote outpost to study the bird, pinniped, and shark
populations. Every fall, great white sharks arrive to feed on the local seal
population and Ms. Casey delves into the research undertaken in the surrounding
waters. It’s a story of grit and terror, and a testament to how little we know
about these fascinating and monstrous creatures. Casey also recounts the
history of the island—at one point, the eggs sold in the Bay area markets were
collected from the massive seabird population, nearly depleting their numbers.
The main attraction, of course, is the sharks, with personalities as varied as
the people who investigate them. By the end of the book, despite a lingering
fear of the giant fish, I couldn’t help but gain a healthy respect for the apex
predators of the ocean. This is a riveting and enlightening read.
In Love Proof, lawyer Sarah Henley must work opposite her
former lover from college, Joe Burke. He broke her heart six years prior and
never had the decency to tell her why. This premise may sound too simple, but
in the hands of the talented Ms. Brande, a solid, compelling love story
unfolds. I definitely lost sleep reading this on vacation.
The romance is hot, the legal proceedings are entwined just
enough to give context but not overwhelm the story, and the characters are
likable and credible. But not perfect. When the romance is re-ignited, Sarah
and Joe face an ethical issue as they work on opposing sides of the same case.
How that unfolds, as well as Sarah’s own reservations about Joe, create the
obstacles they must overcome. It’s a reminder that despite mistakes made along
the way, everyone has the power to become a better version of themselves.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a great read. You won’t be
In the title of this memoir, author Paula Young Lee refers
to both Paris, France, and Paris, Maine. How she connects the two disparate
places speaks to the overall theme—you never know where you’ll end up, but
chances are, it will be a place that softens the quirky edges and incongruent
personality traits that never quite fit together.
Lee is a Korean woman raised in the United States by a
father who preached Christianity in rural America—mostly in the backwoods of
Maine. Paralyzed from the waist down, his belief in God never wavers, but Lee
constantly questions and strives to stretch beyond the dictates of Korean
For a time, she lives in Paris, France. When severe food and
other allergies besiege her, she develops a love of meat. Hers isn’t just a
cursory fascination; she’s taken it to the next level, trying to understand
where cuts of meat originate in an animal and sharing recipes that are hundreds
of years old.
A wanderer, she doesn’t desire to be tied down. Then she
meets John, a divorced lawyer from Paris, Maine. The bulk of Lee’s story
unfolds as she and John spend time with his folks, siblings, and extended
family. And they are hunters. Lee expounds on tracking bear and moose. She
explains in great detail how to dress a deer in the wild upon its execution.
She describes the process of a pig roast with such detail that you’ll smell the
succulent meat and your mouth will water.
Deer Hunting in Paris
is a love story. John and Lee couldn’t be more different, but on a deeper level
their relationship works. Her appreciation for the animals and the process of
hunting wins over John’s family, and while many will cringe over the gory
descriptions of how an animal is gutted and quartered, there is a sense of the
order of nature here. Living close to the land—a skill many of us have lost—isn’t
for the faint of heart. Lee has qualms as well, but in the name of love she
pushes through. Her forthright and honest prose had me laughing aloud in parts,
and her esteem for the natural world and the man she loves make for a unique
and compelling read.
In this paranormal technological thriller, we meet a diverse
crew of characters: Lela, a laser-focused journalist with no life; Mike
Juniper, hiding a past as an evangelical minister and owner of a homeless
shelter; Sarin, a woman who may be far older than many realize; Cheston, a
computer hacker and voyeur; and Hannah, a young blind girl who will play a
pivotal role in the storyline. Evil has come to Portland, Oregon, and the
pathway is the Dark Net. I don’t want to say too much more because the story unfolds
with many interesting twists, and I was quite glued to my e-reader until the
end. Mr. Percy offers insights into our digital age that will astound and
horrify you, while giving us an edge-of-the-seat terror ride. I highly
recommend the novel and I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually turns up in
the movie theater.
Reunited with Logan Ryan on the steps of the White Dove
Saloon, Claire Waters hides under the guise of a fancy girl...and lets the
ex-deputy believe the worst.
“Ms. McCaffrey writes from the heart…a definite must read.”
~ The Romance Studio
Disappointment hits ex-deputy Logan Ryan hard when he finds
Claire Waters in the midst of a bustling Santa Fe Trail town. The woman he
remembers is gone—in her place is a working girl with enticing curves and a
load of trouble. As a web of deceit entangles them with men both desperate and
dangerous, Logan tries to protect Claire, unaware his own past poses the
Plagued by shame all her life, Claire is stunned when Logan
catches her on the doorstep of The White Dove Saloon dressed as a prostitute.
She lets him believe the worst, but with her mama missing and the fancy girls
deserting the place, she's hard-pressed to refuse his offer of help. As she
embarks on a journey that will unravel the fabric of her life, one thing
becomes clear—opening her heart may be the most dangerous proposition of all.
A steamy historical western romance set in 1877 New Mexico
Excerpt from THE DOVE
They continued north,
passing through Ocate Crossing and watering the horses at Rayado, a stagecoach
stop with only a handful of buildings. The Sangre de Cristos flanked their
progress, a protective barrier as the sun moved to a steady descent behind the
hills. By late afternoon they rode into Cimarron.
The town was located in
the foothills, the mountains on the left a looming reminder of the mining hopes
of the many men who ventured into the interior. Struck by the allure of the
immense slopes, strongly outlined by the setting sun, Claire couldn’t take her
eyes off the promise of anonymity and peace the high country represented. Would
losing herself in those hills give clarity to her life? Make all of the
struggles disappear? It was an enticing thought, and an entirely unrealistic
one. But she tucked the image away to revisit when needed.
They rode past the jail,
the structure surrounded by a ten-foot-high stone wall, and guided their horses
behind the Barlow, Sanderson & Company stage office. On the opposite side
of the road Claire noticed Schwenk’s Hall and beyond was a three-story square
building with a sign that read Aztec Grist Mill.
Glancing in the direction
of the saloon again Claire knew that soon women would start peddling their
bodies to any man willing to pay for it. She wondered if her mama would be
there. More than likely she was at the St. James—if she was here at all. She
had frequently mentioned that saloon in the past.
They approached the Old
National Hotel, situated across from a hardware and livery stable. Next to it
was a gazebo that covered a well. Having been here once before Claire noted
that not much had changed.
“I’m going to check the
registry,” she said and climbed down from Reverend, giving a tug on her skirt
when it caught on the sombrero tied behind the saddle. “I’ll be right back.”
It didn’t take long to
learn that her mama’s name wasn’t in the hotel’s logbook. She stewed over that
while she returned to the porch and stared at several men to her right. One in
particular caught her eye—a tall Mexican with a splotchy, scarred face shaded
by the brim of his hat. He was walking toward them. Fear slammed through her
and her heart pounded at twice its speed. Her throat tightened and she
struggled to breathe.
Logan had tied the horses off
and climbed to the porch to join her. Their eyes met and without thought she
closed the distance between them in one rapid movement. She brought her body
into full contact with his and kissed him.
His lips were warm, but
Claire was too tense to do anything other than stand there, her hands clutching
his shoulders for dear life.
Logan’s arms came around her.
It was seldom life threw
the unexpected at him, but Logan
was surprised as hell by this woman suddenly all over him. It wasn’t that the
thought of kissing Claire had never crossed his mind or that her determined
lip-lock undoubtedly had little to do with him, what astounded him most was her
total lack of expertise in the task. As he broke the highly unromantic mating
of their mouths, he said quietly, “I’m not a piece of wood, Claire.”
He shifted so his body
shielded her from anyone on the street and pushed her up against the hotel
exterior. If it was a show she wanted, he’d teach her a thing or two about
kissing a man while he had her at a distinct disadvantage. Taking control of
the situation, he brought his hands to the sides of her head and took her lips
with his. She was a temptation he hadn’t planned to indulge, but now he gave
himself to the task with a focused tenacity. He would enjoy Claire like he’d
wanted to since the first moment he’d laid eyes on her, months ago at the SR.
She hardly moved. And her
eyes were wide open. “Relax,” he murmured, and covered her mouth fully with
his. Tentative, yes, but she wasn’t completely unwilling. Slowly she yielded,
her mouth surrendering in small increments, teasing him with the promise of so
Sweet and soft, he
savored the intimate contact with her. He’d needed to touch her and now that he
had he wondered how long he could go before needing to again. He was a man who
could control himself but damn if he wasn’t close to tossing all that control
to the wind. It’d been a long time since he’d felt this way about a woman.
“Are they gone yet?” he
asked quietly. He still protected her with his body.
“What?” Her rapid breath
and flushed face aroused him yet again and he willed himself not to skim her
curves with his hands. He took it as small comfort that she wasn’t immune from
him, no matter how hard she tried to pretend otherwise.
“I’m sorry I threw myself
at you,” she said in a frantic whisper. “I saw Sandoval and wanted to hide.”
“You can hide behind me
allowed his thumb to caress her cheek before he turned around to scan the
street. He wanted to get a good look at the bastard in question.
“He’s gone,” Claire said
from behind him. “My mama’s not at this hotel, but she could still be in town.
I plan on staying the night. If you need to move on I understand.”
“No,” he said and
continued to scrutinize the street. “I’ll be staying, too. I’ll get us a room
“There’s no way in hell
I’m leaving you alone if Sandoval is here. I’ll sign us in as a married couple.
Do you have a middle name?”
Claire appeared flustered
and confused. Logan
could certainly relate to that.
“Margaret,” she replied.
“Well, that won’t do,” he
said. “I’ll register us as Logan and Peggy Ryan.”
She nodded uncertainly.
“That kiss,” she said, “you realize that I’m not going to…that I’m not going to
entertain you, no matter how much you offer me.”
Logan looked at her and
enjoyed the appealing angles of her face, her small, straight nose, the green
eyes that suddenly flashed with defiance. He supposed she wouldn’t be worth the
effort if she came to him easily. Not that he was pursuing her.
“I seem to recall you
threw yourself at me, Claire, not the other way around. Your inexperience
shows.” Hell, that came out wrong. And the flash of humiliation on her face
“Claire—” But she
disappeared into the hotel before he could stop her. Nice going.
He went inside and within
ten minutes they were registered as Mr. and Mrs. Ryan. In an uneasy silence
they went to their room to get settled.