Review of Hardland

It’s time for a review of one of my favorite books, Hardland by Ashley Sweeney.

I’ve read all of this author’s books, and this is her best yet. I love the gritty, hard-talking heart-of-gold Ruby Fortune, a lady as tough as the Arizona land she comes from and loves. She recalls the saguaro cactus on the cover of Hardland: prickly on the outside, but full of life-giving moisture and blossoms, if you know how and when to take them.

This Girl Wonder of the Wild West Circuit is surrounded by vividly drawn, often desperate characters who find it particularly simple to threaten a woman to get what they want. Surprise! This is not just any woman.

What I most love about this novel is that nothing is as simple as it appears, and the author sticks with reality along with plenty of suspense, as well as a little tender snaring of one’s heart.

Ashley and I belong to the same book club here in Tucson, she has become a friend and we both are She Writes Press authors. Even so, this is my honest review, and the first of her three books I have given five stars; the others each received four.

My review followers know I don’t give stars lightly, even to people I know and consider friends, as I review for readers as well as writers. Therefore, all of my stars are well-earned.

Ashley reveals her deepest self in this book as all the best writers do. Kuddos for showing your courage and determination alongside Ruby Fortune. This manner of true grit is what real writing is all about.



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