Irine Wicklow lives her life as the merciless bounty hunter, Wolverine. Nobody knows she’s a woman, and she’s earned a reputation that’s as mean as her namesake. For eight years, she’s been running from a past so painful it turned her from a young girl who believed in love, to one with steely armor around her heart. She relies only on her guns and her wild mare, Jezebel, and the need for vengeance drives her on.
Justice Turrant also understands the desire for vengeance. A survivor of the Civil War, he came West with his family after serving time in a Union prison camp. But their bid to settle a homestead went terribly wrong. A varmint called Virgil Clary and his men brutalized Jus’s sister, Jenny, and Jus feels responsible.
He wants Wolverine to bring in Clary, even after he discovers she’s a woman. He never expects to lose his heart to a dangerous female who doesn’t believe in love.
Rine and Jus are after a madman who has been terrorizing the lumber camps all along the Payette River, a seven-foot-tall lumberjack with a giant axe. Nobody knows why Dag Olafson, a former legend at the Wind River Camp, has run amok, but authorities believe Wolverine’s the man—or as Jus knows, woman—to bring him in. Spooked, Jus wishes Rine would turn down the job. But every time he says so, she suggests he go home to Kentucky, and his heart won’t let him.
There are a lot of things Rine doesn’t like about this job. The temptation Jus presents when they’re alone on the trail. The way the pretty daughter of the lumber camp manager makes eyes at him. The seven-foot-tall ghost with the axe. What worries her most, though, is the price love demands of the unwary heart. To protect herself from that, she’ll part ways with Jus, if she has to. If she doesn’t die first…
Irine Wicklow, better known as the dangerous bounty hunter, Wolverine, has sent her sometime-partner, Justice Turrant back to Kentucky, reckoning she’d rather weather a little unhappiness now than a whole lot of heartbreak later. But her wild black mare, Jezebel, is miserable without Jus’s horse, Settler. And Rine just can’t lose her longing for the handsome Reb. He’s one of only two men alive who know Wolverine’s a woman. The other’s her latest bounty, a charming Spaniard whom she intends to take in for the price on his head.
Jus hoped news of the revenge he and Rine had won for his sister, Jenny, would help her heal from her devastating past ordeal. But life back in Kentucky’s not what he expected. His pa’s still half out of his mind with grief, his Uncle Reese never stops complaining, and Jenny’s talking crazy. Even poor Settler is kicking down his stall for want of Rine’s mare, Jezebel. What’s a lovesick horse or man to do, except maybe follow his heart?
Irine Wicklow and her partner, Jus Turrant are back together in the Idaho Territory, but Rine’s not easy in her mind. For one thing she’s finding it difficult keeping her hands off the man when he’s so close by. For another she’s distracted by the discovery that her nemesis, Gerald Harper—the man who nearly destroyed her eight years ago—is now in Idaho where she runs the risk of encountering him. She knows she’ll have to settle the score with Harper eventually. Having laid eyes on him though, she figures it will take every scrap of her courage.
Jus has followed his heart back to Idaho and to Rine. He’s just not sure she’s all that happy to see him. In fact, she goes out of her way to tell him she’s only letting him stay for the sake of her mare, Jezebel and his stallion, Settler, who suffered terribly when they were separated. It’s all for the sake of the horses. But Jus can’t let that put him off. When a man loves a woman the way he loves Rine, he’ll follow her anywhere. And he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, even if that means going head-to-head with her sworn enemy.
Feeling restless after a long winter, Irine Wicklow’s back on the bounty trail. Her partner, Jus Turrant, hopes it will distract her from seeking vengeance on that mongrel of an Army captain, Gerald Harper, who attacked her. But their second bounty of the season turns out to be Sean Wicklow. Rine hasn’t seen her brother in more than ten years, since he abandoned the family back in Kansas. Meeting him now raises a lot of questions and opens up a number of deep wounds.
Rine wants answers and she intends to get them. But her brother’s no pushover and he’ll set a high price on the information he holds. Brought to the brink and forced to choose between anger and conscience, Rine will struggle for the path she needs to take. She’s never been much for following her conscience. A wolverine tends to run on instinct instead, and anyway she has no desire to be her brother’s keeper.
Trouble at Stony Gulch by Charles Ray and Laura Strickland
When bounty hunter Irine Wicklow, known as Wolverine, takes Eli Unger to jail and collects the bounty on him, his three brothers come after her seeking revenge. Trapped in a gully, she thinks she and her mare, Jezebel, are done for until Caleb Johnson, who recently left the tribe he’d been living with since the murder of his parents, comes along and intervenes. Rine and Caleb travel together to Twin Forks, Idaho, and their mutual desire for justice throw them together to bring the rest of the Ungers to justice.
There’s just one problem; Rine is pretending to be a man and is willing to kill to protect that secret. What if this young mountain man, as decent as Rine thinks he is, should discover her secret? A double dose of tension when Rine is injured, passes out from loss of blood and Caleb, in the process of saving her life, does discover that Wolverine is actually a woman.
Who is more dangerous: the Unger brothers who are after Rine and now want Caleb dead as well, or Rine if she finds out that Caleb has learned her true identify?