Cover Image: The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony

The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony

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Member Reviews

Book 2 in the Gunslinger series. Insta-marriage to love + found family tropes. 

A hilarious HEA?!? Yes, please! This was such an incredibly fun, unique WESTERN romance.. with our gunslinger/gambler hero Adam Brady outrunning a female entanglement AND a sheriff in Colorado. After two days ride he and his grumpy horse accidentally find an old trail leading him to the notorious small town of Desolation.. a place where ex-criminals can live in peace. 🤠🐴🃏

Upon arrival, Adam finds himself instantly/unknowingly married 🤵🏻‍♂️👰🏼💍 to one of the only two available locals.. Nora Schumacher.. and OH BOY is our heroine a REAL PISTOL! She’s keeping a big secret from the new hubby, but then.. he is from her too. 🤫 

Adams job pursuits are quite comical 😂 .. losing them as fast as he finds them through no fault but his own! 😛 As the story progresses.. so do Adam and Nora’s feelings. And let me tell you.. their chemistry is hot hot hot!!! 🥵

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud HEA with a fantastic storyline to boot.. look no further. Loved it!!! ❥  Highly recommend!!! 
5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pub. 7/26/22

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Desolation, book 2
Another fun Western, written by Michelle McLean.  We return to the small town of Desolation, that is so far off the beaten path, that almost no one arrives there.  Except former criminals.  Adam Brady is trying to outrun a Bounty Hunter, and he ambles into the town.  Once he starts looking around, he stumbles into Nora Schumacher, who’s nearly on the shelf, and is tall and plain.  And so, starts a very funny, sweet tale that has ups and downs, and enough angsts to bring tears to a reader’s eye.  Well worth reading, characters from Ms. McLean’s first book are found throughout this one, and they add to the story.  I hope there will be another book in the series.  I received an ARC of this book from the author through NetGalley, and this is my honest opinion.
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This was a funny and witty western romance at its best. Ms McLean has written a winner with her second in a series of a gunslinger wanting to avoid marrying. It has so many cute moments with a gunslinger trying to outrun a bounty hunter and he finds the town of Desolation.
Even Adam Bradley has come to the town and meets up with one sassy mouthed woman by the name of Nora Schumacher. She and Adan don't like each other at first and then find themselves married to each other during a town meeting.
Nora just wants to keep her farm together and not let her father gamble it away. It she can get the handsome no good gunslinger to accept terms, well so much the better.
Adam can't understand why this particular fussy woman keeps driving him crazy with dreams of erotic pastimes. He can't want to settle down, but oh those dreams.
These two sure could put up a fuss, but as the say "love is the key" and a happy every after.
I appreciate Net Galley for this ARC title in which I gave and honest review.
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This was was just okay for me compared to the first Gunslinger book. Although, I think it was interesting with the town joint matrimony. Some scenes did stood out for me with Nora and Adam but a lot of the side characters were not fully flushed out to make it a great cast as a whole. The romance did move too fast when the first kissed happened like it just happened out of nowhere. This one was also predictable. I will read more books from Michelle, but this one didn't have the same flare as book one for me.

I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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My abs!! I can't recall when I last laughed so hard

Adam, bless his heart, just can't seem to get it right
Anything right really

Nora is fighting to keep what should be hers
So when the answer to all her problems so rudely becomes one what does she do?
Well, she does what any self-respecting newly wed woman would do...

She makes sure she's a thorn in the side of her new husband
Can't brush her away so easily now can he

Both Adam and Nora have secrets
Adam's however may cost lives
Can they make a truce and find common ground?
Or will both their dreams go up in smoke?

If you enjoy humorous opposites attract romance
with a strong heroine, small towns filled with nosy residents, and all kinds of missteps and mayhem that lead to some humorous outcomes then this series is for you
Each can be read as a standalone but I recommend starting from the beginning
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Adam Brady is a gunslinger on the run from a less than law-abiding lawman who wants to see him hang, if he makes it back to Denver. That's a big if since Spurlock brings in most of his wanted men dead. While Adam is crossing the prairie, he literally stumbles into the little town of Desolate, where there seems to be some sort of celebration going on. Not wanting any part of that, he skirts around the gathering and has a body drop in front of him. A very tall woman dressed in pants, shirt, and boots is trying to heave her drunk father into the back of the wagon and had dropped him. Adam decides to help her do that and nothing else. A shouting match ensues and somehow they end up married...or are they?

Adam is the perfect anti-hero. He isn't a coward and never runs from a fight, but he's prone to accidents, is a bit clumsy, and has a fantastic sense of humor. In order for him to stay in Desolate, he either has to get a job or be married in 30 days. What could possibly go wrong? He refuses to admit he's married and won't sign the marriage license all while Nora Schumacher, his "wife" insists that he does. So, he tries to find a job. Getting a job was easy. Holding on to it was an entirely different matter and ended in hilarious disasters. I laughed at his attempts at doing something other than slinging a gun and gambling. It got to the point where I almost felt sorry for him, but he was adamant about never marrying. Dead set against it. I loved him despite it all and he is probably the most real character I've read in a long time.

Nora has an agenda of her own. She wants a husband for just a short time and then wants him to move on. There was a reason for that, but the truth was rather sad. I don't want to throw in any spoilers here, but not everything is as it seemed with her. Regardless, she poked and jibed at Adam, making me laugh even more. The repartee between them was quick, clever, and neither of them missed a beat, which kept the story moving. I liked her so much.

There is much to rave about with this book. I loved Nora. I loved Adam. I loved the secondary characters and the camaraderie between all of them, but one crucial thing was missing that made me drop a star from the rating. Character descriptions. Nobody had one other than the vague description that Nora was six feet tall and not feminine because of her build and Adam was bigger than she. He was said to have a handsome face. I didn't get to see that. I would've loved to see the color of their hair, their eyes...and not just for Adam and Nora, but for all of them. I was especially enthralled with Preacher and would've loved to get a look at him, too. Sadly, that wasn't to be. This would've been a solid five star read if it had had that. The writing was excellent, the plot was tight, there was some steam, the characters were believable and easy to care about, but I wanted to see them. When Adam saw the fire in Nora's eyes and vise versa, I wanted to see it, too. Disappointing that, but still a good read.
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This novel is a fun and hilarious western historical romance that I just had a really wonderful time with. Michelle McLean's writing is witty and entertaining while being easily accessible and extremely well paced. The plotting and characters all work hand in hand in creating a western historical romcom that is truly delightful. This is the first novel I have read from Michelle McLean and it will definitely not be my last, I am also looking forward to finally picking up the first novel in this series which has been on my TBR since it came out. And even though this novel is the second in this series it can definitely be read as a standalone.

Adam is 28 years old and desperate to retire as a gunslinger, while always upholding his two rules-never get marry and avoid the bounty hunter at all costs. So Adam decides to settle in the town of Desolation where notorious men can find respite, although they do have a new rule, gunslingers are welcome but they must either find a job or matrimony to stay. And much to Adam's surprise, upon arrival he accidentally stumbles in on a big town wedding and find's himself hitched to Nora, in order to get himself unhitched him must find himself a job which is proving much more difficult than he expected. 

This novel them becomes a delightful comedy of errors as Adam works his way through job after job while trying to not fall in love with his wife. This novel is just so delightful! Nora is a wonderful heroine, she is smart mouthed, strong willed and an extremely hard worker. I love watching Adam fight his feelings for her and I also found it perfection when they both finally give into their attraction. I love that Adam is able to show Nora that she is an extremely attractive woman, I love that Adam sees her for her strength and knows that she is capable of everything, but that he also knows how to help lighten some of her load. Watching these two slowly learn to work together is endearing and the perfect way to show their growing relationship into a strong and healthy one. I love that these two have a great foundation that they are able to build, I love that their chemistry is passionate and sensual, and I love that they always are on equal footing when it comes to their relationship. Watching a man determined to avoid matrimony and then discovering that it is maybe the perfect thing for him is such a fun way to spend an afternoon!

If you love a western historical definitely check this out, if you have never tried a western historical maybe this one will be the perfect place to start for you! I definitely had so much fun with this novel and can not wait to see where this series goes!
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This is my first cowboy romance and I loved it!! The writing really drew me in from the first page. The plot was amazing. The characters had such a witty banter and had me laughing at times. I love the town setting and the people who live there. I’ll be definitely picking up the first book to read the sheriffs story. 
Hopefully there will be more from Desolation
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The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony by Michelle McLean was an historical romance.  I received the book from NetGalley in trade for my honest opinion.  

Desolation is not like any other town. Any drifters show up, they need to have full employment or be married by month’s end. Nora does not want another male to take care of.  After all, her father is enough, but the deed to the land is complicated. Until she is 30, the land is not hers free and clear.  If she marries, the land goes to her husband, before that her father. Nora wants to keep her land and grow her business to take care of herself into the future.

Adam comes slowly into town and thinking he is helping Nora put her father (passed out drunk) into a wagon, they end up in shouting match yelling at each other.  The problem - there is a mass wedding happening and yelling I do - marries them.  

What a hoot!  I enjoyed this historical romance!  I like how the feelings seemed real and felt genuine.  I like how Nora was so strong and how Adam knew how to help her.  I was so disappointed in her father - I just wanted to smack him.  Nora and Adam have a lot to deal with, if they would only share the truth with each other…

The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony by Michelle McLean is a fun read.
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I liked this well enough but it didn’t necessarily wow me. The concept was fun and I liked the idea of the town but the back and forth between Adam and Nora being married or not got a little old.
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So much fun packed into one book!

Like the first in this series, this story has plenty of rip-roaring fun and intelligent, witty banter.  If you remember the Maverick movie with James Garner and Mel Gibson, or if you're old enough to remember James Garner's Support Your Local Gunfighter, then you'll be right at home in this delightful book.

Adam and Nora run into each other in the middle of a public meeting and, too busy arguing with each other to pay attention to the meeting, suddenly find themselves hitched.  Sorta.  Which works for her, sorta, but doesn't work for him at all.  Not even a little bit.  

Nora doesn't want a husband, but she does have her reasons for wanting to be married.  Adam wants to stay in town, but doesn't want to bring the trouble that's following him to anyone's doorstep.  The way their love story develops in spite of the odds against them was an absolute joy to read.

Gray and Mercy are back, along with all the other familiar citizens of Desolation, and I could not have loved this book more.  Along with the first, it's got a permanent spot on my to-be-reread shelf.  If you love Old West romances with equal parts humor and action, not to mention plenty of steam, then this is your new favorite author.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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First book by this author for me. It was a sweet and quick read, and I found myself laughing out loud at times. I  enjoyed it very much.
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A lonely gunslinger on the run ends up in a mysterious little town in the middle of nowhere… and finds exactly what he was looking for, even if he didn’t know it!
I was so happy to go back to the little Western town of Desolation that I got to know in the previous book of the series! It’s so good to get to meet familiar characters and to see how they are faring. But even if you didn’t read the previous book, you can easily enjoy this one because it makes for a good standalone. McLean’s writing was gorgeous as ever and she was particularly good at mixing humor and heart-rending moments. Both main characters are endearing, likeable and so vivid that I was able to perfectly picture them and their interactions. And I really loved the Old Wild West feel of it all! I can’t wait to read other stories set in Desolation, because there are other characters I’d like to know better and that I’m sure deserve a happy ending. 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Desolation is in a desolate location. That’s how it’s residents like it. They don’t like strangers or new people moving there. Adam stumbles across the town and in less than a day acquires a wife. Nora is a force to reckon with and Adam has met his match.
I like The town and it’s expectations. The people, although from different backgrounds, mesh quite well. And they protect their own.
Because there is always someone from the past lurking about.
Gunslinging isn’t for the faint of heart.
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The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony by Michelle McLean

Published: July 26, 2022
Entangled: Amara
Pages: 311
Genre: Western Romance
KKECReads Rating: 5/5
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily. 

Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has degrees in history and English and is thrilled that she sort of gets to use them. When Michelle’s not working, reading, or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found baking, diamond painting, or trying to find free wall space upon which to hang her diamond paintings. She resides in PA with her husband and two teens, the world’s most spoiled dog, and a cat who rules the house.

“Totally worth it.”

Adam is looking for a fresh start, and somewhere, no one knows who he is or what he’s done. When he wanders upon a town in the middle of nowhere, he thinks he has found a fresh start. Nora has had to be independent her whole life. Her mother died when she was young, and her father didn’t cope well. So she has been an adult for most of her life. One of the rules of Desolation is all men have 30 days to either find employment or get married. Adam has no desire to get married, so when he accidentally ends up married- he has to figure out a way to end the marriage and stay in the town.

This novel reminded me of how much I enjoyed western romances. I haven’t read a weather romance in years, but this was a fun story. 

I found the rules of Desolation exciting and fun. And I enjoyed the characters so much. Adam was charismatic, trying to do the right thing after living a reckless life as a gunslinger. 

Nora was an excellent lead, intelligent, strong, capable, and fiercely independent; I loved her. I loved the personalities that filled the town and the love and community. 

The plot was fast-paced and filled with humor. I loved the romance between Adam and Nora, despite their attempts to ignore their feelings.

I found the arc so beautiful, and I loved the story's completion. The development was solid, and the writing was fantastic. This was my first novel from Michelle McLean, but it definitely won’t be my last.
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Historical cowboy rom-com with lots of humor and heat
I loved the last book in this series so much, I knew that I needed to read this one as well. Not surprisingly the author delivered! Adam Brady is funny without trying to be. Just living his life appears to be an exercise in futility. He admits he makes bad decisions that often have costly consequences. When he arrives by accident to the hidden and obscure town of Desolation, he mistakenly gets married to Nora Schumacher, a 25yo spinster who is “scraping 6 feet tall” and “built sturdier than most.” Problem is he wants NOT to be married at all, he has legitimate reasons which he won’t share, while Nora wants desperately to BE married and likewise is not in a sharing mood. What the townsfolk do to help out Nora is hilarious until Adam figures out things on his own. 
Whew! Once they accept their attraction to one another, the steam lifts right off the pages. If you like cowboy books with heat and humor you will want to read this series. So good. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book through Entangled/NetGalley.
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A down on his luck gunslinger with a bounty on his head finds himself in a town that promises he’s welcome if he either A. Gets a job or B. Gets married. Adam is dead set against marriage but fate forces his hand when he wanders into a big town wedding and finds himself married to our heroine, Nora. 

Dear reader, had the book stopped there, I probably would have loved it. Unfortunately the first….50-ish percent is just back and forth on whether or not the MC’s are married or want to be married. I’m fine with a bit of back and forth. But to spend most of the first half dead set against being together and then out of nowhere BOOM they’re all for each other? I didn’t enjoy that. 

The writing was well done and the premise was interesting, but I just don’t think the plot worked for me in the long run. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for an e-ARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own!
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I really like McLean's writing. The writing is so witty and fun that it makes this a fast read. 
Plus this is super funny! 
Those two things aside, I did feel like it took the characters too long to get together to the point that their arguing about why they should or shouldn't marry started to become repetitive.
The chemistry was there but it was too much of a frustrating slow burn for my taste.
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What a fun return to Desolation. Who could help but fall in love with both Adam and Nora. Their hilarious encounters start right from their first meeting and continue throughout the story. I just loved their teasing of each other and trying to get under the other's skin. And the more they are around each other, their attraction to each other becomes more and more apparent. There is also a great mix of side characters that add to the enjoyment. I'm looking forward to additional books in this series.
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It's a beautifully written Western Historical Romance that will make you smile quite often. Both the main characters are adorable and their chemistry is just perfect. Adam Brady comes to Desolation quite by chance and decides to hide in this out-of-the-way, hidden town. He never expects to meet a beautiful young lady, Nora, and somehow, marry her without even knowing he was doing it. But that's exactly what happens and his new wife seems reluctant to get an annulment. Although he can't fathom why. In any case, he has no choice but to find permanent employment and get rid of his unwanted wife as soon as possible.

It's not that Nora wants Mr. Brady. It's just that she is in desperate need of a husband, but only temporarily. And this stranger from out of town seems like a perfect option. It will be easy to get rid of him once she has everything she needs to live a comfortable life without fear. Good thing, the whole town is willing to help her and Brady will find it very difficult to hold a job. He will have no other option but to register their marriage and that's all Nora needs. She never thought she would actually fall for her husband, who isn't really her husband. But that's exactly what happens and now, here they both are. Completely unsure of the future, can they take one day at a time and be happy for now?

As we know, nothing is ever so simple. You can expect some twists and turns before they can find their happy ending. And that's why romance is so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and gave it a 5-stars rating because nothing less would have done.
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