Cover Image: The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony

The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony

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Member Reviews

A delightfully funny novel filled with the absurdly amusing antics of a gunslinger who finds a hidden town where he can retire from the law. The problem is he must either marry or find a job to stay there. He is so not into marrying but accidentally does during a group wedding ceremony. His bride is actually perfect for him if he was the marrying type. Lots of crazy things ensue that make the novel laughingly move along. I loved it.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony was a SURPRISE, you guys!! This was way more similar to a British historical romance than I was anticipating, which is the romance genre I am most familiar with. 

 Adam Brady is a gunslinger who has always been great at making choices that get him in trouble. Nora is a 25 year old (might I say spinster?) in the town of Devastation, which is a haven for outlaws who are trying to retire in peace. Adam waltzes in, accidentally (kind of) marries Nora, which is convenient for her and very inconvenient for him. There’s a lot of antics between Nora’s friends in town who become Adam’s friends, and this was so fun!!!

I loved how positive and outgoing Adam was, he felt very much like a recency character in his attitudes and his values. Nora was such a strong, independent woman that it was nice for her to find that she did have people that were there for her, including Adam. I was really nervous about the third act break up (because we always know that it's coming), however!! I loved the twist that Michelle threw in! A lovely story that read really well and kept me captivated!
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The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony by Michelle McLean
I loved this book!!! What a fun, witty, and often hysterical story!  Adam Brady, gambler and gunfighter, often makes the wrong choices.  Even when he has the best interests of those around him in mind.  The guy can’t get a break.  He meets a beautiful woman, Nora Schumacher, and accidentally says I do at the wrong moment and ‘bam’ he’s married.  Well, their meet cute is definitely something unique :).  His bad luck throughout the book just enhanced his appeal.  Nora is a force of nature, tall, smart, capable, and beautiful.  She needs a husband but doesn’t want to be married.  Most of the town’s male population doesn’t understand her or see her appeal, but Adam does.  The zaniness of their early story reminds me of James Garner movies “Support Your Local Gunfighter” and “Support Your Local Sheriff”.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Adam, Nora, and the cast of characters of Desolation, a town in the middle of nowhere for people who don’t want to be found.  Although Adam gets off on the wrong foot with the sheriff because of their past, he manages to show his perseverance and determination in all he does; and I got the sense of the town really coming around to him (even while finding much humor in his actions). 
I love the way the characters met, their growing attraction and respect for one another, and the way Ms. McLean wove in the town and Adam’s past for a final confrontation and wonderful conclusion.  And I really enjoyed laughing my way through this story.  This is a first read for me with this author and I’m already ordering her backlist of books.  Thank you for an advance copy of this book, this is my voluntary review.
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I give the writer a big plus at providing a story that had me entertained for a few hours. Adam and the sheriff certainly did get along in the most unique way. I enjoyed that the book read very quickly for me. I took this a page turner with a lot of excitement in it. The romance between Nora and Adam was very patient in some ways and others a heated relationship. I loved the the story was a fun read with laughter and sentimental moments.
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This was a quirky, unusual and sometimes even funny story.  Even though it had good plot ideas it also took me long time to even get into it.  Sad to say.  But I think that's on me because the writing was good but just didn't pull me in as much as I would have liked.
I did like Adam's favorite phrase. "Where's the fun in that?''   It cropped up at just the right or is that improper time?  
The people of the town did add a lot to the story.  And things do speed up towards the end as trouble comes to town.
It all comes to a good end with a H.E.A. and Epilogue at the end.  I will be giving it 3.5 stars when it opens on Amazon.

" I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book. And these are my honest opinions about it.”
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This is such a fun adventure.  How in the world can you get accidently married?  Adam is tired.  He just wants to quit running.  He is being chased by a relentless lawman.  The guy is probably worse than the criminals he chases, but he is after Adam and won't let up.  When Adam stumbles across Desolation, he thinks he has found a place he could hide out.  The problem is the local sheriff.  He is a man that Adam has tangled with over the years and the sheriff is not a fan of Adam.  While he is standing around talking to a woman he just met, they both realize that there is a mass wedding going on and they might have just gotten married.  Adam refuses to put anyone else in danger, so he is avoiding matrimony at all costs.  Nora needs a husband, but she doesn't want one.  So, she keeps after Adam to make their marriage legal.  He can't do that because someone could find him.  They are at a stalemate.  What do they do?
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I absolutely love, love, love this series!  The Gunslinger series is guaranteed to make you smile!  The Gunslinger’s Guide To Avoiding Matrimony is the second book in the Gunslinger series.  This is Adam and Nora’s story.

Adam is a gunslinger wanting to retire.  Adam finds the town of Desolation, a town he thought was fictional, known for giving men of criminal natures a new start.  Nora is an independent, lonely woman facing losing everything she has if she can’t find a way to stop her father from gambling away her future.  Adam and Nora are thrown together through hilarious circumstances. Adam must find a way to meet the town’s expectations and irritating laws while avoiding Nora if he wants to stay.

Adam is the unluckiest, accident-prone man!  He tries fiercely to avoid Nora, but his lousy luck throws him into Nora’s path every time.  Nora has always felt ignored, unwanted, and unattractive.  Even her father berates her every chance he gets.  I loved Nora’s spunk!  Nora stands toe to toe with this notorious gunslinger, and Adam is hopelessly lost to Nora’s charms.

This book is a romcom and western expertly intertwined.  If you don’t read westerns, I implore you to try this series.  I instantly fell in love with this wily bunch of townspeople.  The plot is flawlessly comical and endearingly romantic.  The book is fast-paced, and I didn’t want it to end!  I love that the characters from the first book showed up again.  However, Adam and Nora’s story stands on its own.  I have eagerly awaited this second installment, and I was ecstatic that it exceeded my expectations.  Michelle McLean always delivers a well-put-together, hilarious, passionate story that leaves the reader wanting more.  Michelle McLean, please write more Gunslinger books!  I can’t wait to see what newcomer will haplessly wander into Desolation next!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A fun easy read. A gunslinger on the run from a lawman finds a hidden town but gets more than he bargains for when within minutes of being in town finds one of his enemies is the town sheriff while trying to keep low to sneak back out of town he finds himself in a crowd and a damsel in distress.  He helps her get her father in a wagon only to find the crowd was part of a mass wedding and he and this woman are hitched. The story follows their journey of bickering and negotiations in holy matrimony.
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This book reminds me a bit of the movie “A Million Way to Die in the West”.  It’s this quirky western RomCom.  

It took a bit for me to get into the book at first.  Mostly because it’s an old western with a modern day twist. But then I really got into the storyline. The banter, was great, and all the failures were both sad and somewhat hilarious.  The poor guy just couldn’t catch a break.
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I REALLY wanted to leave a review on Amazon. But at this point, they do not allow advance reviews on their site - boogers!
But I will be promoting this on Twitter, GoodReads & other places, simply because it was exactly what I needed to lighten a dismal year. Although purchased, I have not read the first book in the series: Hitched to the Gunslinger. My intent was to read all in one go; but, when the opportunity came to sample this read, I couldn't pass it up. I have read her "Highlanders" & thought her writing would translate well into the western genre.  That, and the titles were too funny! The hallmark of a great writer? Is to embrace the writers' creed: "Everything has already been said; JUST NOT BY ME!" A familiar trope is given new life in the hands of an outstanding author. It is HOW McLean wordsmiths that makes her story-telling worth the time & price. Just when I needed something well-balanced with well-developed characters (read: depth!), idiosyncracies that made them endearing not annoying, kind-hearted, well-meaning supporting actors & a pair of main characters that put the Rrrrr in Romance. The 'strong, easy-going' Adam will catch you in the opening paragraphs with tidbits of mystery that pique your curiousity a bit too much. I was hooked by the time Desolation came into view. His 'meet-cute' with Nora is anything but; yet, once again, there's more to the woman than meets the eye. Love evolves in real time, made all the more enjoyable for it's bittersweet near misses. By the end of the story, you'll realize it's not the loud, alpha uebermacho who you've fallen for; but the quiet, gentle one. Yeah. I'm too old to swoon, but I came darn near close. After reading 'in-your-face' first person stories w/agressive women & outright violence-driven plots, I needed to be reminded of what a great author is like. I SO needed this read!! Pre-ordering book #3.
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Thank you Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for this book. This a new author for me. Gunslinger’s Guide is book 2 in a series, it can be read as a standalone. I didn’t feel lost of the need to read the first one to follow the story. 

Adam Brady is a gunslinger on the run. He stumbles upon a very small and (mostly) hidden town. He resolves to stay, set down some roots and retire from his life on the run. He meets a very bossy and outspoken woman named Nora Schumacher. From their first encounter it’s clear they will not likely see eye to eye on many things, no matter the fact she stands almost as tall as him. 

Seems Adam has a bad habit of making poor decisions, one of which has him accidentally married to Nora in a group wedding. Nora decides Adam might be the answer to her problem and resolves to convince him to make it work, temporarily. Adam wants no part of any arrangement and is determined to find another way to stay in town. 

3.5 stars

I mostly liked the story. The secondary characters were fun and added to overall plot. The main H/h were not typical, which was refreshing and annoying at the same time. The story drags on for too long with the will they or won’t they stay married. There were some plot points overlooked and while I understand the way it was ended, it left me feeling frustrated.
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Adam Brady is a gunslinger looking to retire. The town of Desolation seems perfect, as a place for retired gunslingers and rabble rousers who want to retire can go--but there's two rules. You get a job or you get a wife. As Adam plans to never get married, it's unfortunate he seems to have accidentally gotten himself that way immediately upon entering town! 

I really enjoyed this. Nora and Adam are very entertaining together and separately. The town is full of fun and quirky side characters, especially once Adam gets into losing job after job in increasingly dramatic and funny ways. The central conflict between Adam and Nora was whether or not they were really married and by the time we got to exactly why, it was dragging a bit. The ending was very satisfying and everything wrapped up neatly. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved the first book, Hitched to the Gunslinger, which was also my first introduction to Michelle McLean. Unfortunately, I can't say the same with this one ... it's more of a mixed feelings, really.

I did LOVE returning to Desolation, the town where criminals retired. I loved being able to read about familiar characters introduced in the first book, from Sheriff Gray Woodson, his wife Mercy, the deputy Sunshine, as well as Doc, Preacher, Martha, and Desolation mayor, Mrs. DuVere. They were charming characters that make the town fun to read.

I was a bit ambivalent about both Adam and Nora, and the situation that "forced" them to get married. It was already over the top in the first place - they were in the mass marriage situation, both shouting "I do" in an argument, and it was proof that they were married (?). The reason of Desolation's rule of "work or marry" was also a bit outrageous. WHY do the criminals need to marry? Is it because the wives will be able to stop them making problem? Are the wives supposed to be like wardens, or something?

I didn't feel like Adam and Nora had enough feelings for one another. Their interactions were more of bantering but without that sizzle-spark-pizzas, you know? The ones that made me want to shout "JUST KISS ALREADY!". Adam was also VERY adamant about not wanting to get married, I felt a bit sympathy for him because forcing the man to be married wasn't exactly comfortable to read!

I admit, there were some tender moments (when Adam consoling Nora after a confrontation between her father and herself), and yes their sexy times felt fun, and I liked the ending. But in overall, this was only an "okay" read for me. Not like the first book...
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Thank you Entangled Publishing for the ebook via NetGalley.  This book is 100% a lot of what I don't read: Westerns, historical romance... but I was 100% in for the title and the promise of a witty, clever Western romance because books should be fun, escapist, and indeed witty and clever.   From page 1 I was charmed by the humorous style, the don't take this too seriously have fun vibes, and the joy I could feel present in the writing, dialogue, and alliterative phrasing.     The banter and steam and rom com style were perfect for a summer evening.
Grab a glass of wine, maybe soak in a bubble bath or sneak away to a deck or hammock, turn off your phone and treat yourself to The Gunslinger's Guide to Avoiding Matrimony.
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Thank you NetGalley and Entangled Publishing LLC, Entangled Amara
for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. 

Rating: 3 Stars
Publication: July 26, 2022
Series:  Gunslinger Book 2
Pages: 368

“The Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony” is a first time read by Michelle McLean, new author to this reader.  While I do love a good Western Rom-Com/Romance, this one moved a bit slow for me.  I had a hard time connecting to the characters, Nora and Adam. There didn’t feel like any chemistry right off…just banter and angst.  At least a love at first sight.

Adam Brady, ex-gunslinger on the run and finds his way to a secret town called Desolation.  Arriving he accidently marries Nora Shumacher, who needs a marriage in order to hold on to her grandfather’s ranch or her father squanders it with his debt-ridden behavior.  Only requirement to live in the town, you either be married or have a job.  Adam goes on a mission to get himself a job so that he can become unmarried to Nora.  He has 30 days and hope luck is on his side.

After continuing my read, the attraction slowly creeps its head into the story as Adam with the passing day begins to fall in love with Nora, the wife he wants to part with. They are now somewhat likeable people with a lack of communication that makes me the more frustrated because of the back and forth stubbornness of being married or unmarried. I did manage to finish the story; however, the plot became a bit unbelievable. There were some comical parts to the story that made you smile in their efforts to separate or stay together.  I can say that I did enjoy the sub-characters and think they bring the small town to life and give you a good feel of the romances already established.  There were some intimate moments that added to the story.

In the end, was wowed by the read…Not really but I did enjoy the story and the H/h long road to their HEA. I’m gamed to read more from this author.  Maybe this one wasn’t for me but I will try out the first in this series.
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I really enjoyed the Gunslinger’s Guide to Avoiding Matrimony. The fast-paced narrative style took a little getting used to, but I enjoyed the mix of “period” terminology with modern conversational styles. I became very invested in Nora and Adam, and really liked how their relationship grew over time - it always makes me crazy when leads fall for each other too soon - this story shows the necessary progression of them growing closer over time, yet moves at a quick pace, avoiding becoming too much of a slow burn. Now I need to go back and read the first book in the series as well!
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For most of the first half of this Western rom-com it was hard to feel any real connection between Nora and Adam, let alone any believable feelings they might have for each other. Their conversations center on whether or not their marriage is binding. Then, suddenly, they are physically attracted to one another and the validity of their “marriage” no longer seems to be so pressing. Unfortunately, Adam’s fears start materializing, providing the impetus needed to help them reach their HEA. There are several humorous episodes and some romantic interludes. In truth, the description of this story sounded fun but the novel did not live up to my expectations.
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ARC received via Netgalley for an honest review

<b>3.5 gun-totin' stars </b>

I haven't read the first book in this series, but that did not affect my reading of book 2.

This is a fun, but a little frustrating tale of the wild west where you gotta get a job or get married to stay.

Nora and Adam were mostly likeable, however the frustration for me was that they don't communicate unless it is snarky and snapping at each other.

Most of the book is the MCs going backwards and forwards on why they won't marry/want to marry, and all of it could have been gotten over with in one quick conversation. I did like the banter, but it just went on too long.

But this is probably just me.

I did like the town and the people who live there, and the way they circle the wagons to protect those they call their own.

I will eventually go back and read the first book, and look forward to more in the series in the future.
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The Gunslingers guide to avoiding matrimony.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, A Gunslingers Guide to avoiding Matrimony. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Adam Brady exhausted fast gun rides into Desolation dusty, dirty, and one too many bad decisions in his past. Adams is not looking for redemption. He needs to rest and avoid making poor choices. He wanders into a crowd hoping not to be noticed by an old foe who was the star of book one in this series Gray Woodson who is now the sheriff. Being an elegant, well-dressed, courteous gunslinger, Adam assists Long tall Nora Schumacher in getting her intoxicated unconscious father into her wagon. Somehow someway, he ends up married to Nora amid his chivalry. Except no license has been signed, and Adam is bound and determined not to sign. The rules are simple if Adam wants to stay in Desolation, he has two choices. Sign the license or find gainful employment within thirty days; otherwise, leave the safety of Desolation.
This story deals with an issue that plagued women for years, and Nora got a double whammy. Tall solid women do not fit the image of the perfect woman. Plus, she can’t own land in her own right. So a convoluted plot develops where Nora wants the marriage to hold onto the small farm she is due to inherit in five years from her grandfather and her father, as her guardian is determined to sell it to fund his drinking and gambling. So a short sharp marriage will secure her inheritance, then a fast quick divorce to hold the land in her own right.
Adam's adventures in trying to hold a job are hilarious reading, and he is a darling hero. At times, I found the plot machinations hard to believe, but I suspect most readers will enjoy the fun of Adam avoiding marriage. Nora wants marriage on her terms, and the two have great fun as they negotiate their well-deserved happily ever after.
I loved the first book in this series, Hitched to the Gunslinger, and rated it a four. This story is 3.5 stars. I missed the X factor that Gray and Mercy’s story delivered. I suspect Nora didn’t connect with me as strongly as Mercy did. I did sense in this story, with some lovely foreshadowing, that the author is keen to move on to her next novel, and if I’m correct, our preacher in Desolation has a story to tell and true love to be discovered. This is a fun, easy read, and Adam is adorable as he finds his purpose in life.
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Thank you Michelle McLean, Entangled: Amara, and Netgalley for the gifted e-book.

Adam Brady, a gunslinger in retirement, was on the run when he stumbled upon the town of Desolation. After arriving he attends a town wedding and accidently marries Nora Schumacher. Adam has only two rules for himself and the first is to never get married. Unfortunately for Adam, in order to live in Desperation one has to either be married or have a job. So now Adam is on a mission to get himself a job to become unhitched. 

With 30 days to find a job Adam isn't having the best of luck. He cannot keep any job in town because an unforseen unfortunate event always ends up getting him fired. As the days pass,  Adam is beginning to fall for Nora, but if he stays he puts her life in danger. If he leaves he won't be happy. 

Michelle McLean takes us back to a time of cowboys, gunfights, and the wild west. This book is the perfect blend of historical fiction, old-timey westerns and romantic comedy. Nora and Adam make the perfect couple because they are both strong-willed, stubborn, have witty banter, and their chemistry is on fire. The secondary characters in this story are just amazing. They bring life to the small town of Desolation, giving it the feel of a smalltown romance. Learning some of the backstory of these secondary characters, I hope that there are subsequent novels that delve more into their stories. 

I have to admit I've never read a historical rom-com before and it was great! Adam and the unfortunate situations he found himself in had me laughing. This is the second book in this series and even though I didn't read the first I did not have any problems following this storyline. Though I am going to go back and read the first book because I loved the second so much!
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