In his book “A Stranger Came Among Them” Donald Montano has created an historical Western that contains both action and romance. Set in 1866 in the Colorado Territory, this is the first book in this exciting trilogy. Montano effectively builds suspense as he weaves the tale of good guys versus bad guys with enough lust hold the interest of any reader.
From the minute John Sampson meets Jeff Marco, his wife Hannah, and the men who work on the Marco ranch his life is in turmoil. Drawn into an old west battle between ranchers and their property rights, Sampson soon learns the lines linking the players are blurred by uneasy relationships. Left alone to manage her ranch Hannah Marco begs Sampson to stay and help her fight off Rand Calder, the town bully and owner of Non Pareil ranch. Calder wants to add the Marco ranch to his holdings and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. And Calder has a secret weapon that gives him an edge over Hannah Marco as well as other ranchers. Although Sampson resists at first, events cause him to change his mind and accept the challenge.
Meanwhile Sampson has made the acquaintance of Max Ruttlinger owner of the Long R Ranch, his sexy and hostile daughter Arley, and Max’s foreman Roy Bidwell. Fireworks instantly explode between Sampson and Arley; he may be attracted to her but she seems to despise him on sight. Sampson suspects there is some past issue between the Ruttlinger’s and Hannah Marco but no seems willing to tell him what the problem is. Even the town doctor, Thebes Vallencourt, refuses to reveal the details of the feud between Arley and Hannah.
The story that follows is an exciting action-packed old west tale with an underlying mystery that kept me reading hungrily. More than a cowboy story, this is a story of people caught up in relationships and situations that could as easily come from today’s world. Revenge, love, hate, sex, and a strong dose of justice fill the pages.
Although there are some spelling and grammar errors they in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. The characters are well developed, even those that seem minor at first glance. The essence of the historical period is colorfully described, the settings true to the surroundings of the times. All in all this is a very good Western drama that will appeal to a woman or a man.