Ambush Before Sunrise (Cardwell Ranch: Montana Legacy Book 3)

Heart of Gold (Montana Justice Book 3)

B. J. Daniels

Harlequin Pub.

Western Mystery

Ambush Before Sunrise, the third book in the Montana Legacy series, and Heart of Gold, the third book of the Montana Justice series by B. J. Daniels are more suspense than romance. Both these books have the Daniels imprint, readers are taken on a thrilling roller coaster ride. 

Heart of Gold has the same theme as the other two books in the series.  Judge WT Landusky ran a boot camp for troubled teens to give them a second chance.  Charlie Farmington met William “Shep” Shepherd at the camp when both needed direction in their life. They broke the camp rules as they became involved romantically.  But as their term ended Charlie made a painful decision to leave Shep, even though her heart was broken. 

Now fifteen years later, Shep has his life on the right track after serving in the military and is currently a math teacher. He has been sent by the Judge to help Charlie, because someone is trying to harm her. The danger has something to do with the death of her late step-sister Lindy.  But now she sees her or a ghost-like figure on the streets of Montana. With Shep at her side they are trying to find out who is after Charlie and who is this “ghost” of Lindy. 

Daniels noted, “In Montana I was a newspaper reporter for over twenty years. I met Judge Lesley, an old cantankerous person who most lawyers were afraid of.  He did his own thing.  For example, a couple who wanted a divorce would be told they were not going to be granted it and instead must go to marriage counseling.  I thought what if there was someone like the Judge who would give teenagers coming before him a second chance by sending them to his boot camp.”

She further commented, “I gave the Judge a romantic relationship. I wanted someone who he would acquiesce to. The impression he gives off is a cranky old man, which he is really not. He also appears careful, yet his girlfriend, Meg, takes him by storm.  She is a breath of fresh air with a completely different personality than the Judge.  In the relationship he is not in charge.  She basically knocks him off balance.  I would like to believe people in their sixties can find love and are not so cynical.” 

Ambush Before Sunrise brings back the Cardwell family.  The book opens with JoRay “Jinx” McCallahan getting a restraining order against her ex-husband T. D. Sharp. He refuses to sign the divorce papers until she gives him half the ranch. He is hoping to bankrupt Jinx, forcing her to sell the ranch, by making sure no wranglers will work for her to get the cattle to the mountain pasture. Angus and Brick Caldwell Savage, twin brothers and their cousin, Ella Caldwell, have been sent by Dana Caldwell Savage, a friend to Jinx’s late mother, to help her. Jinx fears T. D. will follow the cattle drive up the mountain and cause trouble. Little does Jinx and those hired know how much trouble is ahead, including putting their lives in danger.

“I wanted to highlight women ranchers. There are a lot of them up here.  They are super strong.  Since the ranches are miles from a town they are also self-sufficient.  I would describe Jinx as someone who is not a quitter, knows what she wants, is independent and strong.  She is more like me than Charlie.”

As with all Daniels’ books these two have an emotional story that puts readers on the edge of their seats. 



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.