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Gunpowder Tea [Paperback]

Margaret Brownley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2013 The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch Series

In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.

When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom—an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn’t the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.

Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn’t removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets—and no one on the ranch is safe.

The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers—and their lives—depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

“. . . an absolute delight. I spent the whole book reading with a grin on my face.” —Mary Connealy, best-selling author of Petticoat Ranch (for Dawn Comes Early)


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Product Description

About the Author

Margaret Brownley is a New York Times best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. A Lady Like Sarah was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. Twitter: @margaretbrownly Facebook: MargaretBrownleyAuthor


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4.0 out of 5 stars A hint of mystery a Hint of romance Nov. 11 2013
By ladysown TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Gunpowder Tea... This is a book written by Margaret Brownley. 316 pages long, with Pinkerton agents and Wells Fargo agents. Set in the west. I reviewed this book for Booksneeze.com.

Reading a variety of books is fun for me, reading historical fiction with a hint of mystery is just icing on the cake. :) I enjoyed reading this book and if you enjoy reading these kind of books, you will too. :) It is not a hard read, I was able to get it done in two days (It would have been one day if I'd been able to devote the whole day to it, but I have a family to care for as well).

That said, let me tell you a bit about the book. It's part of a series of books called "the Last Brides of Last Chance Ranch". It is the third in the series. Last Chance Ranch is set in the Arizona Territory, in an area that is not well suited to farming, but a stubborn ranch lady is successfully managing her beef cattle on a ranch. She has a fine assortment of ranch hands, each with interesting nicknames such as Branch, Able and Stretch.

The main character is Miranda Hunt, a female agent with the Pinkertons. She has a mystery to solve and so poses as a single woman looking to become the heiress of the Last Chance Ranch. Can she find the phantom? And can she do so before the Wells Fargo agent does so? The race is on between two agencies with no love for each other.

I enjoyed learning what gunpowder tea was (you'll have seen the image above). :) Makes me think it's something my hubby (an avowed tea snob) would enjoy. From the book I learned this "It's fun to listen to the little popping sounds as the leaves unfurl during the brewing."

In this book there is a mystery, a change of heart, stubbornness, anger, frustration, love, tea time, misunderstandings, history... and for me a surprise ending! I did not manage to guess who the guilty party was! I wonder if, should you choose to read it, if you'll guess before the end of the book. :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  103 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gunpowder Tea was a great read! It had romance, suspense, danger, and some humor. Oct. 16 2013
By Melanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've read several of Margaret Brownley's books, but Gunpowder Tea is the first from her Brides Of Last Chance Ranch series I've read. When I read the description for this book, and saw the word "Pinkerton", I knew I had to read it and I absolutely loved Gunpowder Tea!

One of the things that made Gunpowder Tea such an enjoyable read, was how the two main characters were undercover detectives/agents for different agencies. It was funny how both Miranda and Jeremy suspected each other of possibly being in cahoots with "The Phantom".

I loved all of the characters and look forward to reading the first two books in this series someday. The mystery of who was "The Phantom" was really good. I had a hard time sticking to one suspect, though I did guess correctly some other aspects of the story.

Overall, Gunpowder Tea was a great read! It had romance, suspense, danger, and some humor. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

*I received this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! If you thought Waiting for Morning was fabulous... Oct. 8 2013
By Dora Hiers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
My summary...

After growing up in a household of brothers and feeling responsible for her mother's untimely death, undercover operative Miranda Hunt tries to please her father and follows in his footsteps, determined to be the best operative Pinkerton employs. So when her boss assigns her to track down the Phantom, she's thrilled about the "assignment of a lifetime." Not so thrilled that she's attracted to her prime suspect, David Branch, really Jeremy Taggert, an undercover Wells Fargo detective who infiltrated the Phantom's robbery gang.

"There should be a law against handsome thieves."

My thoughts...

Wow! If you thought Waiting for Morning was fabulous (and I did!), wait until you read Gunpowder Tea! I can't think of one element that could be improved. Not one. And don't you just love the cover? It perfectly incorporates the tone of the book. Playful, yet suspenseful, combined with daily afternoon teas featuring a certain grumpy Miss Walker, the owner of the Last Chance Ranch, who says,

"...of course I have enemies. Making enemies is so much easier than making friends, and they're far less trouble to maintain." ha!

Margaret Brownley hooked me with the opening chapter, laugh out loud funny, and kept me glued to the pages with a compelling, fast moving plot. When I closed the book, I was wearing a goofy grin. That's just the kind of book I love to read! What about you?

And I always love a book more when it addresses certain sensitive topics, and this one did. Miranda came from a mixed heritage, an Indian mother and white father.

"Her Indian heritage was first thing people saw. Many didn't bother looking for anything else."
So many years later, are we really any better at appreciating and valuing every human being?

No worries about picking up Gunpowder Tea before the first two books in the series. Each book is fine to read as a stand alone. But now that I've been introduced to Margaret Brownley's books, I can't wait to scoop up the first book in the series, Dawn Comes Early. What are you waiting for -> Purchase Link

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Margaret Brownley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with an advance review copy of Gunpowder Tea. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spunky Western Romance Oct. 8 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love the humor and spark between the hero and heroine in this story. What fun! It reminds me of a good John Wayne movie, like "Rooster Cogburn" or "Rio Bravo." The humor is spunky and fresh, not slap-stick goofy. The characters are lively and original. The storyline is intriguing and page-turning.

This is the third in a series and I didn't even realize that when I started reading it. It makes a great stand-alone story. However - now I must go back and purchase the two leading up to it! Because this one is such a good read, I have to know what came before.

If you like historical westerns with a dose of romance and intrigue, I can highly recommend this story. It is suitable for any age.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable western romance Nov. 19 2013
By Waterfall Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So far I've only read one of Margaret Brownley's other books. It was the second book in her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series, Waiting For Morning. This book is the third book and I still have yet to go back and pick up the first book. I'm really terrible like that. Anyway, the story picks up with another heiress coming to try and earn her place at Last Chance. Only this time she has a few more secrets than the others. I mean come on, an operative on the case of a gang or robbers. Doesn't that just ooze western adventure? Throw in another operative and look at the sparks fly!!
Miranda is a tough girl, she had to be to come this far. I felt like I related pretty well to her and she was a pretty good main character. Jeremy...wow. He was like cowboy and spy all rolled into one, I loved his character and his snappy comebacks. I honestly did like Miranda a little better when she was trading words with Jeremy. There were several other great characters like Aunt Betty and Miss Walker who were just so sweet! :) And ornery too.
While I did guess that Jeremy was working undercover before it was revealed, I had no clue who the big bad guy was going to be! I guessed maybe 50% of the stuff that was going to happen but the author did a great job with the ending! Very exciting and just when you think it is over...boom! Something major happens. What with this being the last book in the series it had a good ending, I felt, and tied up nicely. Maybe a tiny bit hasty for the series, but great for the book individually.
I honestly did have a couple problems with Miranda. Her faith was shaky I could tell, but it's not really discussed until nearly the end of the book. I feel like it should have been brought up a little sooner. And there were a couple little things about her and her story that seemed a tiny bit off. There were a couple slower parts as well.
Overall, this has been my favorite book in the series (so far) and I really liked the mystery in it as well. The characters were pretty good and the ending was positively adorable. The rest of it wasn't to bad either ;) I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good romantic western!
I received a copy from the publisher (booksneeze) in exchange for a review and my opinions are my own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and fun Oct. 28 2013
By annekelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't typically go for "old west"-ish fiction, but when Gunpowder Tea came up for review, I was out of reading material and so decided to give it a shot (no pun intended, haha) and so was therefore pleasantly surprised by a fun read that I would have otherwise missed.

It's 1897 and Miranda Hunt is a member of the famed Pinkerton Detective Agency. When an advertisement is posted in the newspaper for an heiress by a lady ranch owner in Arizona, it's the perfect opportunity for Miranda to go undercover to hunt down The Phantom, an outlaw plaguing the Arizona countryside. Assuming the identity of Annie Beckman, Miranda finds herself living on a cattle ranch where everyone around her is a suspect and nobody can be taken at face value. And number one on her list of likely suspects is Branch, the puzzling new ranch hand who, unbeknownst to Miranda, is actually a Wells Fargo detective himself.

Pros: what I liked about Gunpowder Tea was the light-hearted nature of the story. It wasn't a comedy, but neither was it an intense mystery. It was pleasant, easy-going, fun and jovial. The characters were extremely likable and the story unfolded at an enjoyable place, not so fast you felt left behind and not so slow that you felt nothing was happening. I think I caught myself grinning at a couple points in the story.

Cons: I noticed that several turn of phrase where used repeatedly throughout the book and some details were explained needlessly more than once. A few things in the story where chocked up to "coincidence" which didn't feel very believable, but yet, they still fit well into the overall "light heartedness" of the story. A very brief mention was made to evolution in context of it being correct (bible believing Creationist right c'here!) and (spoiler!) a woman in the past divorced her husband without remorse and ends up remarrying at the very end of the book, which is shed a positive light, but it's an extremely minor point of the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed the time I spent in the company of Gunpowder Tea. It was just a really fun read and I definitely come out of it wanting to find the first two books in the series. Which reminds me - this is the third and final book in the Brides of Last Chance series, but I do not feel at all that you have to read the first two books prior to reading Gunpowder Tea in order to fully appreciate it.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Free copy provided by Thomas Nelson via Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.
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