The settlers in the Redbud Valley are peaceable, God-fearing folk who try to follow the golden rule, but they've been pushed too far by the mayor of Blue Stone, who wants their land and seemingly has the law on his side. Just as the nesters are banding together to resist the land grab, Blue Stone's newest deputy rides through their valley. Before they realize the sleepy-eyed youngster called Arizona is a veteran gunfighter hired to bulldoze them off their claims, he has already broken bread with them, danced with their daughters...and stolen the heart of one. Young Theresa Gutierrez believes Arizona is more than a curly wolf with a quick trigger finger and a stone-cold heart, but her parents and neighbors have good reason to believe otherwise. What everyone agrees upon is that, in the brewing range war, the Arizona Kid is liable to be right smack in the midst of the killing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Arizona is an unbelievably good gun hand. He is traveling from job to job as a 'deputy' who runs squatters off their lands or really whatever the boss tells him to do. He is good at killin' and hasn't ever considered what he did 'wrong' but when he meets the group of 'squatters' in Redbud valley he starts to have second thoughts. His fellow deputies see no problem with what they are doing and take it a step further, enjoying the killing. Arizona feels loyalty to both sides of this struggle and isn't sure he can confront either!
The characters in this book were wonderfully developed. Arizona was of course my favorite, he is a young gunfighter that has never known any way of survival except gun play. On the outside he seems so sure of himself and confident in everything, but inside he is a confused boy/man. I love that the author brings in several strong Christian men to set an example for Arizona and the other boys in the story. He also shows how people will use others to their advantage no matter what the detriment to the 'used' people. They will lie, tell you what you want to hear, and befriend you just to get your help. Theresa is a girl who is confused by her feelings for Arizona. She has been raised a Christian and yet is drawn to this man who seems to have no morals, but she is wondering if her love is what God is going to use to turn him around. There are some horrible things that happen through the book but it is in there to set an example not for 'gore'.
I rate this book a 5/5. It is a good western story with a Christian message.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.