Title: Calder Brand
Author: Janet Dailey
Series: Calder Brand #1
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: Feb. 23, 2021
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Synopsis: Janet Dailey’s iconic Calder Saga is synonymous with everything readers have come to love in her novels: romance, adventure, and the epic mystique of the Old West. Now America’s First Lady of Romance invites readers on a new journey with Calder Brand, the first installment in a spin-off series beginning in the late 1800’s, as a cowboy named Joe Dollarhide joins the Calder brand on one of the first cattle drives from Texas to Montana…
Ambition drove Joe Dollarhide across the parched plains from Fort Sam Houston to Dodge City. He was determined to one day have a spread every bit as impressive as his employers’. But when a wild stampede separates him from the cattle drive, it’s not just survival that keeps him going. Joe has a burning need to settle the score with Benteen Calder, the cattle boss he used to worship. The man who’d left him for dead. Yet he’d soon have something greater than revenge to inspire him…
Sarah Foxworth is traveling toward her dream of becoming a doctor when she’s attacked by a violent gang. Luckily, Joe is the one to rescue her–and win her heart. Still, she presses on to the future awaiting her on the frontier. But her plans, and her reputation, are ruined when she gives birth to an illegitimate baby…
Years later, Sarah reappears in Joe’s world–with a son there’s no denying is his own. Now a prosperous rancher, Joe yearns to finally build a life with the woman he’s never forgotten. Only Joe’s own road to riches has been strewn with obstacles, some still standing in his way. But time has also shown him that nothing worth having comes easy. And that Sarah is a woman worth fighting for…
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Calder Brand is a spin-off of the Calder Saga, a wonderful historical romance series! The plot is well-paced and engaging, and the characters are dynamically developed. The story follows Joe Dollarhide from age sixteen to twenty-eight, so you really get to understand him and his motivations. Believing that he was left for dead during a cattle drive, Joe’s need for revenge consumes him. However, he also wants to own his own farm and have a family. He has to reconcile his need for revenge with his goals for a steady future.
Sarah is intelligent and resilient, and she is as determined as Joe. I love that both Joe and Sarah are strong in their desire to achieve their goals, even though so many obstacles stand in their way. Sarah’s life is not easy, and it’s interesting to see how she handles prejudice and the social stigma that comes with being an unwed mother during this time period.
Themes of resilience, revenge, love, and hope are woven throughout the novel, as are messages about courage and fighting for what you love. This is a strong start to what promises to be a wonderful new series, and, though Calder Brand is a spin-off of the Calder Saga, it can totally be read as a standalone. Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The character development. Joe, in particular, is extremely well-developed.
- The writing style is easy and fluid.
I think people who enjoy classic historical romance with enjoy this book.