ARC Review: Hitched to the Gunslinger by Michelle McLean

About the Book:

Title: Hitched to the Gunslinger

Author: Michelle McLean

Page Length: 330

Publication Date: Aug. 24, 2021

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Synopsis: Gray “Quick Shot” Woodson is the fastest gun west of the Mississippi. Unfortunately, he’s ready to hang up his hat. Sure, being notorious has its perks. But the nomadic lifestyle—and people always tryin’ to kill you—gets old real fast.

Now he just wants to find a place to retire so he can spend his days the way the good Lord intended. Staring at the sunset. And napping.

When his stubborn horse drags him into a hole-in-the-wall town called Desolation, something about the place calls to Gray, and he figures he might actually have a shot at a sleepy retirement.

His optimism lasts about a minute and a half.

Soon he finds himself embroiled in a town vendetta and married to a woman named Mercy. Who, judging by her aggravating personality, doesn’t know the meaning of her own name. In fact, she’s downright impossible.

But dang it if his wife isn’t irresistible. If only she’d stop trying to steal his guns to go after the bad guys herself.

There goes his peace and quiet…

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |  

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My Review:

Hitched to the Gunslinger is a historical romance about Gray Woodson, a man who wants to find a quiet place where he can retire in peace. A retired gunslinger, Gray wants nothing more than good food and a place where he can nap and remain anonymous. Instead, he finds Mercy.

Since her father’s passing, Mercy has lived alone, which has become problematic since a neighbor’s harassment has escalated. When she sees how nervous the men get with Gray around, Mercy pretends they’re engaged in the hopes that it will offer her some protection. Suddenly, Gray finds himself tied to Mercy and pushed into taking on the role of the town Sherriff. Will Mercy be able to protect herself and her land? Will Gray remain in Desolation? Will their fake engagement turn into something more?

This is such a fun and entertaining romance, and I think of all the historical romances I’ve read, it is the most humorous. Witty banter, physical comedy, sarcasm, irony, and more make for many laugh-out-loud moments, and I’m so impressed by the author’s use of a bunch of different comedic devices. Though there are serious elements to the story as well, the humor really stands out and is exceptionally executed. Plus, the romance, character development, and action are dynamic.

His mama used to tell him that burdens were a blessing. Well, if that were true, he really wished God would bless him a little less.

The romance between Mercy and Gray is fun and sexy, and they fit together so well. Mercy is strong and independent, and I love her take charge, feisty personality. She is headstrong, and she often clashes with the more laid-back Gray. Gray is like a big, grumpy teddy bear, especially as he lets his walls down. He is such a fabulous character! There are so many layers to him, and it was interesting to see him change throughout the story. Both characters have obstacles that they must deal with, and it’s interesting to see how they work through their issues together and apart. The couple also has amazing chemistry from their first meeting, and I enjoyed their fun moments together as much as their romantic moments. Mercy and Gray seem to understand each other well, and their complete acceptance of each other is fantastic. They’re a great example of the notion that opposites attract, and yet, the more they get to know each other, the more they realize that they are also similar in many ways, like in their ferocity, steadfastness, and stubbornness.

The story primarily takes place in a small town called Desolation. Desolation is an unconventional town, and Gray fits right in. He feels drawn to Desolation, and to Mercy, and the more time he spends with Mercy and the other people of Desolation, the more Gray begins to reevaluate his wants and needs. I think Mercy, Gray’s “friend” Sunshine, and the other townspeople make Gray see a future that he never thought he could have. The found family trope is done so well in this story, and the people who live in Desolation are fantastic!

You said you wanted to find a town where no one knows who you were. Well, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be in a place where everyone knows you and accepts you anyway, murky past and all.

I adore the scenes that include Gray, Mercy, and all of the townspeople. They are comedic and witty, and you can tell that the characters are very close by the way they support and take care of each other. Desolation is a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, as Gray finds out pretty quickly. Though it can be frustrating at times, Gray finally learns what it feels like to be accepted and to belong in the embrace of this close-knit and unusual community.

There are so many wonderful elements to this story – the romance, the character development, the found family/townspeople, Lucille the goat, the humor, and more! It’s the perfect blend of fun, funny, serious, and romantic. And, since Gray is an ex-gunslinger with a target on his back and Mercy has people threatening her, there is a lot of action too. I can’t wait to read more by this author, and I hope to find out what happens to some of the other people of Desolation if there are future books. Thanks so much to Entangled Publishing, NetGalley, and Michelle McLean for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The humor.
  • The townspeople.

Favorite Lines:

It must be satisfying being the one who’s feared instead of being the one afraid.

It didn’t hurt to have men fear you when no one had your back.

I probably won’t be able to give you everything you deserve … but everything I have is yours.


This is a great historical romance for readers who like:

  • romantic comedy
  • marriage of convenience
  • great characters
  • action
  • found family

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Hitched to the Gunslinger by Michelle McLean

  1. Wow, this sounds really good? Just reading that synopsis and the first quote you shared had me smiling big and I think the humour is really gonna work for me here. I’m definitely gonna check it out! Great review as always, Julie 😍

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