Beauty and the Bounty Hunter

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter by Lori Austin
Pub­lisher: Signet Eclipse
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 300 pages
Series: Once Upon a Time in the West
Pub­li­ca­tion date: October 2nd 2012

Love and revenge both come at a price.

Cathleen Chase is no killer—but as Cat O'Banyon, she is a ruthless bounty hunter who always gets her man. Catching one lowlife after another, she continues her search for the only man she really cares to locate. The one whose voice she will never forget; the man who murdered her husband. She'll stop at nothing to find him.

Con artist Alexi Romanov taught Cat every trick she knows. He is a master of deceit, disguise, and desire. He's difficult to trust, and even more difficult to resist, but he has news she can't ignore. The man she's after has placed a bounty on her head. To get him before he gets her, she'll have to team up with Alexi again...and just like before, the two of them together are nothing but trouble.


Beauty and the Bounty Hunter is the first Western I've ever had the pleasure of reading and definitely won't be the last. Previously, I had no idea "Western" was actually a proper subbranch of historical romance and I don't think there could've better introduction to the genre than Beauty and the Bounty Hunter. I loved this book!

Cat's husband was murdered in front of her and she's vowed to hunt down all the thugs in the area until she finds the one who killed her husband. After making up her mind, she meets Alexi, a con artist, who teaches her everything he knows about disguises and combat. Alexi demands her body in exchange and after spending a couple of years together, they part ways, until someone puts a bounty on Cat's head and Alexi comes back into her life to help and protect her while she continues her quest for revenge.

Cat is an all-around badass. There's nothing meek or submissive about her and I loved her from the beginning. While most women would have spent their remaining days completely crushed or even committed suicide after the death of their husbands back in that era, she decided to become a bounty hunter to hunt down the man who murdered her husband instead.

Alexi Romanov is even sexier than his name suggests. As evasive as Cat is direct, Alexi's enigmatic personality balances out their romance perfectly. I adored his use of foreign endearments when addressing her. They've both been through a lot, but there's absolutely no angst in this book. Both characters manage to reshape their lives after their respective tragedies and help each other come to terms with everything that happened, all the while fighting off their current pursuers. They're simply beautiful together.

“Moya krasavitsa,” he murmured into her hair. “I will always find you. You shine like a beacon in the darkness of my world.”

The story comes together quite nicely, with the perfect balance between action and romance. The epilogue isn't too cheesy, but it still made me grin like a fool. The next book is supposed to be about Ethan and I hope we can catch glimpses of Alexi and Cat in there as well.

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter was a romantic, entertaining, and touching read throughout, one I'll be revisiting again for sure. Highly recommended for fans of historical adventures!

My Versions of Alexi and Cat:


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