This is the second book I've read by Beverly Jenkins and I look forward to continuing to explore her work. I preferred it slightly to Indigo, because there is more humor, with the main characters bantering quite a lot. It also has a somewhat lighter feel, while still addressing serious issues of race and women's self-determination. I love all of the historical details in both books.
I've always liked Westerns, and historical fiction in general, but we often end up seeing a whitewashed version of so many eras through this lens. This author's books show that the people who contributed to building our country have always been of many races. Both main characters in this book are biracial (black/Scottish and black/Native American), and most of the side characters are also people of color. Additionally, many of them are women, some running their own businesses.
I really like the way women are portrayed. When female characters in this book are not in charge of their own lives, it's because of someone acting against them, not because they're not able to make their own decisions. So, when they need rescue, as Maggie does at a few points, it's framed as someone needing aid for a specific problem, rather than helpless women suffering until a man can save them. Maggie saves herself several times, as well.
I was very into the romance. Both of the MCs are prickly, and Maggie is quite outspoken, which is part of the reason Ian falls in love with her. Their love becomes a haven for him, a place where he can be vulnerable. I felt this worked really well because his goal throughout the book is to set aside his bounty-hunter days and return to his home in Wyoming; over time, Maggie's companionship becomes an essential part of that plan. Maggie has never had a family or a home of her own since her parents died, and it's very satisfying to see these characters coming together.
As in Indigo, the book doesn't end at the point most romance novels do, when you feel like they're definitely going to live happily ever after. They have a few more adventures once they return to Ian's ranch. We also see Maggie establishing herself in the community, and we meet a few more great side characters. I usually want more when I finish a romance novel in which I really loved the main couple, so I was happy that the story showed how everything worked out.