ONCE UPON A SAVAGE MOON
by Keta Diablo
Name of cover designer
Charlene Raddon at Cover-Ops
Official genre of the books
Historical Erotic Romance
Brothers Creed and Brand Gatlin love the same woman. One is the father to her child; the other her husband. One left to fight in the Civil War; one stayed home to pick up the tumultuous pieces of their lives.
Sage and Lauren McCain, twins separated at birth, have no idea the other exists…until Fate steps in to reunite them twenty years later.
Once Upon A Savage Moon is a sweeping saga of two families, the McCains and the Gatlins, caught in the crossfire of the Civil War and the Sioux uprising. Journey with them as they struggle through heartache, betrayal, forgiveness and ultimately love.
Creed had to beat her in the race, and beat her he would. Smiling to himself, he savored the thought of taking her down a notch or two. The cocky smirk would be wiped from her lovely face, the I’m-better-than-you sneer she flaunted now as she sashayed forward.
“Miss McCain, I hope you haven’t gorged yourself on that lovely meal.” He smiled when color stained her cheeks. “I’d hate to see your mount weighted down for the final race.”
“Don’t worry about Adobe or me.” She spat the words and mounted. “We’re more than ready to leave you in our dust.”
The gold flecks in her eyes sparked. For a brief moment he forgot about the crowd and longed to yank her from the saddle, introduce her back to the dust she spoke of. “To your success.” Creed raised his tankard of ale, downed it and set it on the ground near his feet. He spoke to Mason as he swung a leg over the saddle, his words confident and bold. “Let’s be about it then.”
The crowd broke into rowdy whistles and then fell silent at Mason’s words. “On the count of three. One…two…three!”
The horses bolted at the retort of the pistol. Adobe and Creed’s black mare ran neck and neck to the opposite end of the field. Thick clumps of sod flew through the air from Adobe’s hooves as the horse sailed over the bundles in perfect sync with his mount’s. Someone had warned her not to look over her shoulder. She rode low, close to the stallion’s mane, her lush body one with the horse. The air enveloping them groaned with a competitive edge he’d never felt before. The spitfire intended to beat him at any cost.
Although fleet of foot, his mare lacked size against the stallion. When they reached the bales at the far end of the field, his time had come to overtake her. Her stallion navigated the crazy-eight with ease, and so did his horse. His moment had arrived. The mounts crossed over and headed for opposite sides. She dug her heels into Adobe’s side and drove the powerful stallion into the mare’s withers. His horse stumbled to her stifles, her frightened whinnies cracking the air. Lauren pressed on without as much as a backward glance.
The mare found her footing and like her rider, rage spurned her onward. She made up for the precious seconds lost when Lauren tried to take them out of the race.
But not enough to charge over the finish line before the stallion.
The crowd went wild as the riders swept past them in a swirling haze of dust. Damn, the cheating bitch had won. Halting near the corral, Lauren dismounted and bolted from her mount.
Creed dogged her heels; so close, he saw her knees quake. “You cheated!” He advanced and when she turned to face him, he poked a stiff finger into her chest. “You could have killed me with that crazy stunt you pulled!”
She backed away, shaking like a leaf. “Whatever are you talking about? You lost, fair and square.”
He screamed so loud she jumped. “Liar!”
“Your clumsy mount lost her footing and plowed into Adobe!” Their gazes locked, and in that infinitesimal moment, he lost pace with his breathing. “You, Creed Gatlin,” she said with quavering voice, “were bested by a mere woman. Live with it.”
“You’re no woman.” He didn’t know if he wanted to ring her slender neck or toss her to the ground and slam into her until she admitted she cheated. “You’re a spoiled little bitch!”
An audible gasp fell from her lips before brown eyes narrowed.
“You could never beat me fair and square and you know it.” He struggled to control his emotions. She’d beaten him in the race, albeit by cheating, but why did he sense her winning again now?
Her bottom lip trembled. He became aware of her childlike vulnerability, and his potent desire for her. The cutting remarks, the bold, confident persona were nothing more than a façade on her part. Her nearness sent his senses reeling―the scent of woman, horse and leather adding to the roaring chaos in his head. She stumbled on the words she tried to speak and tears filled her eyes.
“Leave, now,” he said. “Before I do something we’ll both regret.”
I gotta admit – I was super excited when I sat down for this series. The first part was a little rough but quickly found its footing. I wasn’t impressed with the way things wrapped up in the end but I’m happy that everyone got their happily ever after.
One of my favorite things to read is historical fiction and if it’s centered around Southern Belles and Antebellum, I’m all in. Toss in some prized horses and I’m all about it. This book had all three of these things. Set against the Civil War, this book takes us to New Ulm, Minnesota and very candidly deals with the Sioux uprisings of the time. It’s journey takes us all over the map, which is wonderful.
I have to admit to not being a fan of the main character, Lauren. She’s a mess. Spoiled, manipulative and a liar, there’s not much going for her. Her main man isn’t much better. Creed is explosive, angsty and dark. Somehow, when they’re together, it works.
I’m a much bigger fan of Sage and cried when she got handed a sour deal. She’s an interesting character, the light to Lauren’s dark. She’s unique, loyal and kind which make her a keeper.
I don’t want to go too much into the story as it takes a lot of twists and turns and I don’t want to give anything away. I devoured the series, glad to be able to start the next part immediately after finishing. It’s a page turner once it finds its flow and I’m definitely going to be searching out more from this author.
Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. She adores animals and donates her time and support to local food and animal shelters.
Keta is a multi-published author in contemporary romance, erotic romance and gay fiction. She’s also an Amazon best-selling author. Her erotica novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and was nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel Meko’s Woman was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark and her historical novel Sky Tinted Water was nominated for a RONE Award by Ind’Tale Magazine. Her latest contemporary romance novel, Season, Unforgettable, is a finalist in the romance category sponsored by Independent Author Network Book Awards for 2015.
Keta’s books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from top professional review sites.