by Emily Hayse
“It’s not until you tame the wild places that the monsters come out.”
New hope brings new challenges and new blood from the East. With Archer and Rosamund Scott presiding over the land they love and Raymond Lacey serving as marshal, Glory Mesa is poised to enter a new golden age. But the hard-won peace is marred by rumblings of trouble on the horizon and the shadow of the ancient curse.
From Jesse Thatcher’s run-in with a grizzled mountain man to Kate Carnegie’s quest to bring justice to a pair of hapless brothers, the Western Territory becomes a stage for desperate deeds and unlikely heroes. Yet, unknown to all but a few, this season of range wars, breakneck rides, lone gunslingers, and gentle romances is building to a deadly day that will alter the territory and its people forever.
The Beautiful Ones picks up several months after the events of These War-Torn Hands. Glory Mesa is growing into an established town, and new challenges and adventures await our favorite characters. And in the background, a storm is brewing.
Just like in These War-Torn Hands, Emily’s characters are fantastic, and you’ll become further endeared to the citizens of Glory Mesa, both old and new. Despite having numerous POVs, each of Emily’s characters not only has their own personality, but distinct character voice. There are some characters whose POV I could recognize without their name written at the top of the chapter–that’s how strong their unique voice is.
The plot has a little bit of an episodic feel to it, but not in a bad way. While These War-Torn Hands focused on the rivalry between Archer and Mortimer, The Beautiful Ones chronicles the individual challenges that the characters face. They’re the “side quests” of the Arthurian legends. And while the challenges might not all relate to each other, they all do grow the characters. And like I said above, the undercurrent of a gathering storm runs beneath everything. Someone is coming for Archer Scott and Glory Mesa.
The Beautiful Ones is a solid second novel in The Knights of Tin and Lead trilogy and will leave you ready to find out what happens next.
(also, can we all just take marvel at the gorgeous covers for this series?!)
Cautions: light romance; several kisses; non-graphic moderate violence