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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review of A Ranger’s Trail

I am somewhat discriminating when it comes to historical fiction. I only read books from periods that I enjoy. Recently, I read A Ranger’s Trail, set in Texas in the 1870s and written by Darlene Franklin. 

photo of author darlene franklin

This novel is part of the Morgan Family series (apparently written by various authors) by River North Fiction (, an imprint of Moody Publishers. 
I enjoyed the overall story (plot and characters). The story was believable and very well-researched. At the start of each chapter, Franklin includes quotes from actual historical accounts from the time period that set the stage for the chapter. At the beginning of the book, Franklin differentiates between fact and fiction (for example, tells the reader which characters were actual historical figures) in the story, prepares the reader for the quotes they will encounter, and provides a related map. I understand Franklin’s reasons for preparing the reader for the quotes and for the historical context of the setting. I believe this makes sense. My only slight criticism would be that I would have preferred the fact-vs.-fiction section included at the end simply because I think it might have been more helpful to read the section after I read the story and was more familiar with the characters. Still, every reader is unique, and others might appreciate having that information upfront. 

In A Ranger’s Trail, Leta Denning’s husband is killed by an angry mob after being acquitted of cattle rustling, and Texas Ranger, Buck Morgan, comes into town to uncover what happened and to mete out justice. I liked Lena’s spunk and Buck’s kindheartedness. The book is well-researched, yet at the same time, the author does not beat readers over the head with unrelated facts from the time period.

This book will appeal probably more to woman because it is a historical romance. However, men who enjoy historical accounts from the 1870s (for example, stories about range wars and cattle rustling) and do not mind a bit of romance might enjoy this story as well. Additionally, those who are looking for a good fiction book on forgiveness might enjoy this story, as the theme of forgiveness is woven throughout.

The bottom line is I enjoyed this story, would read it again, and recommend it to other readers.

For more information on the author, please visit

a texas ranger is shown on the cover

*Please note that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.


  1. OHHHHH This sounds like a good read !! Especially for a day like today where its raining and over cast !!! Would love the chance to win !! have a Blessed Weekend !!



  2. You know I'm always up for a good historical! Even if they don't have swords, LOL And as a Texas girl myself, partial to stories with Texas Rangers =)

    nancykimball at hotmail dot com

  3. "Texas Ranger" snagged me, too. I'm a diehard "Walker, Texas Ranger" fan. I would enjoy reading it, too.

  4. Thanks for the chance to win Darlene's book!



  5. Hello Amber, Nancy, Sylvia! So far all my readers love my Texas Ranger (Buck Morgan). I hope you will too!

  6. Heidi: After you explained your qualifications for reading historical fiction, I am doubly honored that chose to read A Ranger's Trail.

  7. This is a period of history I very much enjoy reading about, both fiction and non-fiction. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  8. I would have to when it comes to romance stories historical romances have to be my favorite. Thank you for sharing your review and the chance to win a copy.

    avidreader at middleswarth dot net

  9. If, a year ago, somebody told me I'd be spending a lot of time reading romances -- not just romantic suspense, which I will say is my favorite type of romance, and the more time spent on the suspense side the better -- I would have wondered who spiked your coffee. Now, I'm in a crit group where two of the four stories I'm working on are historical romances, and I'm enjoying them both. Spending about half my childhood in Arizona, the subject is of interest as well.

    Jeff Reynolds

  10. I love learning history through fiction . . . join me on the journey! Jeff, you might want to check out Almost Arizona by Susan page Davis (will be released to general public later this year),that takes place in 1912, AZ's statehood year.

  11. Darlene,

    Any suggestions for Calfornia? That's where I grew up.

  12. I read one of Darlene Franklin's novellas in a Christmas collection, A Woodland Christmas, and immensely enjoyed her writing style. I would love to read A Ranger's Trail. Thanks for the opportunity to win!


  13. Jan Marie, So glad you enjoyed Polly and Joey's story in A Woodland Christmas!

  14. Would love to read this. I love historical fiction.

  15. Oh please sign me up! This is SUCH a GREAT series!!! LOVE love love them! :)

    srstormo at yahoo dot com

  16. I think I've watched all the Walker Texas Ranger episodes also.
    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I would love to read this, as I am trying to write my first historical fiction novel and want to study as many of them as I can. Thanks.
      authorboyles at

  17. Sounds like a great book. You had me a Texas and Ranger. :)Sign me up.

  18. I would love a copy!



  19. Thanks to everyone for participating. Amber is the winner of the giveaway. I'll be contacting her shortly. I hope everyone enjoyed the interview, and I hope you stop by again soon for the next giveaway! :)


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