La Vida

Romance - Historical
296 Pages
Reviewed on 08/03/2015
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Author Biography

Kate Cortez is a lifelong resident of New Mexico. She gained a degree in education from New Mexico State University and studied medieval history and the American West as a grad student at the University of New Mexico. Passionate about teaching, researching history, and writing, she is devoted to passing this love on to future generations.

She currently lives in San Mateo, New Mexico, and shares with her husband and son a love of all things Western and the cowboy way of life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

When retired US Marshal Tylor McBain took an unexpected detour on his way to Fort Griffin, he had no idea what he was riding into - a town full of weathered souls at the hands of ruthless bandits. But amidst all the terror and chaos that welcomed him was also a beautiful, spirited and confident young lady with an unforgettable face and an endearing sense of duty - Abigail; only daughter of the town's richest family. When the townspeople witnessed him confidently take on a group of bandits on his arrival, many hoped he was the saviour they had been waiting for. Before the end of his first day, he was made the marshal with the entire town looking at him for hope and survival. And so Tylor began his crusade to save the town and restore its long lost serenity, with very much needed help from Abigail. As they worked side by side, Tylor and Abby had two problems at hand; the major issue of the bandits and the issue of the undeniable attraction between them and how to overcome the hurdles in their way.

La Vida by Kate Cortez is a deeply engrossing tale of terror, chaos and romance set in the Wild West. Kate Cortez's incredible writing style perfectly brought the story to life through a compelling narration of a close-knit community engulfed by a feeling of terror and impending doom, but also with ray of hope. The pace of the story was perfect from the very first chapter, drawing the reader in right away and the thrill holding strong through to the very last page, making it an absolute page-turner. Kate Cortez's writing is so convincing that even without her mentioning places or time, I could still easily tell where and when La Vida was set. The compelling portrayal of the setting brought it out perfectly.

Mamta Madhavan

La Vida by Kate Cortez takes readers to the 1800s, where the story is set against the backdrop of a small town in the northern side of New Mexico. The murderous band of outlaws terrorizing the small town of La Vida is receiving strong backing from some other source. Abigail Harrison is determined to find out the hidden force, but then no one has the courage to give her any support, fearing backlash. Tylor McBain, a retired US Marshall, ambles his way to La Vida and runs into a lone woman who is trying to escape from three mounted horsemen. As the story progresses, readers see Abigail and Tylor try to be together, despite objections from the family, and also save the small town from being destroyed.

The story has everything - love, action, mystery, thrills, suspense, humor and much more, making it an entertaining read. The main characters, Abigail and Tylor, are attractively portrayed, giving them a roughness and softness which makes them appealing to readers. The other characters too are memorable; they stay in the minds of readers for a long time. The story setting is real and palpable. Action along with romance is definitely a good combination and this book is just that. The ruggedness of the plot and the backdrop is toned down by the softness lent by the romantic angle of Tylor and Abigail. The action gives the story good pace and movement and will draw readers into the story. A novel that will definitely interest readers with all its action and romance.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Good versus evil. What better setting to place such a plot than in an isolated town in the old days of the wild west. La Vida in New Mexico is this isolated town and it's only by chance that newly retired U.S. Marshal Tylor McBain should happen upon this tiny town the rest of the world seemed to have forgotten. He arrived in a timely fashion. A thrown shoe on his horse forced him to seek assistance and, upon entering La Vida, he is confronted with a group of bandits shooting up the town, killing the mayor in the process. Retired Marshal he is no longer as the dying mayor asks his promise to remain as the town marshal, to rid the town of the bandits who are causing all kinds of problems. In the process, there is a 'Romeo and Juliet' love story that evolves between the new marshal, Tylor, and Abby, the daughter of the wealthy landowner who is also Tylor's biggest suspect.

Kate Cortez has written a truly western tale in La Vida, complete with bandits, shoot-outs and all the drama the west could possibly imagine. She has created an interesting and convoluted plot, but at times it seems to drag on as the characters stumble upon one obstacle after another, seemingly moving from one unnecessary tangent to another. Because of this, the plot tends to sag a little in the middle. However, it is a compelling story and an interesting read. Western enthusiasts and romance readers would certainly find this story appealing.