Saddled Hearts

The White Rune

Romance - Suspense
384 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. The entertaining true story comes to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books.

And now, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, Book 1 in The White Rune Series, in 2020, which won a bronze medal award from Reader’s Favorite. Jagged Feathers was released on January 31, 2022, as Book 2 of that series, which won an Honorable Mention from Reader’s Favorite and took 4th place in the North Texas Book Festival Book Awards Contest. Last but not least, Saddled Hearts, Book 3, released on October 19, 2022.

She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

Saddled Hearts (The White Rune) by Jan Sikes recounts the heartfelt romance between Colt Layne and Sage Coventry. Colt is perplexed when Jeremiah Tompkins appears with a claim that his grandfather gambled the ranch away. Determined to save the property, he consults a psychic adviser named Sage, who receives a genuine message from the spirit of Buck Layne. Her warm nature prompts Colt to ask Sage out on a date. An arson attack soon results in Colt being framed for the murder of Jeremiah Tompkins. Is the answer to the riddle hidden in the pages of Buck Layne’s journals? Sage and Colt commence on a race against time and constant acts of sabotage. Could the perpetrator be closer than they expect?

Saddled Hearts (The White Rune) by Jan Sikes combined a wonderful love story with page-turning suspense. The character of Colt was admirable, and I applauded his desire to save horses. Colt was so evidently the rightful heir and the best candidate to run Layne Horse Sanctuary that I was as shocked as the characters when the lawless vandalism continued. I shuddered when the characters were placed in danger, and searched the pages for clues to the identity of the suspect. The cleverly written narrative kept me guessing until the end, but I was sure of one thing – Sage and Colt belonged together! Every paragraph I read charmed me and did not disappoint. I loved the horses, enjoyed the passion, and felt satisfied to see justice done. The book provided a rewarding afternoon of reading that combined mystery and romance.

Rolanda Lyles

Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary where he rehabilitates horses who have been abused and had a hard life. He spends all his time caring for the animals and playing music with his band. One day, a stranger appeared demanding that Colt give him the ranch. Colt later finds the man dead but he is arrested and framed for murder. Confused, Colt doesn't understand who or why someone would want to frame him, and to make things worse, someone is intentionally hurting his animals. Colt doesn't believe in psychic abilities but decides to try the services of a medium and meets Sage Coventry. She tells him things about his life and his deceased grandfather that no one else would know. Skeptical but desperate, Colt continues to consult with her, getting more information to help him clear his name and save the ranch. Will they be able to clear his name and find this elusive person attacking the ranch?

Jan Sikes' Saddled Hearts: The White Rune is a romance story of an unsuspecting pair that fate has brought together. A story full of suspense, mystery, and rediscovering love after loss. Jan Sikes' writing is compelling and gripping in that both Colt's and Sage's pasts were painful but they still found goodness in the world. For Colt, it was through him helping the horses find new life and Sage helping people find closure with their deceased loved ones. A story that pulls you in from the very first sentence. A story that reminds you that the power of love is strong and can conquer anything. While the pair thought the love part of their life was done, Fate had a different idea. Enjoy Jan Sikes' Saddled Hearts and go on a fantastic journey in the race against time to prove Colt's innocence and protect his home and the animals that live there in this powerful romance story.

Vincent Dublado

Saddled Hearts by Jan Sikes is initially about a man who finds solitude in his horse sanctuary. Aside from his passion for horses, Colt Layne plays music with his band. Jeremiah Tompkins pays him a surprising and shocking visit, a man with no decency about him. Colt’s late grandfather refers to people of Tompkins’s ilk as shysters. He sets foot on Colt’s inherited land with ludicrous demands until he is found murdered. Fingers point to Colt as the main suspect. Sage Coventry is a woman with a rare gift—she has the ability to communicate with the dead. She enjoys communicating with spirits and has stopped joining the world of the living since the death of someone she loved five years ago. Although skeptical, Colt decides to consult Sage because he needs to speak with his dead grandfather pertaining to the dilemma he faces. He gets plenty of symbolic but useful information. Together they will unlock shocking secrets as well as the doors to each other’s hearts.

The elements come together to create a fascinating twist so that it becomes a romance story with a touch of suspense and even mysticism. Jan Sikes treats her underlying themes with finesse as evidenced by the interaction of her two main characters. How she describes their physical characteristics falls into the typical romance hero and heroine profile, but Sikes gives them more depth through their preoccupations and concerns. Moreover, while the attraction seems immediate, they don’t fall in love with unspoken words and glances. Love grows because they are bonded in a goal to clear Colt’s name and save the ranch while under pressure. The skeptical but chivalric way Colt deals with Sage in the beginning and the increasing tension as they come closer to the truth makes Saddled Hearts a genuinely romantic and mysterious story. Lovers of romantic-suspense tales will get a kick out of this.