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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Fans of westerns are in for a treat with S.R. Mallery's The Dolan Girls. The book follows the Dolan sisters, Cora and Minnie, as they inherit and run a parlor in the small town of South Benton in Nebraska in the 1880s. Sexually assaulted as a sixteen-year-old, Cora Dolan has lost the ability to put her trust in others for the past twenty years. After inheriting Madam Ana's establishment, she and her sister Minnie continue to provide entertainment of all sorts to the inhabitants of South Benton. When Cora's daughter Ellie returns home to be the new town schoolmarm, Cora is determined to keep her reputation intact. But the notorious Soltano gang is roaming the countryside with a new member who has a heinous history. Meanwhile, the arrival of a Pinkerton agent brings the past swirling back into Cora's life.
Full of romance, gun-toting cowboys, and lively saloons, The Dolan Girls is an absolute blockbuster of a novel for any lover of westerns. At its heart, this book is the story of two sisters as they carve out a life for themselves in a time and place where men with guns ruled the world. S.R. Mallery paints a vivid portrait of a late 19th-century American town, with characters that leap off the pages, some of whom you will love while others you will love to hate. Each character feels distinct, and their interactions and actions bring their personalities out upfront. You will find yourself rooting for Cora, Minnie, and Ellie until the end. I loved the book and will gladly recommend it.