Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Treasure of Como Bluff by Alison Henderson


In her race against rival bone hunters, the last complication paleontologist Caroline Hubbard needs is an unconscious stranger cluttering up her dig site. Nicholas Bancroft might have the chiseled features and sculpted physique of a classical statue, but she's not about to let him hamper her quest to unearth a new species of dinosaur and make her mark on the scientific world. 

 Nick has come to Wyoming in search of silver but, after a blow to the head, finds himself at the mercy of a feisty, determined female scientist. Despite his insistence that he's just passing through, he agrees to masquerade as Caroline's husband to help save her job. Once their deception plays out, they face a crucial decision. Will they be able to see beyond their separate goals and recognize the treasure right in front of them?


Hard-headed. If I were forced to choose one term to describe the hero and heroine of Alison Henderson's western, The Treasure of Como Bluff, it's got to be hard-headed.

Paleontologist Caroline Hubbard is a determined scientist trying to make a name for herself in a man's world, a feminist ahead of her time.  Alone in the wild, wild west, our heroine seems oblivious to all potential dangers but rattlesnakes as she conducts her solo dig to locate fossilized dinosaur remains. She is a woman with something to prove—to her brother, to her male colleagues, and to herself.

Nick Bancroft is a drifter, a man with a troubled past and a broken heart, distrustful of beautiful women, and a treasure seeker. He has dollar signs in his eyes as he chases after rumors of silver in Wyoming and emeralds in the Amazon. He has his gaze firmly fixed on the horizon, which is probably how he winds up getting thrown from his horse and knocked unconscious. A bit more attention to his surroundings might've saved the man from a nasty fall.

Fortunately for Nick, Caroline happens across him at her dig site and hauls his sorry butt back to her campsite—with the aid of her trusty mule, Jasper. From the moment our hero awakens, the pair bang heads—did I say hard-headed? The romantic tension is fast and fun, never contrived, and makes for some hilarious scenes. Never before have I seen a man more aptly compared to a mule!

The plot progresses with Nick bailing Caroline out by impersonating "C.P. Hubbard" for the sake of her snooty employer. Duplicity brings the pair closer, although they never seem to be straight with one another until the very end. Another reviewer on Amazon compared the story's feel to movies made by Hepburn and Tracy, Lombard and Gable. As a fan of old movies, I agree with this assessment one-hundred percent.

The Treasure of Como Buff is set in July, 1879, and Alison did a great job with the details of the era, creating a realistic backdrop for this sweet historical western.  Frankly, I wanted more. My only complaint is that it should have lasted longer. Five stars all the way.

Buy Links:
Amazon ebook
Barnes and Noble ebook
The Wild Rose Press

Where to Find Alison Henderson on the Web: 
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  1. Hi Alison, thanks again for being on my blog this week. :)

    1. Thanks for inviting me! And I'm so glad you enjoyed The Treasure of Como Bluff.

  2. What a terrific review. I have to read this one!