Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/infamous-by-suzanne-brockmann
History professor Alison Carter has dedicated her career to researching Silas Quinn, one of the greatest heroes of the legendary Wild West. When Alison is asked to come to Arizona for a job as a historical consultant on a film about Quinn, she never expects to find herself smack dab in the middle of the kind of chaos only a Hollywood production could provide. Nor does she foresee a stranger in a cowboy hat turning up on the set, claiming everything she’s ever studied and written about is a lie.
Haunted by his past, A.J. Gallagher wants nothing more than to live an almost hermetic existence in Alaska. Unfortunately, a far more persistent specter is haunting his present, prodding A.J. to go to Arizona and put an end to the legend of Silas Quinn; a legend that has put a black mark on his family’s name for far too long. When A.J. meets Alison, he’s pleased she seems willing to listen to his family’s version of what really happened all those years ago. Even more fascinating is the flash of desire that immediately ignites between him and Alison. But Alison’s past hasn’t left her without her own scars, marks that may prevent A.J. from ever winning over the woman he’s fast falling in love with.
The Wild West has nothing on modern day movie madness in the razor-sharp Infamous. Suzanne Brockmann seamlessly weaves together a series of plots and issues in this fast-paced, richly detailed book. I applaud Ms. Brockmann for not shying away from issues such as alcoholism, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and loss of loved ones (and that’s only naming a few of the subjects in Infamous). Ms. Brockmann doesn’t treat these matters lightly or throw them in to be “token” issues for her protagonists, which gives Infamous depth and gave me a higher respect for A.J., who faces the majority of the harder points in the book. He’s not just a handsome face and a hot body – not by a long shot. Alison, too, is a complex protagonist. She makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to A.J., ones that would have made me dislike her, had not Ms. Brockmann made her actions understandable given her history. I adored her and A.J. together and while the road to happily ever after is filled with canyon-sized potholes for the two of them, I was avidly turning the pages of Infamous, waiting to see what would happen next as A.J. and Alison fell in love.
The other major player in Infamous is Jamie Gallagher, the infamous outlaw whose death at Silas Quinn’s hands is the stuff legends are made of. Too bad the legend isn’t exactly true and Jamie, now a ghost, is every bit as much a leading character in Infamous as A.J., the great-grandson he’s haunting, and Alison. Jamie may not be the villain “history” portrays him as, but he’s not lily-white either. He is, however, charming as hell and at times he just plain stole the show for me.
A dash of menace added in with a danger-filled subplot brings action to Infamous, keeping the story moving at a quick pace right up until the adrenaline-filled end. All in all, I greatly enjoyed Infamous. It’s the first book I’ve read by the highly-praised Ms. Brockmann and I was pleased to discover that Ms. Brockmann’s writing lives up to the hype. Now that I’ve read Infamous, I know I’ll be checking out more of Ms. Brockmann’s books in the near future.