Review: Colorado Dawn by Kaki Warner

In Colorado Dawn, Kaki Warner’s trademark humor, grit and attention to detail come together in a beautifully vibrant, entertaining, and emotionally gripping story.

Colorado DawnMaddie and Angus Wallace have spent only a few nights together in their six-year marriage. The last time Angus deserted her to rejoin his regiment, Maddie struggled unsuccessfully to make a life with his family in Scotland. She finally leaves and strikes out for Colorado Territory, where she becomes a celebrated photographer introducing the world to America’s west through a female eye.

She tells her new friends in the failing mining town of Heartbreak Creek that she’s a widow, a lie that catches up to her when Angus (now Viscount Ashby, or Ash) seeks her out because he needs an heir.

But how can she even think about forgiving him, much less giving up a meaningful career, for a lazy life among the backbiting aristocracy? And how can Ash give up centuries of duty for a life thousands of miles from his family and heritage?

I’ve read all of Kaki Warner’s novels, and they go from strength to strength. Colorado Dawn is the second in her Runaway Brides series (Heartbreak Creek is first), and this novel cements Kaki’s place as one of my favorite novelists.

For me, one of the great pleasures of reading a Kaki Warner novel is the voice she gives her heroes. They’re rough, rugged and funny, but they’d do absolutely anything for their heroines. Unlike their Victorian England counterparts, there’s nothing polished about them. They’re survivalists, and it’s a good thing because hoo-boy! Kaki throws a hell of a lot of conflict their way.

Though Ash is a new member of the British aristocracy, he has much more in common with the sheriff and ranchers of Kaki’s previous novels than he does with English toffs. Ash is a Highland warrior, a soldier, who has suffered grave injuries and losses. Although he devoted most of his life to his career, and was devastated to lose it, he has managed to keep his sense of humor, as shows in this scene when he’s driving Maddie back to town after a night of passion.

They spoke little. It was one of those highly charged female-type silences that eroded a man’s confidence and had him scanning through recent events to determine what he might have done wrong. Ash tolerated it as long as he could, then looked over at his wife. “It was the uniform, right?”

In the slanted light, her eyes were as brown and clear as the medicine bottles that had lined the windowsill beside his hospital bed. Filled with promises and hope. Addictive.


“That caught your eye.” When she still showed no understanding, he explained. “I can feel you drifting away, lass, and I’m seeking a way to draw you back. The ladies always seemed taken with the uniform. As once did you. Shall I send for it?”

“Drifting away? You can say that after what we—you and I—when we—after last night?” She clasped her gloved hands in her lap and looked away, her cheeks as red as strawberry ice in a paper cone.

“So it went well for you then, love? You dinna say, so I wasna sure. But with all the squealing and carrying on, I should have known.”

Her head whipped toward him. “I did not squeal or carry on.”

“No? Then it must have been me.”

And the scene just gets better from there.

I love that Ash is a man of his time, completely befuddled at first by the fact that his wife doesn’t want to give up her photography for a lifetime of leisure and balls. But I also love that he learns how important her career is and strives to find ways to support her in it.

If you haven’t read Heartbreak Creek, I recommend you start there to get a feel for the friendships and the secondary romance that run through the series. I highly recommend this series, and for the next couple of days you have a chance to win Colorado Dawn by leaving a comment on Kaki’s guest post, One woman’s tips on writing the male point of view.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Heat: 3 (sensual)

Have you read any of Kaki Warner’s novels? What did you think?


  1. I’m in the middle of reading this 5th book of Kaki’s and I couldn’t agree with you more. Angus is such a sweetheart as the rest of the male characters in her previous books. How she manages to turn each book to be impossibly better than the last amazes me. I adore the cowboy version of her historical romances. I have every bit of confidence that once you read a Kaki Warner novel you will find yourself impatiently awaiting her next release!

  2. I just finished Colorado Dawn and believe it to be the best of all the 5 so far. I love Angus and Maggie. (who doesn’t love a Scot?) They have the juice to keep any romantic heart going without all the minute details. Kaki just keeps getting better. I can’t wait for the next installment!!! I’m seriously hooked on Pru and Thomas…I’m hoping their story will flush out with the third Heartbreak Creek book along with Lucinda’s story!! The humor, romance, mystery and suspense are nice fresh pieces of the pie that she has baked into each one of her books. Keep them coming Kaki, I’ll keep on reading!!!!

  3. I have read all of Kaki’s books so far except this because I haven’t found it yet, still looking. I love Kaki’s work and she is my favorite author right now. Can’t wait for more books from her. AWESOME

      1. That’s the problem I don’t have a local bookstore in my area! We just have one used book store and then Walmart and Kroger that’s it.

        1. That’s such a shame! I know I saw Kaki’s Blood Rose series at Walmart when I was in California over Christmas, but it was the mass-market paperback versions. I guess it might take them a while to carry her latest.

    1. Great interview Delia! I saw your post on FB and thhogut I would come here, I didn’t realize all you went thru to get your book published, very interesting. I hope the e-book format works for this book.Margaret Diggs

  4. This book sounds as great as her Blood Rose series. I had been waiting patiently for that series in mass paperbook and was lucky enough to win the series in a giveaway. I am waiting just as patiently for this one too!

  5. Love to win…love reading Kaki Warner’s books..and look forward to reading ‘Colorado Dawn’……………………

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