Romance Books

#BookReview: “Under Starry Skies” by Judy Ann Davis

Book Review graphic


Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.

Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.

When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he in the cross-hairs of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she is the target instead of the handsome rancher.

With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?


In book 2 of the Ashmore Brothers series, Maria and Abigail O’Donnell hire rancher Tye Ashmore to help them transport two caskets of precious cargo down river to the town of Golden in Colorado Territory. Tye takes quite a liking to Maria, the new schoolteacher, but he’s less than impressed with Abigail. The young women have little money to their name, but they’re determined to fix up their uncle’s inn, whom they soon learn has been murdered. That doesn’t stop the sisters from doing their best to survive in a new place and Maria from falling in love.

This sweet romance was a bit different than my normal read. Though I enjoyed it, I was confused to begin with since it opens in Abigail’s POV instead of Maria’s. I kept thinking this was Abby’s story contrary to what the blurb said, so it took me a while to wipe that notion from my head. The story centers on Maria and Tye, but I found the secondary romance between Abigail and Tye’s friend, Brett, more compelling. I hope Abby and Brett get their own story! The mystery of who killed Uncle Henry also drew me in.

Maria and Abigail are strong, smart women, and I couldn’t help but adore them. Tye was honorable and decent, and his family was great. I enjoyed Ms. Davis’s writing style and her descriptions of the scenery.

If you’re in the mood for a well-written, slow-burn historical western romance with a dash of suspense, Under Starry Skies should do the trick.

4 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.