I’ve loved, loved Violet Duke from the first time I read her – a brilliant writer with an insight into the souls of her characters, heavily invested into the emotions of her heroes and heroines, a tremendous energy of keeping wit and humor between the lines and a sublime spark of passion and love, just ready to sizzle the pages of her stories.

If “Love, Chocolate and Beer” (Cactus Creek 1), was a heady concoction of rich, warm chocolate and beer brewed to perfection, “Love, Tussles and Takedowns” (Cactus Creek 2) is armed with the unconditional love and support of a family, with no boundaries whatsoever and a town of people brimming with undying protection of their younglings. And not to mention the alpha male who trips and falls flat in the midst of prickly Cactus Creek!


Liana Lin is an antique arms authenticator with a lifetime of martial arts training, and a past that had made her what she is today. Loved by all, adored by the kids of Cactus Creek, protected to the last pore of her very being, the pretty, sexy and sassy Lia has Hudson Reyes all but gets kicked in the gut with her kick-ass moves.

A former marine recovering from war injuries and working as a movie industry consultant for weapons and fight scenes, Hudson Reyes is all knocked out of breath by the angel face, tiny Liana Lin. Having endured the ravages of war, and the endless guilt of loss and pain, Hudson sees those chains around his heart break, as he gets to know Lia.

With an amazing supporting cast of characters in Cactus Creek (I’m sure we’ll see them more), Hudson and Lia become friends with benefits, followed by home runs! Love, Tussles and Takedowns is an emotional journey of relationships, of unconditional bonds made through heart, and the undying faith in humanity that there are good people among us. It is a charming story of two wonderful people who deserve each other of their love and passion.

Violet Duke does another fabulous job of keeping us on the toes of our feet, heart fluttering, warmth oozing, charm and charisma brimming, with a family that can go to any ends to protect their own, and a love that is armed and loaded with patience, humor and understanding.