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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Freckled Venom - Copperhead Strikes is Juliette Douglas' second novel in the series and it is simply a wonderful read. Whether you like current or historical fiction, you'll fall in love with the characters the author has carried over from her first novel. There is Rawley Lovett, the town marshal of White Water. It is the winter of 1879 and for the past few months a red-headed spitfire by the name of Lacy Wilson has lived in the small town and earned her position as deputy to Rawley. Lacy has a lot of skeletons in her closet, the worst of them being her grandfather Justin Carrigan. Lacy ran away from her grandfather's home following the suicide of her mother who, along with Lacy was subjected to frequent molestation by the grandfather. Lacy's need for revenge is as intense as Rawley's need for law, order, and justice. This sets up a wonderful tug of strong characters. Strong attractions ensue and the feelings are initially mistaken for character incompatibilities.
I loved the character of Rawley Lovett and I consistently admired the respect and patience he had with a disturbed and angry young woman. I also admired Lacy's independence and resourcefulness in the face of humiliation and shame. Douglas has done a superb job of allowing the reader to journey along as an abused and abandoned child reaches maturity and dares to reach out for love and support. If anything, Freckled Venom is an even more sophisticated and enjoyable read than the first novel.