Book Review: The Strange Courtship of Kathleen O’Dwyer by Robert Temple

“James, we are your last hope. But you are not ours.”

Robert Temple, The Strange Courtship of Kathleen O’Dwyer

Title: The Strange Courtship of Kathleen O’Dwyer
Author: Robert Temple
Genres: Western, Historical Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 228 (Hardcover)
Publish Date: December 21st, 2022

My Rating: ★★★★
Read: 12/16/2022 – 12/19/2022

Happy publication day!


It’s been so long since I’ve read a western that I’d forgotten how exciting they can be. Even though I haven’t read a bunch of books in this genre, I’ve never read one with a female protagonist. For this reason, I was particularly curious.

School teacher Kathleen O’Dwyer sets off on a wagon train heading to New Mexico but later ends up traveling with a mountaineer named James Colter. Though ambivalent of his character, Kathleen finds herself drawn to him. Together they go forth on a number of adventures from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, they encounter a mix of people, such as fellow travelers, Native American tribesmen, and missionaries.

The book has a lot of action (and occasionally violence), however, there is also a more character-driven side to it. The latter was my favorite part of the story. I liked Kathleen even though I couldn’t personally relate much to her. Well-written and keeping a good pace, The Strange Courtship of Kathleen O’Dwyer is a nice read. Unfortunately, the ending is awfully abrupt despite the satisfying conclusion. I did a double-take when I reached the acknowledgments page. It’s an otherwise rich story for being under 250 pages. I enjoyed it.

A huge thanks to the author for reaching out and sending me a free digital ARC to read and review!

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Kathleen’s character development.
  • The dynamic between Colter and Kathleen, especially in Part 3.
  • The fast-paced action.

What I didn’t like:

  • As I mentioned, the abrupt ending. I think there would have been a benefit in an epilogue.
  • A couple of moments were bloodier than I like to read.


This was a nice change of pace from what I’ve been reading lately. I haven’t read many Western set books at all, but the ones I have read I remember enjoying immensely. This sounds terrible, but it never occurred to me to seek out a female protagonist in this setting.

Where to buy the book:

2 responses to “Book Review: The Strange Courtship of Kathleen O’Dwyer by Robert Temple”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: