Book Review, Historical, Romance, Series, Women's Fiction

Sugar Ellie (Soiled Doves Book 1) by Sarah Hegger


She’s all that’s sweet…

They call her Sugar Ellie, and she’s sweet, sassy and sexy as all hell. She’s also the pint-sized feisty madam of a cathouse in Rattler’s Gulch, Colorado. Forced to escape her scheming family, Sugar turns to smooth talking gambler and fast gun Cole “Whisky” Mansfield.

But Cole has his own demons to wrangle, as he faces a past that sent him west.

Thrown together by necessity, and held together by their fierce attraction, Cole is also about to discover just how unique a madam Sugar Ellie really is.


I’ve been a Sarah Hegger fan since I read and reviewed The Betrothal Melee back in February which is set in Europe during medieval times.  Sugar Ellie is a western romance set in the Americas which just goes to show that Ms. Hegger can easily write about different times and settings while capturing the essence of the era and the characters. 

Sugar Ellie Pierce is a force to be reckoned with. She’s been running the girls at The Four Kings and a Queen Saloon for many years, but her least favorite brother, Jake’s gold-digging fiancee, Minnie, has his ear and wants to take over. Which means they want Ellie to become a working girl and auction her off to the highest bidder.  Not a chance in hell. Ellie has a plan and it involves Cole “Whiskey” Mansfield, a long-time friend and gambler with a notorious reputation who visits The Four Kings when he passes through. Her deal with Cole is giving up what everyone, including Cole, thought she lost a long time ago, but when he finds out the truth and why she’s running, he is determined to protect her no matter what. But he can’t protect her heart.

Thus begins a hilarious and rousing adventure from Colorado to New York filled with a beautiful chatterbox of a young working girl named Bridget, a farmer who kidnaps Ellie to be his son’s wife, and a stolen moment in time for two star-crossed lovers. 

Cole and Ellie are destined to be together, but I have a bone to pick with Cole who needs some sense beaten up side his head. I admit he is kind and generous to help Ellie, who he is attracted to, and he saves her from several scrapes, but his insistence on going back to New York to make things right with a certain someone, had me steaming mad on Ellie’s behalf. He is an idiot and Ellie didn’t deserve that treatment. As for Ellie, she is a bit naive when it comes to love, but she is smart, independent, and oh, so forgiving. At least she’s getting away from her past and working hard to become someone respectable in society’s eyes without sacrificing her integrity and decency.  The supporting character of Bridget is hilarious with her incredible beauty that knocks men senseless into doing whatever she wants as long as she doesn’t open her mouth.  I also love Cole’s sweet mother, Joy, who has some surprising qualities from a respectable wealthy East Coast lady. 

Overall, though frustrating at times, I enjoyed this fun romantic Western filled with adventure, laughter, and colorful characters.  If you like working girls, gamblers, and a HEA ending, please give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Hegger for giving me the opportunity to review this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Sugar Ellie Cover

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Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe-trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother. She currently lives in Ottawa, Canada, filling her empty nest with fur babies. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

Sarah is the recipient of the 2015 EPIC Award for Historical Romance.

Follow Sarah on her websiteTwitterBookbubFacebookInstagram, and Tumbler.