About Red River Reunion

From the author of Gunslingers: A Story of the Old West comes a second novel about frontier freedom and justice on the American Frontier and the Old West.

Red River Reunion is a classic Western Fiction novel set in 1877 that traces the lives of U.S. Deputy Marshal Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne during their latest Texas adventures, where they risk everything to defend the meek, uphold frontier law, and satisfy their pursuit of doing what no other men can.

Tragic circumstances, lawlessness, and villainy, mark life in the Old West as settlers and law enforcement band together to survive and thrive and create a safe and prosperous future for all. Fans of Layne’s distinctive style will enjoy his rich characters and period details that bring the Old West back to life. 

If you enjoy classic nostalgic westerns, then this book is for you. The story explores strong themes of family, adventure, love, and friendship comingled with western gun battles that capture the free and dangerous spirit of the Old West.

Book 2 in the Series. A Luxton Danner Novel

"Having grown up a dedicated fan of Westerns, writing Red River Reunion was a natural progression for me. Once I began the process, the story flowed like one of the hundreds of western movies I’d watched over the years. The landscapes, characters, and dialogue came so inherently, that my writing swept me away like I hope it will my readers." - John Layne

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Praise for Red River Reunion

G. Michael Hopf, USA Today Best-Selling Author

“John Layne’s second novel, Red River Reunion, is brimming with period detail and authenticity. His historical knowledge, coupled with his law enforcement background, makes this book an enjoyable read for anyone interested in the Old West.”

Laur Van Patter, NetGalley

This wonderful book had the feel of a good old fashion western, complete with the all elements you would expect., most especially, justice coming and staying in town!

Satisfying Good western tale with lots of colorful characters, but the downside was I couldn’t remember who they all were. All in all, an enjoyable western adventure to those who like a bit of nostalgic reading about the Wild West and the quest to keep order against those who would disturb the peace.

Cynthia Brian, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Founder, Be the Star You Are!®

"If you want an engrossing and entertaining read based on real events that transpired in 1877, John Layne’s historical novel, Red River Reunion delivers. His prose is poetry, beautifully written with lush details that made me feel that I was living in the period. I fell in love with his characters and came away with an increased respect for the men and women who braved the Wild West arriving on horseback and wagons to settle in a dangerous and untamed frontier. Hats off to the Us Marshalls and Texas Rangers who risked all to protect and serve. A truly authentic Western experience. Back in the saddle again riding into the sunset! Red River Reunion is a 5 STAR read!"

Mary Lynde, NetGalley

Five Stars!

"This is an interesting and entertaining story. A tale of the old west told in a way that keeps you engrossed in the story. Each character has their own good qualities and their own beliefs. Payne and Danner are likable, honorable, and determined men. The story draws you into the old west, it gives you the feel of what it was like to live back then. Raids, robberies, and gunfights were all too common back then. I really enjoyed reading this book, there's not enough old west anything anymore."

Vincent Dublado Readers' Favorite

"5 Stars! "The year is 1877, a time when lawlessness pervades the western frontier. Thankfully, there are men like Deputy Marshal Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne who are willing to risk their lives in the spirit of peace and order. But defending the weak and deterring bandits along the Red River Border are no easy tasks when facing insurmountable odds of villainy and when nearly everyone owns a gun. Danner’s scruples as a man of the law will be put to the test when a nun gets kidnapped. As no army will risk deploying their units to raid a ruthless bandit camp, it is up to Danner and Payne to rescue the woman of the cloth. In the biggest challenge to his career as a deputy marshal, Danner’s commitment to his sworn duty will be threatened by a fit of insurmountable anger that will make him far more dangerous than the ruthless bandits they are hunting down.

From the same author who brought us, Gunslingers, John Layne is back with a new western adventure in Red River Reunion. The historical setting in this story is accompanied by a change in Danner’s moral focus. Red River Reunion is entertaining in its unbridled violence, the laudable grit of its characters, and the vivid illustration of the life and frequent hazards in the early west. John Layne’s direct statement of morality, that is, of giving a dose of one’s own medicine, is well-dramatized in a manner that lets characters with their rifles and revolvers do the talking. The simplicity of the plot proves that Red River Reunion can provide you with good company on a long flight or in any situation conducive to reading."

Kay McLeer, NetGalley

4 out of 5 Stars!

"I really enjoyed reading this western book, the characters were great and I really enjoyed getting to know them. It had a great western feel to it."

Lattes, Lipstick, and Literature

4.5 out of 5 Stars!

"It's been a while since I've read a really good historical fiction book, much less a western, but Layne did not disappoint! From the very first page, I was sucked in and did not want to stop. It opens with a bit of a shoot out, and I can honestly say that the way Layne writes his action scenes was amazing and really made me feel as if I'm right there. I think the shootouts and the action-packed scenes were my favorites but that doesn't mean those non-action moments were not as engaging. 

The way Layne crafted his book as if he had first-hand knowledge of being in the 1800s Western America, which shows how much research and care went into this book. The book is divided between various POVs with a grand ensemble of characters that were a bit hard to keep up with. There were a couple of characters (Wes and Ben) that really stood out to me. This is the second book in a series and I wish I would have read the first book since I feel that it would have helped me with all the characters, but this book is still good as a standalone. I had absolutely no trouble following along with the story. 
Layne really packs it in with this book; Action, Romance, and a greedy town boss really makes this a must-read for all old-fashion Western lovers. Overall, an extremely well-written book for a genre that needs it."

Pam Reith, NetGalley

4 out of 5 Stars!

"I loved reading about the Wild West! This was full of facts and the storyline just made me feel like I was right there with the characters. The characters were full of life and just jumped off the pages, The writing was truly rich in history which captured my attention immediately. Rangers and Marshalls, good guys and bad guys all together for a great read. Thank you for the ARC in exchange for a review. Truly a great book!"

Angie Thomas-Davis, NetGalley

4 out of 5 Stars!

"I have enjoyed reading westerns ever since I was a little girl and I read my Grandfather's Westerns that he got from the library. I was always interested in the Old Wild West, and still am. This book conjures up the feel of a time long ago and takes me back to my early reading days. I thought it was a great adventure and made a change from the usual books I read these days. I enjoyed it.."

Boyce McClain's Collectors' Corner

“From the author (John Layne) who brought you the thrilling Western novel ‘Gunslingers A Story Of The Old West’ comes Red River Reunion published by Labrador Publishing.


I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, “Good old fashioned Western novels are few and far between.’

And that’s a shame.  Where else can you read tales of courageous individuals who gambled it all to begin a new life in a new frontier?

They faced hardship, thirst, hunger, danger on all sides, and often lonely isolated lives where the law of the gun ruled supreme.

Even more impressive is that Westerns are based on real occurrences-things that could actually (and sometimes did) occur.  Westerns are great stories about common folk often placed in uncommon and often dangerous situations and yet somehow they survive.

Red River Reunion is set in the latter part of the 19th Century in the Old West.

It follows the continuing story of Marshall Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne as they seek to defend the weak, the meek, and uphold Western law.

New characters are introduced along with new threats, new locations, and dangerous situations.

What I really enjoy about the novel is the feeling of authenticity. It’s obvious from the start that the author has done his research.

His prose perfectly describes The Old West.  I actually felt like I was walking the dusty streets of towns, camping out at night under the star-filled sky and listening to the sound of cattle and the occasional coyote.

The characters feel like real people.  The book describes their struggles, their hardships, and their determination to make a life for themselves in the new mostly unexplored territory.

It’s so nice to read a real Western novel.  Red River Reunion is a welcome respite for the modern world of fast and furious.

It harkens back to the day when people welcomed a day of good hard honest work and the line between good and evil was clearly drawn.

Red River Reunion is a book to be savored, read slowly, and enjoyed.

I highly recommend the book and I’m anxious to see what other books the author has planed in the future.

Doug Y., NetGalley

"Five Stars! Growing up as a fan of Hoppy, Gene, and Roy, it was refreshing to read a good tale of the old west. A triumvirate of protagonists is introduced and brought together to fight off a town’s boss who isn’t content with just one town. Mix in lots of bad guys, ambushes, love interests, Rangers, and marshals and you have the recipe for a great western adventure."

Denise Langley, NetGalley

Five Stars!

"The western genre is under-appreciated. While I love my mystery/thrillers, a well written western can make my afternoon of reading pretty exciting. Westerns are the one genre where the books and movies made from them seem to match. My uncles passed along their love of westerns just as I'll pass mine along to the next generation.

RED RIVER REUNION has a unique set of characters set into a community along the Red River. The local lawmen face more crime than most, their town is growing and attracting many who would take advantage of the townspeople they have been charged to protect. And as in any western, the law is enforced with extreme prejudice, shoot now, ask questions later. John Layne has done an excellent job of making us care about this small town and it's inhabitants so we...or at least I....cheered the sheriff and his deputy along as they worked their way through the bad guys. This was a really good story that left me ready to read the next book as soon as Layne can write it."

Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer Midwest Book Review

"Red River Reunion will attract Western novel readers with its 1877 story of U.S. Deputy Marshal Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne, who represent the combined force of law in the wild, wild West. 

The story opens with a bang of confrontation as a job Wes had described to Sheriff Dan Kirby as being an 'easy' confrontation with a tack thief turns into a gunfight with a group determined to shoot their way out of town. 
Unlike the typical Western, however, the scenarios Wes and Danner face are sometimes anything but predictable, as when Wes observes a group of nuns in the frontier town of Buffalo Gap, a further indicator of how much the town is changing. 

John Layne's attention to rich details craft scenarios that embrace issues of wealth and land ownership; young family fugitives; women who assume roles of unexpected power as they embrace the independence and resilience of a frontier lifestyle; and lives wasted because rescue didn't come in time. All these angles contribute to the rich fabric of Western daily experience. 

The descriptions, changing relationships, and Western-style of confrontation and legal developments set Red River Reunion aside from many genre reads. Its moral, ethical, and psychological threads provide solid insights into the changing perspectives of all the characters involved in building and preserving lives in this environment. 

Gunfire and battles juxtapose nicely with these revelations, which are replete in the kinds of descriptions that flush out the characterization, enhancing their believability and logical growth: 'What little faith Danner had managed to keep until now evaporated into the air, replaced by a budding rage that no lawman should possess.'

From brave women who become heroines and examples to others to men who confront town trouble as the politics and survival tactics of individuals change, Red River Reunion is a solidly compelling Western. It engages with swift action supported by strong psychological tension and social inspection and is highly recommended for Western readers looking for in-depth representations of different forms of frontier survival and evolution."

Donigan Merritt, Author of 10 novels, including Possessed by Shadows, the Hatch trilogy, and The Common Bond.

“John Layne’s latest novel is a sure-fire hit for fans of the literature of the Old West, especially in Texas. This book deserves to be at the top of anyone’s list of the best works in the western genre."

Kathryn Bennett. Readers' Favorite

"Red River Reunion by John Layne takes the reader back in time to 1877 and introduces you to Deputy Marshal Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne. They work hard in Texas, risking their lives to do what others can’t; keeping frontier law and defending the border against outlaws. The old west is not an easy place for anyone to live, and it really isn’t easy for a lawman. However, by banding together and keeping a community that helps one another protected, life is not only about survival but the ability to thrive.

I love a good old western story, whether it be a book or a movie. Red River Reunion by John Layne is certainly a good old western story. It is vividly written and the characters seemed to jump off the page for me. Living in Tucson, AZ, I can just picture what old west Texas looked like and can see that spilling across my mind as I read the adventures of these two lawmen. Wes is the kind of guy I could see myself getting along with very easily and, in all honesty, I wish we had more men like him in modern-day society. You will learn about true suffering but also true heroism when reading this book, and I think that is something we all need a little reminding of these days. If you are looking for a read that will entertain and make you think, look no further than this book. I highly recommend it. A really fantastic adventure."

Dawn Lewis, NetGalley

5 out of 5 Stars!

"Horses, bad guys you can really hate, shooting... I do love a good Western, and "Red River Reunion is definitely a good Western! Most important for me in this genre is the atmosphere, and John Layne packs it into this book. The plot, characters, writing - everything ties together and sums up exactly why I enjoy Westerns so much."

K.C. Finn, Readers' Favorite

5 out of 5 Stars!

"Red River Reunion is a work of fiction in the western, action and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author John Layne. Following the true course of the classic Western novel, we find ourselves in Texas in the year 1877, where lawlessness at the border is rife and ruinous for those trying to make an honest living there. Enter our central protagonists, U.S. Deputy Marshal Luxton Danner and Texas Ranger Wes Payne, who swore to try to uphold frontier law and indeed risk their own lives for the sake of others around them. What results is a powerful tale of honor and trying to find justice in a dark world of wild outlaws and outright villains.

Author John Layne evokes the spirit of the classic Western novel in every single page of this lavish and atmospheric masterpiece. The narration is highly nostalgic and shows that Layne has done his research into the origins of the genre. I also found that the language was well explained in context so nothing would ever become confusing for a newcomer to the fold. There’s also plenty of great character development as we get to know Wes and Lux, understanding their passion for their duty and the methods they use to uphold the law against seemingly impossible odds. All of this makes for a comprehensive Western which delivers everything a fan could ever want from this high-action genre. Overall, I would certainly recommend Red River Reunion to fans and newcomers alike."

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John Layne, Author

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