Wow. First of all, what a story! Been a while since I've read a book with so many unique plot twists.
Joy... she's been in prison since she was 14, takWow. First of all, what a story! Been a while since I've read a book with so many unique plot twists.
Joy... she's been in prison since she was 14, taking the rap to save her brother. She been shanked numerous times. Her very own father has sent people to kill her. She's never known love. The only love she's ever known has been for a family that wants her dead. Can you imagine the turmoil this woman goes through?
She's released on a special work program to help on a ranch, owned by Stamos. At first, Stamos wants to send her packing. He only has men on his ranch. But Joy, something about her touches him in the brief amount of time she's waylaid and in his care.
He can't bear to see her back in prison and he marries her to help her out, but he's falling for her and she's falling for him..but then his ex comes back and there's a child to consider and holy smokes, all this stuff happens. Joy is torn. The longer she stays, the worse she makes Stamos's life. He could lose his child because of her. His horses and cattle are being slaughtered as her father and brother try repeatedly to kill her. The only way out of this mess is to clear her name...but she's afraid to talk. Maybe going back to jail would be the best thing...
There's crazy waitress, the ex, the dad, the brother, some real friendly ranchhands, an evil lady intent on proving the marriage is a sham, a horse that steps in front of a bullet, a man falling in love with a woman who doesn't know how to love... and Joy: tough, hardened, and yet, melting inside.
This is a hard review to write for the simple reason that except for a few moments I honestly found a tad preposterous/unlikely, I absolutely loved itThis is a hard review to write for the simple reason that except for a few moments I honestly found a tad preposterous/unlikely, I absolutely loved it. I could very easily leave it at that.
Loved it. It's a fantastic western adventure about three incredibly spunky sisters with a huge dash of romance and I can't wait for the next book.
You got a lady bandit playing Robin Hood, who bashes a handsome stranger over the head and forces him to marry her pregnant sister...only to fall in love with him herself...what a mess!
I love strong women in books, and when I saw this cover and read the blurb, I thought, "Heck yea."
While I didn't hate this story, I'm a tad disappointI love strong women in books, and when I saw this cover and read the blurb, I thought, "Heck yea."
While I didn't hate this story, I'm a tad disappointed. I thought I was getting some kinda gun-slinging woman outlaw, but truth is, she only actually wields a gun once at the end and she's really just a cold, heartless whore--made that way by men. There's something a bit crazy about her, to be honest, and I'm not referring to her seizures.
The story alternates between her and Nate, a new Texas Ranger. Nate is a good ole boy from Oklahoma and...well, dull as a doorknob. Through him, however, we follow two other Texas Rangers--I thought they were total A-holes. Because I really truly disliked his comrades and the things they did and found Nate just a dullard, I started to skip his parts around twenty percent. I'm all about women. I don't like male narrators.
It's the woman's story I was fascinated with. She's been institutionalized and you could say made nuts by the experience. She's been betrayed by the very men who should have loved her. She's in love with a serial killer and willingly allowing herself to be used. She's manipulative, conniving, and vengeful...and has a fascination with geometry as well as the occasional seizure.
There's a treasure hunt and she has to use people to get information. She is fascinating whether you like her or not. Why she's attracted to the killer I never quite understood though.
Long review short: I really enjoyed the historical side of this. Everything from the horses, to the hurdy gurdy girls, to the whorehouses, to the former Southern plantation owners adjusting to their new lives...was very well done and totally transported me into the past. I could picture it all so well. The descriptions were superb. I also appreciated how things tied together in the end. I couldn't predict everything. I didn't like the Texas Rangers and I was bored with about half of the book. Too must testosterone in their scenes. But that's just me. But that being said, loved how a tone of darkness was intertwined with a western.
What a cute and entertaining read. I really enjoyed this historical story: a mixture of romance and western with some funny moments that had me chortlWhat a cute and entertaining read. I really enjoyed this historical story: a mixture of romance and western with some funny moments that had me chortling aloud.
The plot: She's a Pinkerton agent. He's a Wells Fargo detective. But neither of them knows the other is what they are...instead, they suspect each other of being in cahoots with the Phantom gang. You could say they distract each other from finding the real Phantom--train and robber extraordinaire.
She's at the ranch where the outlaw is said to be hiding under the guise of an heiress to the woman who owns the place. He's posing as a cattle hand when he's not robbing trains...you just have to read it to see what I mean.
I think the mystery could have been stronger. That has to be my only quibble. While I hate knowing whodunit by page 5, some hints along the way are nice. The clues are so sparse or vague, they never led me to point the finger at anyone, which took some of the fun out of it for me. I like to be "Oooh, I know whodunit..." and then "Shoot! I was way off."
The romance and humor is clean. I appreciate that. Though a Christian romance, the book is in no way preachy. I appreciated that too. I learned some things about running a ranch--I seriously had no idea that salt could poison cows. I loved the heroine and especially the old lady running the ranch. Her brusque attitude, humor, and sarcasm made me laugh while at the same time hid a warm heart.
I'd like to add that while this is the third in a series, I never once felt lost. I hate it when I pick a series book and have to go dig up all the titles that became before it to know what in the world is going on. No problems here, at all. Matter of fact, I'd like to add a pleading note here for the author...
Please consider writing another series based on the detective agency that comes to be in the end. I'd like more adventures of the people involved. Please.
Book Babe aka Tara
And I'm going to sign off here by sharing my two absolute favorite parts of the story. I received this from Netgalley, so passages may be different in the final book.
I loved book one of this series and liked book two, but this one somewhat annoyed me.
The third Blood Blade sister is chasing after their former butlerI loved book one of this series and liked book two, but this one somewhat annoyed me.
The third Blood Blade sister is chasing after their former butler, whom she's been pining for for seven years. It's like this chick can't take a hint. He left you and never came back. He persistently pushes you away. I think it's time to move on, girl.
Despite all her bravado and heroic acts in the past as a vigilante/bandit, I found her to be weak, whiney, and well, bratty. When the object of her affections pushes her away--and trust me, she throws herself at him constantly--she begins dallying with a dangerous politician to make him jealous. Seriously? What are you? Fifteen?
On top of that, there were lots of unexplained things that bugged me as I kept reading. 1. How is Finn covering the tribal tattoos on his face? They didn't have laser surgery back then. Is he wearing makeup? *It's later revealed he is, but considering the makeup options they had back then...* This takes place just after the Civil War. They didn't have the makeups we have now. 2. If he can cover them so easily, why did he not cover them back when he needed legal employment? Or when he worked on a ship and had to avoid certain people because of them? If he can cover them now, he could have covered them then, and thus, avoided a life of crime. It just doesn't make sense.
I also have to add that the romance between these two was underdeveloped, perhaps because it happened in the past. We just know they love each other. We don't know why, what connected them in the first place, etc.
Though I disliked the first 35% of this, I finally began to like Lucy as the book continued--but I still think she's a stalker. I mean, she does stay here and harasses poor Finn. That is stalking. Anyway, she connects with Lilah, a former slave (Lilah needs her own book!) and starts a school for those less fortunate. Naturally, the Southerners aren't pleased with this and Lucy has to take on the Klan.
Lucy pulled out a shotgun and then reached up again for the ammunition. "I'm not letting anyone terrorize me on my own property. Let alone a bunch of cowards running around in their night sheets."
As the tale continues, with Lucy running after Finn, defending her school, and getting in the mess of all messes, she grows tougher and it all gets a bit more fun (especially when she fights bad men off despite the fact she's tied to a chair) and less irritating, but I stand by my previous complaints. I also hate how willing Lucy is to throw Lilah under the bus, 'cause that's what it is...