It's not supposed to be a biography. The blurb says that... but it's TOLD just like one. There's page after page of biography-style prose, aka TELLINGIt's not supposed to be a biography. The blurb says that... but it's TOLD just like one. There's page after page of biography-style prose, aka TELLING, and then just a quick scene with dialogue and the actual scenes are very far apart in time. It's almost as if the author couldn't decide if he wanted to write a biography or historical fiction.
The blurb is honest about one thing though. It does say it skips certain periods. But the scenes actually chosen to be scenes, I'd have picked more interesting stuff and it skips too large of periods....more
This is a prequel to a series, a short story that introcuces three sisters and apprises us of their situation. It's Texas in the wild west days; theirThis is a prequel to a series, a short story that introcuces three sisters and apprises us of their situation. It's Texas in the wild west days; their father has just died, leaving these motherless sisters, ranging in age from 15 to 19, only 30 days to pay the outrageous mortgage on their farm.
Meg is the oldest and the one I like. She wears the pants, literally. She has the gumption to propose to the local sheriff. She even goes so far as to feed the man a stolen ham. I like how quick she is to stick up for herself and argue when she feels others are wrong.
But something bugged me. She wears pants and doesn't want to. She fancies herself a clothing designer and wants to wear pretty dresses but at the same time complains she can't work in clothes like that. Well, if you're such a great designer, design a dress you CAN work in. Hum. She complains about this a lot and in the light of the fact she at the same time claims she's a great designer, I lost sympathy.
The story didn't feel very historical either. Except for the fact they use outhouses and get around via horse and buggy and have a house of ill repute, it could very well have occurred nowadays. The diner scenes especially were too modern. The youngest sister annoyed the heck out of me. She's an insolent little brat and too much of the story is spent focusing on her and Annabelle's cat fight over a man. But even more off-putting for me was the fact this woman/child nearly has sex. She's only 15. This was disgusting to me. We're not reading about the middle ages or the Native tribes here.
It's also historically inaccurate. These gals carry around Baby Colt Dragoons and stand around shooting cans in anger. I counted eight shots (with no reloading) from Ruby alone and a Baby Colt Dragoon only carried 5 rounds. Regardless of whether my research is accurate or not, revolvers back then def didn't carry more than 6 shots. And they didn't have electric lights and I doubt they had lanterns in the closets, so how does Ruby see her employer's son in that dark closet?
First a little background...Cattle Kate was a real woman. She immigrated with her family from Canada to Kansas and then left her family to strike outFirst a little background...Cattle Kate was a real woman. She immigrated with her family from Canada to Kansas and then left her family to strike out on her own in WY Territory where she became the first female homesteader and cattle owner. She merely wanted to have land and raise cows, but back in those days, the cattle barons, though already filthy rich, couldn't get enough and when Kate refused to sell her land for their grazing purposes, they saw to it she was lynched.
She was then labeled an outlaw and whore.
This novel corrects that misconception, shows us the real Kate, who while not necessarily squeaky clean (keeping her marriage to Jimmy a secret in order to double their land is a bit sneaky), does not deserve the outlaw label. The novel follows her life from Canada to Kansas to WY, from childhood to abused married woman, to cattlewoman and pie-maker. We meet a woman with big dreams who is a bit naive. (I'm not all that certain Jimmy really loved her. I think he wanted to use her to double his land all along, but at least he was nice about it.)
I became very wrapped up in this woman's life in the wild west. I also learned an amazing amount about cattle laws, about grazing, about the "war" between the cattle people and the homesteaders, about the fights over water, about Cheyenne and WY history, even about the different cattle brands and how to read them. I wish I'd read this book before driving through Rawlins many years ago. I'd have appreciated where I was at a lot more and perhaps would have looked for a museum or something, and most def would have visited Independence Rock.
I also picked up things like the town of Oskaloose being run by women and was inspired to look up more about Esther Hobart Morris, the first female justice of the peace and WY's mother of the suffragette movement. (Someone, write a novel about this gal, please!)
And I suppose you're wondering how I got any rip-roaring laughs out of such a tragic tale... There is humor all over in this story. From her ranchhand telling jokes (the cowboy from Texas who had to walk) to just bits in the narrative told in a funny way: That wrangler stood there with a mouth so open, flies thought they'd found themselves a hotel. I love how the author did this, kept us smiling and laughing despite the tragedy we knew was coming.
It's rare for me to dedicate days to reading a book and then me not like it, but that's what happened this time. We have a terrific premise here. A brIt's rare for me to dedicate days to reading a book and then me not like it, but that's what happened this time. We have a terrific premise here. A brilliant idea. Three sisters, all posing as men and homesteading land after they fought in the American Civil War. The plan is to make this huge family ranch to honor their dead brother. The puppetmaster in all this is their controlling father.
It sounds exciting. But I don't much care for this sister, the youngest one, Kylie. She's a total wuss. I'm all for dressing up and going to tea parties. Heck, yea. I believe in being as tough as a man but never forgetting you're a woman and embrace that femininity...but this Kylie got on my nerves so bad. She's a slacker. She makes others do the work for her. First it's her sisters, then it's her husband. She doesn't want to build her own dang house or even fight her own dang battles.
"He could fight with Pa all the time, so she wouldn't have to.
Aaron had started building, Kylie had helped very little. Aaron never once scolded her for not grabbing an ax and hacking down a tree..."
She also gives up too easy. And frankly, none of these actions of hers fit with her her original characterization. This is a woman who spied during the war? Seriously?
So complaint two, the characterization is inconsistent.
Complaint three: the story repeats so much. The narrative tells us the same thing over and over. It will tell us about her treacherous situation on the roof and a few sentences later, it tells us again in different words. The dialogue, same thing. People repeat their stories over and over or say the same thing they just said a few paragraphs ago.
And my last complaint...frankly I think their Civil War service/stories sound a lot more exciting than this. The story here was of people trying to scare Kylie off her land, land she doesn't want anyway. There are some fire arrows and some snakes. And a man always rushing in to save her (see complaint one again). I'd rather read about spying during the war and whatever these sisters went through. Even some flashbacks would have livened this up, perhaps helped with Kylie's weak character.
Completely lost with this story. It constantly alludes to way too much background, things that apparently happened in the past, and I am not referringCompletely lost with this story. It constantly alludes to way too much background, things that apparently happened in the past, and I am not referring to the previous two Bull Rider titles. On that aspect, I wasn't lost. What had me lost was when she was in a biker gang while being an undercover cop and a porn star or something...and her past affair with John. I felt this book relied so much on whatever went on in the past that I actually began searching for a previous book about her undercover work with John.
I didn't find one.
And some things didn't make sense. If John was around in book one, that was AT LEAST 9 months prior to Cassidy showing up to claim her son, but Cassidy had left John. So what was she doing in the meantime? And who uses their real name while trying to infiltrate an undercover biker gang? There's no reason her family should have seen her sexy photos. The timeline was weird.
Also, the whole preacher hitting on a woman thing made me uncomfortable. I thought it was just an undercover persona, but apparently this guy just discovered the Bible, for real. Seemed kinda dirty, tbh.
I did, however, like the lady bull rider in a men's division bit.
The ratio of stuff I liked vs stuff I didn't like though was off too much. ...more
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...