Laura Summers's Reviews > Austin (McKettricks of Texas, #3)

Austin (McKettricks of Texas, #3) by Linda Lael Miller
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Apr 25, 11

bookshelves: bcc-reviewed, romance, read-in-2010, netgalley
Read in September, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Reviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (5 out of 10 on the blog)

I'm in two minds about this book. At the heart of it is a warm & enjoyable love story. But surrounding the story itself were a lot of circumstances that I struggled with.

This book is the thirteenth book in a series about the McKettrick family and within that series the third of a trilogy. The previous two books told the love stories of Austin's brothers Tate and Garrett. I picked up this book knowing I had not read any of the other books in the series, while there were inevitably parts I'd missed out on, I found it easy to pick up.

Austin is an arrogant and sexy rodeo star, but an accident has left his back permanently damaged & he can never ride again. The book opens up with Austin getting drunk in a bar before his two brothers come to rescue him and take him home to the family ranch to recuperate. But things aren't all that they seem at the ranch with cattle going missing and vandalism on the oil rigs. Austin finds himself in danger as he and his brothers try to find to get to bottom of their troubles.

This is where it gets slightly complicated. Tate and Garrett are both engaged to Libby and Julie who are also sisters and their third sister Paige is staying with them while her house is being renovated. Paige is temporarily out of work and also conveniently happens to be a nurse. So Tate and Garrett decide it will be a good idea to hire to help look after Austin. But, to add more complexity to the mix it turns out that Paige and Austin dated seriously in high school before Austin devastatingly broke her heart.

I really had to work at suspending my disbelief at the idea of three brothers falling in love with three sisters. But I tried to put it to the back of my mind and simply enjoy the love story.

Then there were the circumstances of Paige and Austin's past. They had both been very much in love. But, Austin unable to cope with the seriousness of the relationship cheated on Paige, as he didn't know how to tell her what he was feeling. As the book progresses it is very much put upon Paige to get over her past as though the resentment she carries towards Austin is unreasonable. That Austin did the best he could in the circumstances, given their young age & the fact she wanted too much, too fast from the relationship.

Quote:
"I didn't know any other way to save either one of us."

I struggled to accept this as a legitimate excuse.

Thirdly was the mystery of the vandalism and violence occurring on the ranch. It added a nice edge of danger to the story which I enjoyed, but I didn't feel that the author went to any great lengths to conceal who the culprit was. When the finale came it was no real surprise as to who was responsible, there was no twist or turn or element of surprise which was disappointing.

Despite all this, if you could disregard the circumstances and the un-mysterious mystery, there was an enjoyable and engaging love story. Austin is charismatic, smouldering with a nice dash of pig-headedness that makes for a great hero. While Paige is intelligent, confident and the type of heroine I would normally engage with.

VERDICT:

It could be that I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if I had read the previous two books in the trilogy. Maybe I would have identified better with the McKettrick family & characters. The love story was well written & enjoyable, but there were too many things wrong with the story to make it run smoothly. I have read other books by Linda Lael Miller and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this one unfortunately did not live up to those standards.
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10/17/2010 page 50
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