Sandy M's Reviews > Hell, Yeah

Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown
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's review
Jul 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, western

Not much changes with this book either. Cathy O’Dell is now owner of the Honky Tonk after her cousin Daisy marries Jarod from the previous book.

It’s New Year’s Eve and the countdown is on as the book opens. Travis is in town to work on the local oil rigging crew for the next couple of months. He’s just come into the bar and has spotted a very long-legged and sexy woman, whom he can’t help but lock lips with, especially since he has the excuse of approaching midnight. So he does just that. Right in the middle of the dance floor. Once again, a good start. Things just doesn’t stay at that level once we move on.

I really was hoping for a different formula in this series from Ms. Brown. It would be nice to have a hero and heroine come together and have fun, be nice to each other, work together just because, instead of the heroine starting out mouthy and bitchy. But Cathy is down on men because of her ex-fiance. He turned on her one day, hit her, and she was out of there. Smart on her part, at least. But Cathy continually says she’s a woman who can take care of herself, so I wondered why she didn’t do that with Brad, the ex. It’s not until much, much later that we find out she did. I would have liked to have known that earlier, giving me a reason to like Cathy more than I do, knowing she actually did as she boasted, that it’s not all talk, which is what it all seems to be for much of the book.

So she’s committed to the Honky Tonk for the rest of her life. Her feelings for Travis grow, of course, because he is a great guy. I like him a lot. He’s a wanderer, going from state to state wherever the job leads him. He begins to question that existence, though, the more he comes to know about and love about Cathy. When she’s kidnapped, a plot turn that didn’t quite work for me - seems a little too contrived - he goes to her rescue, as she knew he would. She had faith in him whether she knew it or not.

But then this is the point in the book where I really started to enjoy it. Cathy’s tone changes and so does the tone of the story. Though the kidnapping concept lacks somewhat, it does lead her to taking care of herself as she should have done months before, and I do like the reckoning she dishes out. Her ordeal also makes her realize she loves Travis, but, as she describes their individual places in life at that moment in time, she’s rooted to the Tonk and he’s got wings to make him happy. She doesn’t want to clip his wings. Travis also doesn’t want to uproot her, so they both go their separate ways. It’s Travis who gives in first, and I personally think it should have been Cathy after all she put him through. But that’s just me.

Again, there were consistency problems a few times throughout the book. Also, we spend the first nine and a half chapters on smoldering looks and sinful kisses, then suddenly out of nowhere Cathy thinks of Travis as a friend. I wasn’t ready for that in the relationship at that point, so it struck me as out of place. However, those sinful kisses are great scenes, and when they finally make love, those are also good scenes. I just wish they’d go a little farther than they do. I feel a little cheated when I keep getting rumpled sheets and kiss-swollen lips and nothing more after a night of passion.

As before, there are good parts I like, but they’re few. Ms. Brown has a terrific sense of humor and that comes out now and again and it made me chuckle. The romance is nice once past the halfway point of the story. Give me a difference in heroines’ attitudes and things might look up a bit.

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