My rating: 2 of 5 gargoyles
Wow – I don’t remember quite the last time I rolled my eyes as often as I did in this book. I’m surprised, because I generally like Harlequin’s romantic suspense (be it the “Romantic Suspense” or “Intrigue” imprint).
What I liked? I really liked Theo’s backstory, the career-ending injury which also ends one of his major loves altogether (riding horses, not just an end to competing, but no more riding at ALL) and how Ms. Whiddon shows his frustration with that situation. I liked the sense of family we get from the Coltons gathered around in Wyoming. The outbreak was kind of neat too, but just felt like that ended up being overkill along with somewhat unrealistically portrayed.
Now for what I didn’t like – a lot of things. 1) This book seriously needed some editing (a huge surprise for a Harlequin book, which generally have great editors). There were continuity problems (in the same scene at one point, twice the author says “the next morning…” which made me flip back to see if we’d jumped a day and I hadn’t realized it…we hadn’t; there was also a conversation saying the quarantine was going to go into effect on Friday, but the next morning (Wednesday) was when it ACTUALLY went into effect). 2) Talk about your melodrama with the baby. Oh. Dear. Lord. I’ve had three children. I’ve NEVER had hysterics over a mild rectal fever (101 is NOT that high, even for a very young baby, though it’s something to be a little concerned about and call a doctor for). But they were freaking out, giving the baby a lukewarm bath and just all a quiver. Yes, I get there’s an outbreak in town, but really?! 3) I really REALLY got sick of hearing about the food she was making for the ranch hands. I get that it was her job, but did we really need all the details, 3 times a day for at least half the book? 4) Back to the baby – I swear, they didn’t leave the baby alone for two seconds. There was all this upheaval about how Ellie was struggling to hold down a job (cooking) and take care of the baby (second job). Seriously people – newborns sleep a lot. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, but a lot of Ellie’s cooking involved stuff that baked for hours. She easily should have been able to handle both. Especially since she lived on SITE of her cooking job. Oy. 5) There was just waaaay too much going on in this book with all the interwoven plots. Full length novel, yeah, it might have worked. But not in a category-length book. At least not for me.
SPOILER upcoming – So, in the end, I really didn’t care for this book at all. I’ll check out more in the series because I want to see what happens with the outbreak (it’s not resolved) and see more about Gemma.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review posted on Tory Michaels’ Time Out.