A Reason to Sin by Maureen McKade
Why This One: I love Westerns and I'd loved her two previous books in this series so there was no doubt I'd be getting this one
Steam Level: I'd say it would be tea that's sat around for half an hour
Back Cover Blurb: Once upon a time, Rebecca Colfax was a well-to-do young woman with a bright future in St. Louis. Then her husband gambled all her money away and disappeared int the night. Alone, homeless, and desperate, she was forced to take her son to an orphanage, but now she's determined to get him back. Little did she know that during her search she'd encounter a man destined to change the course of her life...
Rebecca Colfax was out of options. Which is how she wound up working at the Scarlet Garter in Oaktree, Kansas, as a singer and hurdy-gurdy girl, trying to scrape together enough money to get her son back. At the saloon, she reveals nothing of herself, not even her real name. She doesn't want anyone to know her secrets - especially not sexy Slater Forrester, a faro dealer and ex-spy who's clearly haunted by something in his past. But when violence burst through the saloon's doors, she discovers a dangerously appealing side to Slater, a side she finds herself hard to resist. But how will the man she's falling for react when he uncovers the secrets she's keeping?
My Thoughts: I'd read the reviews both Wendy (at least I think Wendy reviewed it - now of course I can't find her review) and Rosie gave for this one and to be honest I was hoping it was them not the book as they weren't the best.
Sadly - it wasn't them and I agree with both of them. I was hoping this one would be as good as A Reason to Live - one of my favourite books of 2007 but A Reason To Sin just didn't have the same emotional punch as it's predecessor. It could have - it certainly had the potential, but it didn't quite live up to it.
For example, Rebecca was forced to leave her son at an orphanage while she looked for her no-good gambling husband yet I didn't feel the tearing loss such an action would cause. And her conversion to good decent girl to fallen dancing girl went just a bit too smoothly for me. I also didn't really feel the angst when she decided to sleep with Slater.
And while I thought Slater a good hero, I still would have liked to see more of his past. It was done in more of a tell rather than show kind of way. This was also something Rosie noticed.
I was also disappointed at the end. For anyone who has read the first two books, this is about three brothers separated when they were young. The ending had them finally altogether - but it seemed rushed and hurried.
I'm glad I read it. I love Westerns and there are still not enough of them for me and I hope Ms. McKade writes more even though it looks like her next release will be a romantic suspense. I just was left wishing for a bit more.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5