Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reread Challenge for August

I know I’m a day early but I have something special for the next couple of days and I didn’t want to not do the Reread Challenge that Nath runs.

Last month I missed Nath’s reread challenge for July – mind you I had a good reason – I was a busy little beaver heading off to the RWA convention in Washington, collecting books and meeting people. When I confessed this missed month though, I promised her two to make up for it. And I made it!! I have two for your pleasure. And considering we just had The Great Western Drive and it brought back to mind all the great Westerns I’ve read over the years, it should come as no surprise that both the Reread books for August are.....Westerns.

The Way Home by Megan Chance

Why this one: In one of the comment on Wendy’s blog, Victoria Jenssen requested a certain Megan Chance book. Although I hadn’t read that particular book, it did bring to mind The Way Home and I added it to the list of recommendations and as I did, the book screamed at me for a reread. I found it in the ‘library’ and that as they say, was that.

Steam Level: Who says a book has to be steamy to be wonderful? Though there is a love scene or two, they don’t go into great detail

Blurb: Eliza Beaudry was determined to get out in the big wide world – even if it meant trading a few kisses for her freedom. When she met traveling gambler Cole Wallace, she thought her fantasies had come true. But Cole’s daydreams didn’t include Eliza Beaudry. He was a man used to taking what he wanted, so he took what Eliza offered and neither of them thought about what might happen later.

Penniless and pregnant, Eliza found a saviour in Cole’s shy brother, Aaron, who fell for her instantly. He surely wasn’t the man of her dreams, but could her dreams change?

My thoughts: I did good in recommending this book. It really is wonderful. The hero and heroine are both warm and caring people and although Eliza starts off quite young and foolish and at the start of the book, you may wonder how the author can bring her past this foolish move she makes, please, keep reading because she does get into your heart. And while Aaron, the hero, is totally incapable of expressing his thoughts to Eliza, he deeply feels them nonetheless.

In brief, hopefully without giving away any spoilers, Eliza Beaudry is looking for a way to escape her dirt poor life and sees an opportunity is the suave gambler Cole Wallace. Well, Cole has his own plans that don’t include a white trash type like Eliza and when ‘caught’, convinces, bullies, blackmails his younger brother into doing ‘right’ by her. Eliza expects her life to improve, but Cole hasn’t told her the complete truth about Aaron, that he’s a recluse who avoids the agony of going to ‘town’ where he suffers humiliations. Instead Aaron lives mainly in his head and dreams to escape his own lonely existence. The story is of these two lonely souls trying to adjust and communicate and find happiness with each other – and what will happen when Cole comes back and realizes what he gave away.

This is truly a heart warming story and I’m oh so glad I read it again and was oh so glad I included it in my Western Recs. If you love your heroes Beta, then Aaron is the hero for you. And don’t give up too soon on Eliza; she will make you fall in love with her!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This is a .25 lower grade then the first time I read it, but still very much a keeper

And now for the second book

Heart of the Hawk by Justine Dare

Why this one: It was one I recommended for The Great Western Drive and when I came across it in my ‘library’, thought I’d see if it stood the test of time since it was a while ago that I read it.

Steam Level: Nice - not too hot and not too cold

Back Blurb: He was her downfall

Notorious gunslinger Joshua Hawk was to hang in Gambler’s Notch when the sun rose. He had but one regret. He had never found his grandfather’s book with his family’s history – and prophecy that the Hawk line would never die. Yet Josh didn’t die at daybreak because the young widow of the man he shot suddenly lied to set him free. He wanted to know why....

Or her destiny...

Kate Dixon looked into the cold eyes of the Hawk and felt him steal her breath away. He had freed her from her brutal husband only to swoop down and take possession of her heart. It seemed as if some force had brought them together to complete a fate ordained long ago. But, as swiftly as his passion aroused her, his reputation attracted dangerous men. To save her, the Hawk would have to leave her and move on...unless, to save him, Kate stood her ground and fought for the love of her life...

My Thoughts: While the back blurb sounds a bit over dramatic, it basically is the outline – though it ISN’T what I would consider a soul mate story – for those who don’t care for them *big grin*

This is part of a series that Ms. Dare started and not unlike the Futuristic series, the publisher – damn their hide – chose not to finish what she had started and she only wrote three books, a contemporary, a medieval and a Western; with a central theme running through all of them.

Joshua Hawk is tired of living. He is tired of being what he is, a hired gun, and is ready to hang. This makes him the last of the Hawk family. But a mysterious promise, which occurs in the medieval, insures that the name with live on.

It’s an interesting premise and actually starts with the contemporary, Wild Hawk, then continues with this one and then finally moves to the beginnings of the prophecy.

So, when Josh is ready to give it up; to hang for shooting an unarmed man, evidence comes to light that there really was a gun and Josh killed the man in self-defence. Although sceptical, it’s Katherine Dixon, the widow, who confirms the existence of the missing gun, thus saving Josh from a hanging.

Josh feels obligated to stay and help the young widow, even more so when he realizes what a monster her husband was. And at the same time, a mysterious book appears, a book that his confirmed the stories his grandfather has told him about for years. The book tells the history of the Hawk family and the inexplicably added story of his own life.

Although she never thinks to let another man into her life, she feels herself drawn to Josh. And for his part, Josh is drawn more and more to Kate. He doesn’t think he is good for though, a gunslinger who has spent his life killing.

So – does this one stand the test of time? Was it a good recommendation?

Yes! Absolutely! Once again – if I do say so myself, I done good. I loved this one just as much this time through as I did when I first read it in 1996. I originally gave this one a 5 out of 5, but now just a tad lower, not for either the hero or heroine, but an annoying secondary character who didn’t stick out as much as annoying the first time.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5


Lea said...

Two great re-reads Kristie! That is awesome. I'm barely getting my "reads" done these days, but am trying.


Anonymous said...

I ordered Heart of the Hawk because I saw it while you were doing the Western Drive. And guess who's almost done with Outlaw Hearts? Ugh, it would have been sooner, but I've had a crazy week, lol.

Leslie said...

Great reviews Kristie! I've added both of these to my UBS list. :)

nath said...

Sounds like you had fun this month doing the re-reads, Kristie :D

Great reviews by the way, Kristie :D Interestingly, I've never heard of either author...

orannia said...

They sound like fantastic books, especially the first one :) And I like the sound of the second too! But I'm with Lea - I've barely keeping up with reads...I'm pretending the re-reads are there :)

Jill D. said...

Hey Kristie! Yes! I love a good western so thank you very much for reviewing two westerns and old classics at that. Both sound wonderful and I will add them to the list.

Also, are you looking forward to Jo Goodman's latest release To Love a Lawman which just happens to be a western? I just bought it and can't wait for it to ship to me!

ps. I have got my mother reading the Stephanie Plum books. She is loving them :)

ReneeW said...

Kristie strikes again! My TBR grows everytime I read your blog. Wow, I had no clue that Justine Dare wrote a western. I read and loved her SF books so it looks like I need to find this one and the other as well. Great reviews.

Taja said...

Great reviews, Kristie! The books sounds very appealing.

Megan Chance is an author I would love to read one day although I know the chances (haha) are not all that good for me. And Justine Dare, she has a couple of books I would love to read, too. Heart of the Hawk is one of them. :)

Patti said...

Heart of the Hawk sounds good *scribbles on to TBR list*
Nice review!