Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recent Read

Less (or is it lest?) you think I’ve been doing nothing but looking for Sullivan – I haven’t. Though I have been since it’s his turn up to bat in the Rock Creek Six – I have been reading also – a lot of reading. I’m still that reading machine!!

Reese by Lori Handleland

Why This One: One guess

Steam Level: While not as hot as Cash – still nice and toasty.

Blurb: Their friendship forged during the bloody battles of the War Between the States, they are men with nothing left but their honor. When one calls, the others answer--and this time they will gather in the tiny town of Rock Creek, Texas, where their brand of justice is the only possible salvation...and where each man will find a woman determined to open his heart to love.
Could He Outrun The Past?
Haunted by the war, Reese has vowed to keep his past--and his pain--to himself. Now a gun for hire, he can't refuse schoolteacher Mary McKendrick's request to rid Rock Creek of the outlaws who threaten to destroy the town, as long as one thing is clear: When the job is done, he'll move on. Yet stubborn, pretty Mary is determined to unearth the secrets he guards like a hidden treasure--and with each soulful, passionate kiss, Reese is finally tempted to dream of a future by her side and in her arms, hoping she'll want the only thing he has left to offer--his love.

My Thoughts: This book was written during the hey day of the Western romance – a hey day I hope with all my heart will cycle back – the sooner the better. Lori Handleland has since moved onto paranormals and day-um – we lost a good Western author.

This is the first book in the Rock Creek Six series and focuses on Reese, the reluctant leader of the group. He doesn’t seem to be up to a whole lot when Mary McKendrick, the heroine tracks him down to ask for his help in getting rid of a gang who is scaring away the citizens of Rock Creek. Mary, raised in an orphanage, has always longed for a home, but with the gang led by El Diablo terrorizing the citizens, and so many of them leaving, she is worried there might not be much of a town left. She is the local teacher and is quite set in her ways. But her stubbornness and her lack of fear of Reese intrigues him enough to agree to help out, along with his small group of fellow former Rebel band of soldiers.

There isn’t anything too terribly new about the story – I think it’s pretty standard fair of opposites attract. But it is so well written and so enjoyable that I really enjoyed this book. Both Mary and Reese are natural leaders with their own unique styles. They often clash; Mary isn’t used to backing down and letting someone else take charge and I found myself laughing and chuckling in a number of places.

As mentioned in the blurb, Reese has some tragedies in his past. He’s a very reluctant leader. The author does an excellent job of letting us know about the rest of his friends and it’s a great thing that they all have their own stories to look forward to. And while he may be a reluctant leader, Reese makes for a very fine Western type hero. And as a spinster ‘school marm’, who thinks she is too unattractive and too bossy, I also really liked Mary too.

While this one didn’t give me quite the same punch as Cash did, I still liked it quite a bit it’s an excellent first book to the series. She doesn’t have much on her web site about this series which is kind of a shame as probably not many readers know at one time she wrote westerns. I can only hope that some day she just might do so again.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


Wendy said...

Handeland also wrote several category romances for Harlequin SuperRomance. She's kind of hit or miss for me. I loved this series (of course) but another of her westerns (An Outlaw For Christmas) didn't work for me (damn if I can remember why now). Same with her werewolf books. Pre-paranormal burn out - I liked one, strongly disliked another.

Reese is actually my least favorite book in the series - which isn't saying much since I still liked it! The consensus among other fans is that Rico is the weakest book - which once again shows my contrariness ;-) I loved Rico.

I'm enjoying following you thru this series Kristie! It's probably my all-time favorite western series, and I really need to reread them. I read them pre-blogging days (2002 if memory serves) so the only "review" I have online is for Rico - which can be found in the TRR archives.

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy - It's fun isn't it - when a fellow reader discovers books that you've loved. I'm finding that with the In Death books. And it's made me reread some of them over again. I don't know if you're a big rereader or not - funny of all the things I know about you I don't know that - but if you are - it would be fun for you to reread this series so we can compare.

Wendy said...

Kristie: Sadly, I very RARELY reread. It's hard for me to "justify" it when my TBR is so mammoth. But dang, I really want to reread these books now!

I should do it though, since the first time around I tore through these books. I think I read like 5of them in one week. Seriously. And you know, I normally do NOT read anywhere near that fast.

nath said...

LOL, I remember seeing these books when I was sorting through your TBR pile :D Happy you're enjoying them so much :D

Kristie (J) said...

Nath - yes I know!!! The other ones were all on the shelf you put books on - together - all except Sullivan. I don't suppose you remember it do you??

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds nice enough.

Oh and started watching North and South, may take a while cos I am savouring how gorgeous he is ;) But will join the crusade soon

nath said...

I don't remember seeing Sullivan, but then, it's all a blur since the covers do look a bit alike... Sorry ^_^;