Lone Star Legends #3
Heat Factor: It’s medium spice–there are certainly scenes but they’re not down-to-the-minute detailed and they aren’t too plentiful
Character Chemistry: Initially very juvenile and irrational but ends up mature and deep
Plot: Paisley moves back to her hometown after the untimely death of her father, convinced that her first love’s family is behind it. Crockett is still as smitten as ever, but until Paisley sees that his family is pure as the driven snow, they can’t be together. Plus, the unhinged and abusive brother wants to kill everyone.
Overall: It’s a classic western, slower paced and sometimes a bit flat, but the plot ultimately carries the story just fine.
So here’s the general plot of this book–Paisley moves home for her father’s funeral, convinced that the Legend family is behind it. But she doesn’t really have any real, valid reason to feel that way–pretty much her older brother and father are the only ones who think so. In the meantime, Crockett is convinced that if he can just prove his family’s innocence, they’ll be home free and on date three. Simultaneously, Paisley’s brother Farrel is clearly abusing his wife and son, and when Paisley takes them and flees to the Legends for protection, Farrel will stop at nothing to exact retribution. Plus, there’s some drama with land ownership.
This book isn’t short–clocking in at 36 chapters and an epilogue, it’s hefty. And there’s a lot going on–there are multiple plot threads going on simultaneously. Initially, Paisley and Crockett’s relationship is a little off. I didn’t buy it, mostly because Paisley is supposed to be a poised and educated nurse but she’s prone to meltdowns and irrational choices. Crockett is supposed to be a successful judge, but he reads like an illogical hothead. (At one point, he’s temporarily blinded and invites himself to Paisley’s father’s funeral where he KNOWS Farrel will be livid, and when Farrel insults him, Crockett immediately throws down for a fight where he gets maybe one punch in before he gets socked in the stomach. Because…you know. He can’t see?)
I hung in there though, and I do have to admit that Paisley and Crockett turned things around really nicely. I worried Paisley would flake out and bail on Crockett for unbelievable reasons, but it didn’t happen. They really do mature and develop, and it’s a grounding, satisfying backdrop for all the other shenanigans that go on.
One thing that made it a longer read, too, was the pace. The sentences were all structured basically the same, and it ends up feeling kind of…flat. Even scenes that should have been really tense and gripping due to the action occurring on the page felt measured and even-keeled because the sentences and rhythm were basically consistent throughout. (I’ll have an upcoming Hearts and Crafts on this–stay tuned.)
I also clocked some cultural factors I really can’t put my finger on–I’m not well-versed in the life and times of the average historical Mexican-American/cowboy, so I did feel around and do some light research. I’m not really confident on the accuracy of the depiction here, but I felt like, for example, the clothing choices of one of the Mexican-American cowboys seemed a bit caricatured. (It seemed like the garb was perhaps accurate for a formal setting in real life but not in the casual example in the book.) I really can’t say for sure though, and it didn’t really throw me off the book–just made me stop and wonder.
All in all, this was pretty enjoyable but I didn’t end the book hankering for the next in the series. I think the plot was well done, but I lost attention a few times and it was hard to maintain my focus due to the writing style–which is absolutely a personal preference. If you like meandering westerns, this is probably a pretty solid read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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