Book Review: Legacy of Lies

review-cover-legacy of liesTitle: Legacy of Lies [Hell’s Valley 1]

Author: Jillian David

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Garrison Taggart doesn’t have time to deal with touchy-feely junk like “trust issues” or “feelings.” His dad’s health is waning and the family’s Wyoming ranch is being sabotaged. Too bad his supernatural ability to tell when someone is lying has been exactly zero help in ferreting out the betrayer so far. So, when sweet schoolteacher Sara Lopez raises concerns about his son being bullied, who can blame a guy for getting a little testy?

The last thing Sara needs is any more attention or gossip after her recent breakup with big-shot rancher Hank Brand. So her attraction to surly but sexy Garrison, Hank’s rival, is entirely unwanted. When she uncovers an insane plot to kidnap the Taggart boy and throws herself in harm’s way to protect him, Garrison must risk his deepest secret and his own life to save the people he cares for the most. But will his heroics cost him everything?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I really enjoyed Legacy of Lies by Jillian David. It was a strange and fresh new concept of a contemporary rancher-romance juxtaposed with elements of paranormal and thriller, which isn’t something I’ve run across in the past.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. There were no obvious or jarring typos. The narrative was clean, flowed easily, and for the most part, the dialogue was believable and natural.

The main characters were flawed, interesting, and adorable in their strained romance—but I also think they were possibly the weakest point of the story. I liked them—I did, but there was this weird back and forth with the two main characters where they loved each other, but kept self-doubting their way out of the relationship. The way they kept backing out of the romance was irritating, frustrating, and honestly, didn’t make a lot of sense at times. It came across as a bit contrived.

That aside, I still greatly enjoyed the book. The plot was new and interesting, I liked the characters and their development. Had it not been for the constant self-doubt of the main characters, this easily would have gotten 5 stars. I was entertained, and I got sucked into the book. There’s not much more I can ask for. If you enjoy rancher-romances or enjoy contemporary paranormal or romantic thrillers, you’ll probably really enjoy this story. I’d suggest giving it a try.

Book Review: His Reluctant Rancher

ImageTitle: His Reluctant Rancher

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

buy4._V192207739_

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Description/Synopsis: The last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch’s sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that’s exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory’s doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most.

Zach’s been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn’t deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.

WARNING – SPOILERS WILL ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – DETAILED REVIEW BELOW

I picked up this novel on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and let me tell you; I had no idea what I was in for. I’m a big fan of what I call “Sure-Read”s.. That is, formulaic, well-written romance. Why? Because I know what I’m going to get when I go into it. I don’t care if the plot is cliche because that sense of romance I get from the book is familiar and cozy. So understand that when I picked up this book, I thought I was going to get a familiar, cozy, but predictable read out of it.

I was wrong.

This book was very well written. At first, I didn’t particularly like the main female lead, Desi. Like some of the characters in the book, I felt her fake-Latina persona was phony and not endearing. That may be because I live in a heavily Latin-influenced area. (I live in El Paso on the border of texas/new mexico/mexico). However, as the story wore on and that fake-side of her personality started to melt away, I learned to like her more and more. It added a depth to the story that I wasn’t expecting. As the other characters in the story grew close to Desi, so did I. It was a unique experience, and though I’m not sure it was planned, I really enjoyed the outcome.

This story was full of characters with unique personalities and complicated emotions. I really enjoyed Joe, Desi, Zach, and Rory just to name a few. They were funny, witty, endearing.. I could go on and on. And though at first the plot seemed to be like every other sure-read I’ve come across in the past, it quickly turned into a very unique and personal tale of these character’s lives that were basically torn apart by tragedy… and how they worked to overcome it. There were a lot of endearing, heart-warming moments, but I’d like to share one of my favorites:

“Maybe this will change your mind.” Rory took a small cardboard box from next to the door.

“Zach just dropped it off.”

Her heart started to thump wildly. She untucked the top flaps. A little gray head popped out. Attached to his neck was a loose bit of twine, with a note attached.

You forgot your cat.

I mean seriously, how can you read that and not go “awwwwwww”? He gave her a freaking kitten. Okay maybe it doesn’t have the same impact when it’s not in context, but it certainly had me smiling.

There was a definite feeling of attraction and passion between the main couple, Desi and Zach. I’ll admit sometimes I wanted to shake my fist at them because they both seemed so clueless, and a lot of times they made obvious bad decisions, but I have to say, the end to this book was absolutely PERFECT.

I don’t cry when I read books. I’ve read so many romances that I’m completely immune to their effect for the most part. I teared up with this one. Even just thinking about it makes my throat grow tight. I cannot put into words how epic and endearing this love story was. If you’re going to pick up a romance anytime in the near future, pick up this one. You won’t regret it.