Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: Cherry County Cowboys #3
AUTHOR: Jules Dixon
PUBLISHER: Evernight Publishing
LENGTH: 61 Pages
RELEASE DATE: Evernight Publishing
Dune Wexley’s unrelenting efforts to take down a local crook ended his law enforcement career and his father’s life. Dune’s lived in seclusion ever since. A Sunday drive to check on his mysteriously disappearing herd of cattle ends with a guest in his house, one who makes him reconsider isolating his shielded heart. But can this stranger be trusted?
Mason LaFleur answered an ad in the paper that held the promise of becoming a real cowboy on an authentic ranch, but that never happened. Instead Mason was forced to run away from a cruel man, but a miscalculation finds him bouncing off the hood of a truck and into the arms of a genuine cowboy.
When Mason is kidnapped, Dune must decide if getting revenge for his father’s death is more important than saving the man who’s offered up his heart and life to heal the broken cowboy.
Those of you’ve who’ve read my reviews on Spurs and Chaps, books one and two in this series might remember that I compared the town of Valentine to the town of Big Eden in the movie of the same name. Well…this book is also set in Valentine, but some freaky bizarre evil version.
I read this one a couple weeks ago, and only when I was reading it did I realize that I must have missed something. It didn’t tie in at all with the book that I had reviewed at the time, Spurs. After doing some research I discovered that there was a second book in the series that somehow I had missed. No one on our end read and reviewed it. After being totally lost in this installment, I was going to give it a low rating because it made absolutely no sense to me. I’ve got to be honest and tell you that the first time through I really didn’t like this book, like at all. Then I went back and re-read book one, read and reviewed book two, and then re-read this one. It makes more sense this time, but there are still some things I didn’t like in this one.
The first chapter starts out with one of the main characters, Dune running someone down with his father’s mint condition antique truck, and then hoping the person is dead so he can roll the body into a ditch and drive off. Seriously? When the guy is actually alive, Dune is more concerned with the dollar size scrape on the fender than he is with the hurt guy laying on the ground…that he just frigging ran down! In case you aren’t reading between the lines, I didn’t like that part.
We then find out the guy he hit is an escaped sex slave who was held prisoner by this super bad guy who has been buying up the county. This bad guy was never mentioned in book one or book two so I’m really, really, lost as to why this strange story line appeared from seemingly nowhere.
The guy who was hit, Mason, gets taken home to Dune’s ranch when it turns out he isn’t in fact dead. Less than twenty four hours later they are professing their undying love for each other. Oh, and it turns out Dune, who was hoping Mason was dead in the beginning of the book so he could dump his body? An ex-State Trooper.
There were cameos by some of the characters from book one and book two, and we got to learn a little more about a couple that I hope we will see in an upcoming installment, one of the men being the son of the nasty veterinarian I mentioned in my review of book two.
I have a quandry, this novella definitely did not work for me. I’m going to rate this one a 2.5 Love Bytes rating. It was OK, but it was hard to believe it was part of the same series as Chaps, which I just awarded a rating of 5.0 Love Bytes. I was extremely disappointed when, after finishing Chaps tonight, I went back to immediately re-read this one to see if it made more sense. It did, but there was still tons of stuff that just happened too fast and was too pat. I can see it was fill in stuff I guess, but Whips should have had another couple hundred pages, and it would have been another great installment in the series. As it was presented, I really wouldn’t recommend this hot mess to anyone, particularly as I so enjoy this author’s books. I’m guessing you will need the information, events and characters in it for the next installment, and this series should be read in order. In my opinion the books are not standalone.
Very disappointed Ms. Dixon after the great job you did with Spurs and Chaps. I sincerely hope the next installment in the series is more like the first two and not at all like this one.