Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week's review is Addie and the Gunslinger by Celia Yeary.

Blurb:  Ex-gunslinger Jude Morgan lands in jail in a far-flung West Texas town. On the fourth day, the sheriff ushers in a beautiful woman dressed in men’s pants and toting her own six-shooter. Adriana Jones claims he is her worthless husband who married her, but never came home.

The young woman makes a bargain with Jude in front of the sheriff. Jude is to come home where he belongs, and she will have him released. Once they’re alone, she explains his job is to pose as her husband to thwart the marriage advances of her neighbor, wealthy rancher Horace Caruthers. The older man wants her ranch to join with his; the Pecos River runs through her property.

To seal the bargain, Jude wants a kiss. During the next few weeks, however, Jude and Addie learn that the kiss meant more than they intended. Then, when Addie's life is in danger, will Jude rescue his Addie? Or will Addie save herself and her gunslinger?

ReviewPlease note this is a novella with approximately 78 pages. I point this out because some readers buy a book and don't realize that it's of short length and then give a terrible review because it wasn't a full-length novel.

As I mentioned above this is a novella so the reader should expect things to develop between the hero and heroine pretty rapidly as was the case here. However, I never felt like I got to know Jude or Addie other than in the most superficial way. There are things I wished the author had explained - Why does Addie call her father by his given name, Caleb? Why does Jude, who was was brought up by a violent father who killed one of his sons, decide to become a gunslinger and perpetuate more violence?

There were other things in the story that seemed inconsistent to me as well. One of the bigger ones was the neighboring rancher, Caruthers, threatening to kill Addie's father and/or blowing up part of the river that runs through Addie's family's ranch to divert the water to his own land.Throughout most of the story he comes across as someone who will do anything to get what he wants but as soon as Jude goes and sees him, he's more than willing to sit down with Caleb and work out a way for both ranches to have the water usage they need. It seems as if a simple conversation between Caleb and Caruthers would have solved the issue without any need for Jude at all.

There were also some other things that bothered me. For example in one place, the writer states Jude socked Sonny in his right jaw and then he hits Sonny in his other jaw. You only have one jaw.

Overall it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, but I wish the writer had fleshed out the characters more.

Rating3 Stars

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