I had very high hopes for this book. I thought the premise was a little odd and if I considered it, a little unbelievable. The cover was interesting, so I blazed ahead.
By the end of the first chapter, I wanted to slap the spit out of the main character, Tennesee, known as Tennie throughout the book. Now, if a woman is going to be a marshal, she should know that she’s not going to be respected with a shortened version of a name that sounds like it belongs on an eight-year-old.
Whatever. I kept reading.
She cried. All. The. Time.
Okay, maybe being a marshal and a step-mother will make her grow a spine.
She wanted to cry. All. The. Time.
I had to stop reading for a day or two because the speech patterns pulled me out of the story, the character development and growth I was waiting for wasn’t happening, and I couldn’t see the motivation behind the “romance” aspect. Because there really wasn’t one. Tennie fell in and out of having feelings for some stranger that never really told her the truth so often that after a while, I was skipping paragraphs.
Whatever. I kept reading.
The angst in this story is overdone. I grew extremely tired of Tennie’s lack of backbone. There were actions taken by secondary characters that had no motive and so were pointless. There were characters that Tennie interacted with that were unnecessary, crying jags that did not result in any kind of growth or decisions or…anything. She went off into a graveyard, cried and …we never found out if there was any point to it.
Putting the book aside again, I went to Amazon and Google to learn what I could about the true author, since Easy Jackson is quite obviously a pen name. I have no problem with that. I was perplexed to find that the author is a past journalist and award winner for some of her pieces. I was confused even more reading other reviews of this work that sang the praises of the prose, the characters and the setting. Were we reading the same book? I found the book riddled with open-ended sub-plot lines, questions about multiple characters pasts that were never answered and multiple scenes that didn’t contribute to the plot in any way. The ending was rushed, nonsensical and far too convenient.
Now, I will tell you that the three boys, Tennie’s stepsons, grew enormously as characters. So much so, that I was quite proud of them by the end. The book has a great cover, and apparently, a sequel is in the works, due out by 2019.
Maybe I’ve just read so many really good books that I’ve set my reviewer bar too high. Maybe I’m being harsh. But I expected a better quality story from an author that has written other, multiple works.
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review of this story. This is as honest as I can be.