Friday, December 9, 2011

Tall, Dark, and Determined

Tall, Dark, and Determined by Kelly Eileen Hake
Barbour, 2011
319 pages
Christian Historical Romance
3/5 stars
Second in Husbands for Hire series

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book has its first chapter introducing a new character, the male lead, and then it switches back to refresh the reader about what happened at the end of the first book, Rugged and Relentless. This was a little confusing for me but it soon moved in a new direction, starting the new story. Unfortunately I did not really like that story for most of the book although the ending helped a little.

The focus in this book is on Lacey Lyman, whose idea it had been to travel West with her three closest friends to nurse her brother back to help, to find good husbands, and to build a successful saw mill town.  Lacey loves to wear beautiful clothes and bristles at being treated as if she is a delicate female incapable of doing anything, as many men are wont to treat her.  As this is a romance, she does have a male opposite, hunter Chase Dunstan who suspects Lacey's brother of mischief and arrives with false intentions. They two instantly clash and continue clashing.

I was almost completely in Lacey's camp on this one. Chase is arrogant, rude, and overbearing; additionally I, as the reader, knew what secrets he was hiding, and did not appreciate his false cover. I hated knowing that Lacey was falling for him as he did not seem deserving. I also thought he was rather cruel. To compound my dislike of his character, nothing much seemed to be happening. They were just walking around Hope Falls, bickering all the time. I could have stomached, that had there been more scenes with the ladies together, which is what had enchanted me about the first book.

This was going to get a much lower rating despite the smooth writing and easy reading until the ending when there's a bit of suspense and I almost became reconciled to Dunstan.  I must say it is bothersome that two of the women fall for men who arrived under false pretenses. Can't one of them just be honest? Presumably there will be a third book with Naomi, a character I would love to get to know more and hopefully her love interest will be more honest.

Also despite its publication from Barbour, I didn't feel much Christian content. Now I don't want to be preached at of course, but God was not much of a presence, receiving only a few token mentions.

Overall: Mostly boring with an unpleasant male lead until the last dozens of pages when something finally happens and moves the character development along.


  1. It bothers me when that happens too! Only sometimes is it okay for the guy to be a jerk and have the girl still fall for him, but there's a fine line between hiding a dark past (or something) and being cruel. It's too bad that it made you enjoy the book less, B, because otherwise it sounds pretty interesting!

    Thanks so much for the awesome honest review, B! I'm happy that the ending redeemed itself a little -- that's a good sign! :)

  2. Thanks for the review, I saw this on NetGalley and was curious. I'm in awe of how fast you read! I seems like you read a book a day. How do you do it?
    Truly Bookish


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