Sunday, December 1, 2019

1.5 stars-- Mistletoe in Texas (Texas Rodeo #5) by Kari Lynn Dell

What an utter disappointment. Both Mistletoe in Texas AND the author herself. Before I get into the review I want to note that after I posted my review to Goodreads last year the author went on her Facebook page complaining and sending readers over to Goodreads to try and manipulate the ratings in order to move my review lower in the ranks as well as having people flag my account. Charming behavior, really. She is no longer on my recommend list even for the books I absolutely adored by her. This is abhorrent behavior by an author and her apology was simply an attempt to cover her ass and bad behavior.

Now the review...

Mistletoe in Texas would be an awesome read...if every single scene with the heroine was eliminated.

The Gist: Hank's life with the rodeo fell apart due to some less than stellar moments and he's had some dark days since then. Hurt his best friend's feelings after they slept together and then went to hide out in the wilds to pull himself together again. She in turn decided to hide the fact she was pregnant, adopted out their child and swore all of the people important to him to secrecy. 
So Hank. He's a young guy who's not always made the best life choices. But's hard not to like him. He's screwed up for sure but is making the effort to fix what he's done. Mend fences, put himself out there, apologizing to his girl. He's a good man. Or trying to become one, anyways.

Grace on the other hand is a waste of space. There's nothing special or redeeming about her. She's hidden a baby, adopted it out (really she, in essence, sold the kid for 80ish grand) and tries to play the victim. I had absolutely no use for her. She gave nothing back to anyone in her life even though it's made out like she does. Meh

I did not believe this romance for one single second. At 84% in when the hero is excitedly telling her about the changes he's made and wanting to stay she legit thinks "It would have been so much simpler if he’d just packed up and disappeared again."

When she finally does come clean about what she did it's in the most ridiculous way and then less than 12 hours later he's totally fine with all the lies, the shady adoption (the gay couple/their family decide to 'risk it' because they have money and the hero has nothing) and her swearing his family and sponsor to secrecy over the kid.

Honestly I think this is a breakup book for me and Dell as an author. (well it definitely is after what the author pulled) I didn't enjoy the romance one single bit, the ridiculous addition of her family as an over the top religious nut house, politics coming into play when they didn't need to , all the social justice warrior quips and inclusions. It's sad because the first 3 books were great. Book 3 is one of my all time favorites. This book, though, felt like it was written by someone else with a lot less experience and a chip on their shoulder. Disappointing.

Now. What was awesome about the book? Hank and his dad. An estranged relationship and two broken men deciding to put the past in the past and try to change thing between them. To actually have a healthy relationship and learn to be around each other. To love each other. Be a support for one another. That was amazing and touching. If only the book had focused entirely on that and left Grace out of things. She ruined this one completely.

Rodeo bullfighter Hank Brookman was headed straight for the top. But after a single misstep resulted in devastating injury, he disappeared under a mountain of regrets. Now he's back, ready to face the loved ones he left behind-starting with the one girl his heart could never forget.

When Hank stormed out of Texas, he left Grace McKenna picking up the pieces...and struggling with a secret that changed everything. He may be back looking for redemption, but after everything they've been through, how can she admit what he really walked away from all those years ago?

Hank always knew persuading Grace to trust him again would be a tall order. Convincing her they deserve a happily ever after? That may take a Texas-sized Christmas miracle.

Amazon | Goodreads | Dell on HCBS

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