First, the good stuff. And oooooooh, have I fallen in love with a series. This has been out for years, and for all those years I’ve seen people rave about it on Twitter, and I had it sitting in my TBR. And now I’ve read book one, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I’m halfway through book two, A Court of Mist and Fury, and I’m. In. Love.
Book one starts maybe a tiny bit slow, and although I was ready to give it four solid star, when I hit the 70% mark (for those that have read it, when we go ‘under the mountain’) it became a five-star read. And then I hoped, and hoped, and HOPED that a certain someone would become a main character in book two. And my wish was granted and book two is damn good. I’m trying really hard to not just read it in one day. I don’t want it to end.
This is fantasy at it’s best. Sexual tension, violence, sometimes really funny. Sometimes things happen that make my mouth drop open. A great heroine (she is nineteen when the series starts). A really great male protagonist that I’ve completely fallen in love with. (*whispers Rhys*)
If you have not read these, they are FUN.
Onto a book that didn’t quite work as well for me, Mistletoe in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell.
I realllllllly dislike stories that feature the heroine who has a baby and doesn’t tell the father that he has a child in the world. I didn’t know this book featured this as a main theme or I would have skipped it, so understand that while reading my review. I tried to push that aside to share my thoughts on the rest of the book.
Hank was a well known bull fighter in his small Texas town, until his life took a sharp turn for the worse. He makes some bad decisions, turns to alcohol and his life unravels. He ends up hurting the one girl he really liked. He becomes estranged from his family and moves far, far away where he finds people who help him turn his life around.
Grace has loved Hank forever – and when things finally turn romantic, she accidentally gets pregnant. She comes from an extremely religious/strict family, and is shipped off to have the baby in secret. She doesn’t tell Hank or hardly anyone about this. She gives the baby up for adoption.
Years pass, and now Hank is back in town, ready to work hard, and make some apologies to those he hurt. I did like Hank’s road to recovery. He takes responsibility for his past mistakes and also knows that not everyone is going to forgive him – and he is okay with that too. He starts to very slowly mend his relationship with his father – and that was a highlight in the book for me. I like how their relationship unfolds.
I feel like Grace didn’t have as much depth as Hank. She is an athletic trainer, but that didn’t feel super realistic as her profession. I found the ranching and horse stuff much more realistic and well done in this one. I like that Grace is independent and has moved out of her father’s strict rule. She tells Hank that he is a father not too far into the book – and again, I have a hard time with this scenario, so it just all pissed me off so I won’t go into detail about it.
At first I was glad the romance was more of a slow burn because they had a lot of past issues to work through – but after awhile I wanted more emphasis on the romance and less on everyone else. There are a lot of supporting characters, and I got tired of all of them getting page time and less attention on the courtship between Hank and Grace. That disappointed me a bit.
This is the first I’ve read of this series and while you could tell the supporting characters had some back story in other books, it read pretty well as a stand alone.