I reviewed my Twitter feed for a "New to Me" author for the month of March and I selected Beth Williamson. I selected Beth Williamson because she has nice Twitter presence (and by that I mean she doesn't bombard the feed with constant "buy my book" tweets). I love historical romances as well as cowboy books so I figured my decision was quite easy. Plus I already own a story of hers on my Kindle so that was a bonus.
Nate Marchand and Elisa Taggert's book
Nate (Devil's on Horseback book 1)
By Beth Williamson
Book Blurb:Nate Marchand grew up as the only son of the town drunk. As a Confederate soldier, he found that order in the chaos was the only thing that kept him sane. Numbers, information, keeping everything in its proper place became second nature. The chaos of the war and its aftermath sent him into a rigid state that he couldn't seem to overcome.
He and his friends, nicknamed Devils on Horseback, leave behind the aftermath of war to start fresh in the west. Their new business venture flounders and desperation drives them to take whatever work they can. The Devils are hired to remove the Taggert family from land claimed by Samuel O'Shea, the largest landowner in Grayton, Texas.
When he meets Elisa Taggert, his entire world shifts beneath him. Attracted, bewildered, and off-kilter, Nate ignores his conscience in favor of his wallet. The simple task of removing a woman, a boy, and an old man, along with a small herd of cattle, resembles a Medieval siege.
I wanted to love this book, Nate. I really did. Nate just came across as a unmemorable story for me that lacked incentive for me to continue with reading the rest of the series. I liked it well enough but just not enough to read on.
I didn't connect with the heroine, Elisa at all. For me, the strength of a book usually rests on the heroine's shoulders. At every turn Elisa was an immature perplexing woman that changed moods and story direction with each page. Even though her family was wronged in the most atrocious manner, I couldn't pull any character growth from her. One moment she was cunning, brave and highly protective of her family and then in the next moment she was an inexperienced virginal cowgirl seducing the educated former soldier, Nate. She lost her virginity to him up against a tree and then she rides away as if nothing happened. The next day, she shoots and injures his best friend. Elisa was like a B rated action movie all on her own. I haven't a clue how or why Elisa and Nate fell in love.
Another component to Elisa that I found off-putting was that she was described as dirty and wearing thread bare pants. For a rancher girl I totally get that. But when it came to intimate scenes, I wish there was a mention of how clean she was at that particular time or some blurb indicating that she'd had a bath or washed her hair. I kept picturing a mess of a woman and I just wanted to hose her down or something.
What I did like about the book was the scheme and the creative twist the book had to offer. It was interesting how the story unfolded and how the story-centered real estate deal disentangled. I enjoyed the friendship between the Devils on Horseback men and their camaraderie is worth more than a mention. They are as loyal as they come and their alliance with one another is embedded in a deep history. The group of men have been through a lot of life changing events together. The risks they are willing to take for one another was highly admirable.
Teasers: brotherly love, honey poop covered trap, tied up cowboy, cattle massacre