Monday, January 24, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Against The Wind by Kat Martin

Mira Romance 400 pages

December 28 2010 By Kat Martin


Unable to resist trouble the "no account Raines boy",

Jackson Raines finds himself entangled with the high school beauty who humiliated him so many years ago. Enemies of her dead husband bring trouble. And despite their history, Jackson is the one man who can save her and her daughter Secrets don’t stay buried long in cattle country.

Sarah Allen,the beautiful girl who humiliated Jackson Raines in high school, is back in town. Not so long ago, she couldn’t wait to leave Wind Canyon, Wyoming, in her dust. But recently widowed, she has nowhere else to go and finds herself on Jackson’s ranch. Despite everything, Jackson is reluctant to get rid of her. He can’t resist trouble, and Sarah brings her own special kind.

Enemies of her dead husband show up on the ranch making threats, thinking she has something they’re owed. They’re not taking no for an answer, but what they will take is the one thing she has left—her daughter—and Jackson may be the only hope she has of getting little Holly home alive

This is the first book of a trilogy, of three cowboy brothers, The Raines. This book focuses on older brother Jackson.
Imagine Jackson's surprise when a small cottage on his large ranch is rented to none other than Sarah Allen, the beautiful girl from high school that broke his heart. She is now a widow, and has a young daughter in tow, and finds herself in reduced financial circumstances. As tempted as Jackson is to drop kick her to the road, he doesn't, because Sarah has ripped open the fence around his heart. Or maybe it is the scab off his wound. Or both. But, Jackson is ultimately kind hearted, and finds himself assisting her in getting furniture and such.

I liked Jackson. Who wouldn't like a tall, lean in musculature, extremely handsome, perpetually aroused, sexy cowboy? But a part of him is still bitter by what he conceives as the harsh treatment he received from the social climbing Sarah years ago. Her choice in husband more than proves that. Sarah's dead husband, Andrew Hollister was rich, good-looking, and it turns out, a scumbag. He often laid his hands on Sarah, and not in a good way. He kept a mistress, and when he was found dead, it was revealed he was deep in debt. The cars and fur coats were taken away and sold, and Sarah and her daughter Holly were left with next to nothing.

Sarah is a curious mix of victim and strength. While I admire her trying to start over by returning to her hometown, taking a job at a small town newspaper, she leans on Jackson for support quite a bit. Still the woman who needs a protector. But, Jackson IS hard to resist.
Andrew Hollister's business partner Kozak turns out to be a sleazy character, harassing Sarah for the whereabouts of a disc containing information Hollister was blackmailing him with. Also to add to Sarah's woes, the IRS and FBI are on her tail, regarding her husband.

I found this part of the book rather staid, even as Sarah's and Jackson's relationship heats up, my mind started to wander as Sarah's problems mounted. A detective from L.A. shows up in her home town in Wyoming, saying he believes Sarah killed Andrew Hollister herself, and he aims to prove it.
Jackson's friend Jimmy Threebears summed up Sarah nicely "A beautiful woman, but she's trouble. It seems to follow her around like a bad smell." I couldn't have said it better. Jackson, really deserves better here.
Just when you think Sarah's troubles maybe lessening, more guys show up in town. Her dead husband must have been a real piece of work. Jackson goes into protect mode, and Sarah while she accepts his help, tries to deny her feelings. Thanks to her husband, she may never be able to trust a man again.

I could not relate to Sarah at all. Not sure why, I can understand her being messed up after her terrible marriage, but she seemed to vacillate between that strength and victim persona constantly. I couldn't figure her out.
And I found the suspense mediocre. And repetitive, as more scumbag associates of Hollister surface. It all comes to a head when Holly is taken, and Sarah can only turn to one man, Jackson.
Jackson is the reason I kept reading. He really is one sexy hero. Utterly appealing. I just wish he had better circumstances to work with here. Jackson goes into 'old west justice' mode with his friend Jimmy and brothers Dev and Gabe backing him up.
The book concludes with the revelation of who really killed Hollister, and the loose ends tied up in a bow.
This was an okay read, satisfactory on the whole, but while the plot and characters soon faded from my memory, Jackson didn't. He is the reason I gave this book the mark I did. Jackson blew everything else out of the water. He can rescue me anytime.

Sorry, I had the wrong rating was on this book ( I did have 2.5)...should be

2.75 stars out of 4


Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Great review and I'm sorry to hear you didn't really enjoy this book!

Anonymous said...

I didn't dislike the book per se, Jackson was a great hero, but my mind did start to wander. Like I said, an ok read.
Thanks so much about the review!