I was so excited to get to do a review as part of the blog tour for Lindsay McKenna’s newest release. She’s such a strong author in the genre that it is a treat to be included.
The Wyoming Series Book 10
by Lindsay McKenna
ONCE UPON A RANCH IN WYOMING…
After losing his comrade, Sergeant Gil Hanford thought a visit to the man’s widow would be the decent way to honor his late friend. But Gil found more than comfort in Kai Tiernan—he had always secretly desired beautiful Kai, but a sudden, mutual passion helped assuage their grief…until duty reared its head, removing him from her arms, seemingly forever.
Four years later, Kai is starting over at the Triple H Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Born a rancher, she is looking for a new beginning—but her new boss is unforgivably familiar. Kai has tried to move past the memory of what happened between her and Gil, even though she’s never forgiven him for leaving her. But even as they begin their journey toward something new and oh-so-uncertain, a shadow emerges, determined to claim Kai for itself.
McKenna has been a popular writer for a while and her skill is apparent here. There were definitely things that worked for me … but there were also things that didn’t.
I have to start with the blurb because I don’t think that whoever wrote it really gave the story justice. Kai was married to Gil’s best friend and teammate & over the years they had become friends. Even more so after she’s widowed. About a year after he dies, Gil’s brother is also killed in action and he seeks out Kai in his grief. But the moment turns into something more and they spend a few passion filled days together – until Gil disappears without any explanation. Now years later, Kai is out of the military and looking for a job, landing at the Triple H Ranch. And as luck would have it, her new boss is Gil. After all that time, there are a lot of hurt feelings but there is also something more still between them. The question then becomes can they get over their past and will they be able to forge something new.
I really liked the beginning, as Gil & Kai face each other for the first time in years, and the end where that “shadow” comes into play (although I think that having it in the blurb kinda spoils some of the story because, not making an appearance until almost the end, it colors how you read the rest). I think that McKenna does a great job of giving these two a problem to work thru that makes sense and then having them address it when they come face to face again. Everything works for me until about the halfway point … and then it just seems to drag because they are rehashing the same thing over and over – whether Kai can trust Gil’s feelings for her and his ability to stick is a valid one after what happened. But he had a good reason (even if he handled it badly) and having him work for forgiveness for a bit is good, I just think it goes on a little too long.
The ending though helps redeem it some. There is that perfect amount of danger and intrigue (although it is a little open ended since this is part of an on-going series). And I love having the special forces boys get to flex their muscles a little and show off 🙂 The other thing that really sets this off is the familial relationship that develops among the people on the ranch. Over half are ex-military and that comradery is something very important to them. It’s lovely to see how they support and care for each other.
Personally I think that the good definitely outweighs the bad – I’m willing to overlook a little pacing issues for the things that McKenna does so well.
A U.S. Navy veteran, she was a meteorologist while serving her country. She pioneered the military romance in 1993 with Captive of Fate, Silhouette Special edition. Her heart and focus is on honoring and showing our military men and women. Creator of the Wyoming Series and Shadow Warriors series for HQN, she writes emotionally and romantically intense suspense stories. Visit her online at www.LindsayMcKenna.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eileen.nauman?fref=nf or follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@lindsaymckenna.