Pretty much one sweet moment in the epilogue and the hero Walker are the only things I managed to like about this book, the rest of the story and Lacy's histrionics just drove me up the wall. The number and frequency of mood swings this girl goes through puts any kind of bad PMS days I have to shame. Oy...I swear. I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. And same problem with [b:The Texan's Wager|242344|The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery, #1)|Jodi Thomas|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309212358s/242344.jpg|234774] I had with this one as well, it lacked oomph, passion, true emotion. The author spends very little time giving her characters real POVs, emotions, inner dialogue other than stating the obvious. It just comes off very dry and matter of fact rather than engaging dialogue. In some cases this style of writing works, but this is a Western Romance, give me some meat. The world building in this I found a little lacking as well.
I was very surprised with how Lacy was written in this, I found it very incongruous to how she was portrayed in the beginning of the series. What happened to the sweet sassy girl in the first book? She morphed into a extremely selfish, short-tempered, shrill overly-judgmental drama queen in this. I didn't find her bickering and screaming at Walker at every turn entertaining or fun. It bogged down the story and made it hard to finish. I honestly felt sorry for Walker at times and found it ridiculous how he had to walk on egg shells around her through the entire book scared he would rouse her temper and having to apologize at every turn (for the dumbest things I might add). How is this sweet? How an alpha male seasoned Captain like Walker kept getting mentally paddle whipped by a slip of a girl who liked to toss out orders to him and shriek at him every time she didn’t like something I just found astounding and cringe-worthy. There was no middle-ground with these two, no fair compromise. The difficulty I had with this pairing and their rapport was Lacy's adamant belief that Walker was a cold, unfeeling man, that 'nothing beat inside his chest'. Harsh much? She goes through more than half the story thinking this. I would seriously be laughing my butt off at how completely wrong she was acting like she has this guy's number if it wasn't annoying. She completely refused to give him a chance or the benefit of the doubt, something I do NOT like and find intolerable. On more than one occasion Walker goes out of his way to make her feel safe and cared for and she bullies him and resents him for it. Her behavior was just astounding and really unattractive.
And I have to say I got really tired of reading how ‘she followed his orders’ or 'he ordered her' on every other page. What orders??
Just because it's not stated in a form of a question does not make it an order
Mrs. Thomas. This really bothered me above everything else. Lacy thinks everything that comes out of Walker's mouth is an order and I truly had difficulty reading it that way. Whatever he would say or do to make her more at ease wasn't enough. The man asks her to close her eyes and dance with her like they are on the prairie at moonlight and she thinks it’s an order. Um..okay. Total mood killer. When you have someone constantly judging or criticizing someone it's not fun and damn annoying if I may say so. She misconstrues or takes offense to every. single. thing. he says to her and I just found it extreme and prissy. She’s either insulted, offended or her temper flares and she throws a hissy fit suited for a 5 year old and storms off or screams at him like a fish wife. I have no patience for characters like this. I just found her reactions unjustified and sorely over-the-top. It made it very difficult for me to enjoy this story with Lacy acting either belligerent and inconsiderate or self-centered and petulant. Or both. Her reactions and number of outbursts were too much and very frequent.
And the villain Zeb Whitaker was as appealing and frightening as dishwater. I really don't understand the point of this character who only makes one appearance in this book but is touted as the 'big bad buffalo man' who everyone is terrified of and after Bailee, Sarah and Lacy over an attempted robbery gone wrong 5 years ago. I didn't read Sarah's book but considering the fact that this guy is still alive and kicking in here and once again used as the conflict I just wasn't impressed with. I found it anti-climactic and comical because Zeb comes off like a blundering moron whose only menacing thing about him is his size and that he looks like a relative of Chubaka. Wish Thomas was more creative and imaginative about her antagonists because this guy did nothing for me or the story.
There was a little more romance and sex scenes in this than Bailee's book but more than half the book was spent on the two squabbling and firing barbs at each other so it wasn't what I was hoping to get.