Thursday, June 30, 2011

Four Umbrellas for Lee by Beth Williamson

Something about the Fourth of July weekend makes me crave Westerns, Cowboy Books, and Novellas, and I'm going to bring you some of each as we celebrate the Holiday weekend here in the U.S. I know I have some readers who aren't in the U.S., but aren't cowboys pretty universal in their appeal? This offering from Beth Williamson is a great choice for Western Historical lovers, no matter where they live!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up because I can't resist a dark & wounded hero. I love Westerns, particularly post-civil war, late 1800s set ones as an entire generation tried to rebuild itself. Beth Williamson's "Devils" series follows one such group of friends, all veterans, all scarred in various ways as they try to rebuild their lives. I got into this series on the recommendation of the awesome Sasha White, whose taste usually matches mine. I picked this one to purchase because I liked the idea of a one-armed hero trying to make it as a cowboy.

In hindsight, I regret not starting with book 1, because this is a tight knit group of friends and townsfolk, and I think I might have enjoyed it more starting the series in the right place. I'm planning to go back and read it in order! Lee is trying to recover from heartbreak after he asks the woman he's been lusting after to marry him and she says no, rejecting him for another man. His friends see him becoming more and more reclusive and suggest that he take on a part-time job helping Heroine, who is a widow with a young daughter, bring in her harvest.

Lots of sparks ensue, but the romance takes a very slow build. If you're a fan of Samhain romances, this is more mild of a heat level than some Samhain authors like Lorelei James or Deliah Devlin. The narrative dominates, with love scenes sprinkled for emotional impact. There's plenty of sexy here, though, but it's nicely married to the character arcs in a way reminicent of Linda Lael Miller (a tiny bit more explicit). I enjoyed the author's voice very much. I was in a mood where I wanted a faster pace, but there are plenty of times that the slow build and careful pace would be exactly what I want as a reader. If you're interested in spending a lot of time investing in the emotional well-being of the characters, this is the book for you.

There's a suspense subplot tied to heroine's backstory, and this wasn't my favorite part of the book. I would have rather kept the focus on her and Lee. Her backstory is very horrific, to a degree that I wasn't really prepared for. Willamson makes it work though, and I'm glad that she gets her HEA, but I had a very hard time shutting off the 21st century part of my brain. If you like your heroines just as dark as your heroes, you will ADORE this twist. All in all, this was an enjoyable read from an author I'd love to see more from.

1 comment:

  1. For me the good part of the book Four Umbrellas for Lee is the depiction of the old west culture. The romance part is a bit off but still acceptable.

    promotional umbrellas