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A Mixed Read At Best: "McKettricks of Texas: "Austin"

  • May 21, 2011
Austin McKettrick probably rode his last bull that October night. A year ago the bull "Buzzsaw" tore him up so bad it took a team of surgeons and lot of rehab to get him going again. This year at the event in San Antonio he got back up on the two thousand pound bull "Buzzsaw" and stayed on it. Now, a short time later while sitting at a bar he is suddenly feeling the high price his body paid. Something is very wrong and he needs to see a doctor.

A trip to the emergency room, thanks to his brothers Tate and Garrett, confirms his back has been seriously injured and his days of riding bulls are over. It is time to go home to the ranch in Blue River, Texas and heal. Before long it becomes clear that he needs help and Paige Remington, a nurse, is going to be back in his life full time.

She was going to be anyway since her sisters are marrying his brothers on New Year's Eve. Of course, there is a huge backstory between Paige and Austin. While they verbally snipe at each other now, ten years ago Paige and Austin were a couple and madly in love. Until, Austin did something amazingly stupid and Paige has never forgiven him for it. Nor has Austin who had his reasons at the time and now would do things very differently. Forced together because of the coming weddings on New Year's Eve and Austin's need for nursing care, Austin and Paige begin to slowly rekindle their romance while outside parties begin a series of events designed to punish and destroy the McKettrick clan.

The final installment of the trilogy is a romance that is occasionally sexually graphic and also contains elements of a good mystery. The realistic characters are interesting and the dialogue between them as well as the family dynamic flows naturally and unforced. There are a number of amusing points thought out the book as Austin takes great delight in messing with others.

But, there are also negatives to the book. A major negative to the read is the constant rehashing and telling again and again and again the backstory behind the breakup of Austin and Paige ten years ago. In addition to being told again and again how handsome/beautiful and sexy everyone is including Austin and Paige no matter what he or she has been doing from mucking hay to fighting fires to whatever (yes, my ankle is broken--lets have sex), key details of their past are told over and over again throughout the book. One wishes an editor would have pointed out that some of the repetitive details that could have and should have easily been cut.

A decent editor might have also caught the numerous errors with the chronological history of the characters, the idea that in Texas we call pickup trucks "RIGS" (we don't and nearly any native Texan will tell you that), errors with the oil wells storyline including errors about how oil is found, how it is pumped out of the ground, capping wells, etc., and the whole back injury deal which will strike any reader who has lived it or something very similar as incredibly wrong.

If you can ignore all the factual flaws in the book, of which there are many, the occasionally graphic (depends on the eye of the beholder) romance is enjoyable though predictable. The mystery angle is less predictable though more flawed due to the factual errors noted above. Not only is there deliberate humor by what the characters say and do, there are also the errors that can cause amusement for the reader.

The result is a read that is a mixed bag at best and should have been a much better book.

Material supplied by the Amazon Vine program.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

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Kevin R. Tipple ()
Ranked #90
My stories have appeared in such magazines such as “Lynx Eye,” “Starblade,” “Show and Tell,” and "The Writer's Post Journal" among others and online at … more
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World champion rodeo star Austin McKettrick finally got bested by an angry bull. His career over, his love life a mess, the lone maverick has nowhere to go when the hospital releases him. Except back home to Blue River and the Silver Spur ranch. But his overachieving brothers won't allow this cowboy to brood in peace. They've even hired a nurse to speed his recovery. Paige Remington's bossy brand of TLC is driving himcrazy. As is her beautiful face, sexy figure and silky black hair.

Paige has lost count of how many times Austin has tried to fire her. She's not going anywhere till he's healed—body and heart.

And by then her place in his life just might become permanent….

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ISBN-10: 037377446X
ISBN-13: 978-0373774463
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Genre: 4-for-3 Books
Publisher: HQN Books
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