Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Badland Bride by Lauri Robinson

TITLE: Badland Bride
AUTHOR: Lauri Robinson
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 74k)
GENRE: Time travel romance
COST: $6.00

Lila Scott is on the run from a man determined to kill her. Skeeter Quinter is a ghost in the house she decides to hide in. Together, they manage to evade the psycho, but when Lila ends up in the 1880s and Skeeter comes back to his mortal form, their problems are only beginning…

I read the first book in this series quite some time ago, and have been buying subsequent installations as they come out, though they’ve languished on my TBR pile for quite some time. After reading this second book, I’m starting to wonder if I should have saved my money on the books that follow it.

It starts out in modern-day Kansas, with twenty-two year-old Lila Scott trying to escape the psycho who raped her. Pregnant with his child, she discovered his sordid past and now he wants to kill her before she can make things worse for him. She decides to hide in an abandoned house, but in actuality, the house isn’t nearly as abandoned as she thinks. It’s haunted by Skeeter Quinter, and when he realizes she’s in trouble, he helps her escape through a tunnel that leads into a nearby cave. When Lila emerges, she finds a half-naked man asleep in the cave, a man who turns out to be Skeeter back in his body. He rejoices that he’s not a ghost anymore, but she is determined to get back to the future. The only problem with that was Skeeter destroyed the tunnel so the psycho couldn’t follow them. With no other choice, Lila goes with him back to his family. His plan is to get his brothers to help him dig out the tunnel and help Lila find a portal back to her time, but once Skeeter’s Ma finds out she’s pregnant, another shotgun wedding takes place.

I wanted to love this. I had fond memories of the first, so I settled in thinking this would be a great comfort read. The beginning hints at some great tension, but almost straight away, technical issues arise. On the very first page, “loosing” is used for “losing” and by the third, the verb tense starts fluctuating between past and present. I hung in there, though, mostly because Skeeter got introduced. He’s charming, funny, and full of heart, and I was genuinely concerned about Lila enough to want to see her safe. So I plugged through the less than clean prose. Soon, however, I developed another stumbling block. Lila herself. The charm she exhibited at meeting Skeeter gets derailed very quickly as she becomes obsessed with returning back to the future. She’s convinced she’s going to die in childbirth since it’s the 1880s, and she builds this issue up to mythic proportions in her head. She does this so much that when she meets Skeeter’s pregnant sister-in-law, she begins badgering her about taking it easy, as if she’s some expert on pregnancy (it got to the point where every time she referenced looking up information on pregnancy on the internet, I rolled my eyes). Lila becomes so self-centered and annoying that I actually started to really dislike her, and when she’s half of the romantic equation, that’s not good.

It’s a good thing that Skeeter stays so lovely, because I would never have finished this otherwise. He’s helped by his colorful family, characters I find myself adoring all the more for putting up with Lila. Kid and Jessie from the first book are happy together, and hints of what might be a future pairing with Bug and Eva are appealing. I even liked Skeeter’s Sioux friend, Buffalo Killer (especially at the end with the exchange of secrets between him and Lila, that was particularly well done and very humorous). They helped make the story more tolerable. I needed something because I wasn’t getting it from Lila or the plot (the details regarding her psycho were dodgy at best, silly at worst).

I have more of the Quinter Bride books on my TBR pile. At this point, I don’t know when I’ll get to them. The charm has been tarnished a little by how much I disliked Lila and her selfish, immature attitudes. I can only hope she doesn’t show up very much in the subsequent stories.


5/10 – Editorial mistakes abound, including missing words, misused/misspelled words, and tense shifts, so it feels like a first draft rather than a polished copy


8/10 – His heart and humor are the sole reasons I stuck with reading this


5/10 – Self-centered and so single-minded she comes across as highly immature

Entertainment value

6/10 – The romance flounders, and the plotting is shallow and almost silly, but I do love the Quinters

World building

7/10 – Points for the historical setting, but the handling of the time travel aspect was sloppy



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