Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Boot Hill Bride by Lauri Robinson

TITLE: Boot Hill Bride
AUTHOR: Lauri Robinson
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 76k)
GENRE: Historical romance
COST: $5.50

Desperate to escape her politician father and stepmother, Randi Fulton runs to her aunt, only to have to run yet again when her presence risks discovery. She takes refuge in a tent outside the construction of a new hotel in Dodge City, but its owner, Howard Quinter, comes home in the middle of the night. They’re discovered in bed together the next morning by both sets of parents, at which point Ma Skeeter demands a wedding. The two are wed, and Howard vows to protect Randi from her terrible father and his schemes to be the next governor…

I don’t end up following a lot of series. I can’t come into a series in the middle, so if I miss the first book, unless I end up discovering the author with a different title, I just won’t go back and get it. Frankly, there are too many books out there to try. This Quinter Brides series has been an odd duck for me, but I’m not quite ready to give upon it yet.

Howard Quinter is the third brother to get forced into a shotgun wedding at the hands of his strong-willed mother. His bride is runaway Randi Fulton, the daughter of the man running for governor representing the Populist party. She tried to escape being sold off to marry a much older man by going to her aunt in Dodge City, but her aunt works in a whorehouse, and when her presence is in risk of discovery, she takes refuge in Howard’s tent. Neither wants to be married, but when Howard sees how awful her father is, he lets his argument go. Besides, there’s no saying no to Ma when she gets a bee in her bonnet. She vows to do anything she can to help Howard get his hotel up and running, and when it turns out she loves to cook as much as he does, it looks like a match made in heaven.

This book had one of the stronger starts of this series yet. I’ve had issues in the past with poor editing, but this didn’t suffer from it. Randi was taking charge of her future, Howard was appropriately honorable, and Ma and the rest of the gang were as entertaining as ever. I was charmed and reading with a huge smile on my face. The prose is never very sophisticated and the plotting was simplistic, but that’s not the appeal in this series. It’s the characters, and I was rather enamored with who I was meeting/getting reacquainted with.

But then I realized Randi wasn’t living up to the strong introduction she’d gotten. The woman who’d taken charge of her destiny became this crying mess, breaking down in every other scene. She had zero self-esteem and it showed. I grew very weary of her constant soppy attitude, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Howard remained a strong, noble presence, I would’ve stopped.

On top of that, the cleaner editing of the beginning disappeared halfway through. It started with verb tenses slipping, present coming in where everything has been and should have remained past. Then came the misspellings, more and more the closer I got to the ending. Combine that with Randi who remained a wet rag until the last few pages of the book (and no, one last scene of strength isn’t enough to counter nearly 70k of wimpiness/crying), as well as the sweetness morphing into chapter upon chapter of sappiness, and my enjoyment diminished.

Will I read the next book? Probably. Am I in a hurry to pick it up? No. I want to love these stories, and I do with parts of them, but the weaknesses keep cropping up. If the Quinter boys weren’t so entertaining, it would be a lot easier to quit. But I kind of still love them, so…yeah, I’ll pick the next one up. At some point.


6/10 – What started out promising gradually deteriorated in regards to simple mistakes, which, combined with the added sap, dragged it down even more


8/10 – The saving grace, strong and heroic


4/10 – Too damsel in distress for me, her constant crying got to be a joke by the end of the story

Entertainment value

6/10 – I was enamored with this for the first third, but as soon as the editorial issues and Randi’s crying tendencies set in, became much less so

World building

8/10 – The one thing about the Quinter books is that I always feel like I’m there



No comments: