“I care about who you are now. And the woman in front of me is beautiful, intelligent, and hotter than molten lava. If you think that we could have a future together, I want to try. I love you, Sara Lopez.” – Garrison Taggart
Boy, oh, boy! A new book series from one of my favorite paranormal writers – and it’s western themed?!
In Jillian David’s new series, we follow the lives of the Taggart siblings, who all seem to have more on their plate than just taking care of the family’s ranch. Born with supernatural abilities, they all have to struggle through their social life on top of being at odds with their very normal father. Garrison, the second-born of the family, has always been able to read people – determining whether they were being honest or not. But this ability has cost him greatly. Now a single father, he finds himself falling in love with Sara Lopez, his son’s teacher. Being burnt once, can he open up to her and finally trust in someone outside his family after so long?
I meant it when I said that this writer is one of my favorites in the paranormal genre. I obviously have others, but there are only a few occasions in life where you find yourself paying special attention to certain authors. And this is one of those. After the Hell to Pay series (which is amazing, by the way, go read it!), she decided to tackle one of my TOP fantasies: cowboys with superpowers! And the result was pretty much awesome!
Not only did I experience the true nature of a rancher’s life – the hardships, the downtimes, the day-to-day struggle – but I also had the pleasure of seeing what a HUMAN does when they’re born with gifts they don’t exactly find convenient. Now, of course, most of us would be ecstatic to have minds with freaking superpowers. But we all speak from a vantage point of convenience, we haven’t really experienced it to really now what it’s like. The Taggart siblings, though, weren’t like that. Their abilities were useful, yes, but they still put a damper on their social lives. They couldn’t just connect with someone, because they always had to hide – even their father didn’t seem agreeable with what his kids could do. And they could also get hurt, which is often happily ignored in paranormal fiction.
Garrison in particular had his heart broken, and his trust issues made it impossible for him to be what we call a social butterfly. He was moody, and gruff, and his inner hurt made him in turn daily damage whatever bridges he tried to build with those around him. He was quick to anger, and there were times his grudges and stubborness were out of this world!
It was a good thing Sara seemed to be as patient as possible with him, although, to be fair, she too had her issues. Thanks to her past, she tended to misunderstand what others told her – OK, in Garrison’s case, he helped that flaw grow even more by constantly keeping his foot in his mouth – and she would, nine times out of ten, blame herself and drown in self-pity whenever something went wrong.
Those two had their hearts broken by the people they had loved. The result was two bitter adults, self-conscious as hell, trying to find common ground. Not that I’m complaining. Their fumbling around was half of the time entertaining, and the other half fantastically HOT! When they finally decided to trust in each other, it was touching how they seemed to keep praising each other, not being able to see their own worth, but somehow recognising their lover’s value.
Now on to the supernatural part of the book. It certainly didn’t hold much importance for the better half of the story, other than the fact that the siblings were not your everyday ranchers. But near the end, we get to see that our dear Mrs. David just couldn’t resist adding her horrifying talent in the mix. That’s right, people, if any of you have read the Hell to Pay series, then you know this woman can make you twist around in your seat in an effort to not pee yourself from fear. She doesn’t just write awful scenes of torture or scary stuff just to add something in her book. Every one of those has its own chest-pressuring aura of horror, and while they’re not massive and they come sparse, they still manage to make you wish you chance upon them while it’s still daytime. And they ALWAYS are important and hold significance to the story.
Jillian David is one of those few writers that can actually combine hot, sizzling romance with witty humor and terrifying danger, and make it seem tangible and quite real to the reader. All in the span of a book. And that’s saying something, people! She even deliberately had the bad guy repeating his lines again and again, to show how much his psychosis had damaged his common sense and ability to function and think logically. (admittedly, at first I thought it was a typo, but when I realized it wasn’t I had to take a break from reading, shivering all over!)
I’m off to start the next book – and btw, I call dibs on Kerr, and ship him with Izzy! If those two don’t end up, I sure hope the female lead David will put by his side is worthy of this panties-dropping-quality man!
“I don’t want anyone else, Garrison.” – Sara Lopez
***I was given an ARC by the writer in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***