Genres: Dark Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on September 18, 2018
Booted is the last book of this dark trilogy that opened so tramaticly. Romances should end with a HEA and I can say this one does, but not before a lot of strife, fight, and grit to get there. While the second book wasn’t as dark, we move back into the darkness with this one. Please be warned, the heroine is raped, but it is not detailed in this book quite so much. This wasn’t my favorite story, but I loved seeing them all get their HEA after all.
This is the final story for this odd family of ranchers. Young people touched by such violence and evilness in their parents. Yes that is kind of a spoiler, but I am not giving the details of what that all entailed. In the second story, Buckled, we see the heroine, Raina, for a brief moment. We know she is involved with Jake and Jarret’s father, but not the extent or even anything about her or her past. We don’t get a pretty picture of her, but that wasn’t her story to tell yet.
We will start with ladies first. To understand why Raina stayed with the man who was abusing her you have to understand her past. She is Native American and born to a mother who wasn’t really mother material. She had a hard life, but took care of herself when her mother had another daughter that Raina adored. Living near the prison, Raina at a early age learned that selling her body to newly released inmates was easy money. She got involved with an older man who offered to take care of her sister when she got sick. Raina knew she could never pay for the treatments needed, so she stayed with him even though he beat her and raped her. Now he has been kicked off the ranch and she goes with him only to become his prisoner when her sister dies. Maybe from Buckled helps her escape and come back to the ranch where she isn’t exactly welcomed.
Lorne is Conor’s older brother. When his sister was brutally raped, he went hunting for the rapist, running down who he thought it was only to learn he gunned down an innocent man. We later learn the man wasn’t totally innocent, but innocent of the rape at least. Needless to say, Lorne was sentence to prison, abandoned by his father and has been helping his best friends seek revenge upon his sister’s attackers and the people who torn up his family. He is now a free man with restrictions, but with that freedom comes a lot of PTSD he won’t admit too. Like not being able to sleep in his room because it has four walls. He would rather be out in the open after having felt like a trapped animal for so long.
Lorne is attracted to Raina and she him. It is eerie how wise Raina is with him. Her heritage comes out and soothes the beast that Lorne feels he has become. In return, he agrees to help her learn to shoot and fight so she can kill the man who imprisoned her and set into motion the events that damaged all their lives. One caveat, he isn’t supposed to be in possession of firearms. As e comes to know Raina, he realizes in the end, he will have to help her do this. Lorne isn’t sentimental. He is rough, hard, and broken. Gentleness isn’t in his vocabulary, but I am not saying he is abusive. Life hasn’t been easy for him and he reacts to that by building a tough skin.
Hard work is a way of ranch life, and in that hard work we see this family start to heal and grow stronger. Is everything healed, no? It all comes to a rough showdown and even more tough choices had to be made. It’s not the prettiest of endings in that standpoint, but it is what it is.
You get an epilogue and that put my mind at ease that they all can move on with the choices they made, actions they took and pain they dealt with. This series isn’t one I would recommend to everyone. It has a lot of dark moments and I wondered why I continued. I continued because I need to see them survive, become humans again and find some semblance or what normal is for them. It ends HEA and that is what I want in my romance so I am content.
Review Writing Challenge #17
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