Okay, I’m really not sure of what to say because most of my disappointment is a result of being misguided by the blurb I read on this book which I am well aware that authors many times do not have control over. I did the author the courtesy of pressing on to the finish even after I realized things were not as I had expected so my opinions are not just speculative.
Here’s the deal. This story would not have been a book that I chose to read if I had known what it was truly about- again, misleading blurb. It wasn’t for me. Just looking at the author’s writing talent, character development, plot or anything like that- that part was average with the many of the character’s less than average- okay well, only the main character was truly developed and a few of the secondary characters like the mountain healers, but the bad guys even Diablo were one dimensional.
I thought this would be some sort of gritty Perils of Pauline style story. I liked the idea of a tough talking heroine in mortal danger and having to live by her wits to extricate herself. And the story did start that way. I also had some mental picture of a Beauty and the Beast style romance where the bad guy took the heroine and she is able to change him. And maybe that happens in the next installment because I only read three out of four installments. I’m not so certain I would find a romance between the two a good thing now because you see- the guy is pure evil and commits rape and murder without coercion or remorse and that is just not my idea of a hero. And I really didn’t see even a spark of romance- not one hint that there was any feeling of that nature- in this story so I’m not sure it should even be classified as such- again, misleading.
For those who are interested in what it’s about-
A twenty-one year old girl travels to Mexico with her dad and step-mom to visit with her step-sister and her husband because the step-sister, Paris, is struggling with loneliness having to live in a remote village while her husband works on a bridge building project. Payton struggles because she’s the Cinderella of the family with no happily ever after because the step-sister stole her Prince Charming. Payton is innocently walking around taking pictures when a crazed man rides into the village, destroys her camera and shoots her before dumping her body off a cliff. Payton survives, is cared for by a couple of eccentric healers, and finally makes her way back to the village only to be accosted again by the man who is a vicious drug lord. This time, she shows some spunk, but this only gets her stolen away by him in exchange for sparing her family and the villagers. When she arrives at the home of the drug lord and his people, things go from bad to worse (this is the part when all the darker stuff starts to happen).
Without the dark stuff, it would have been an over-the-top tale of a snarky heroine who gets herself into and out of trouble with an average dialogue and average characters. Thus, I have given it a low average rating. But with the dark, rough stuff that there is no hint of warning about and with the story being portrayed as funny and romantic, I feel like it should be factored into the rating somehow though I didn’t in this instance.
So, this is a cautionary review that the blurb is misleading and that this would not appeal to those who have trouble with dubious or non-consent sexual scenes.