Must be God-fearing, healthy, hardworking single men with minimum of 3 years logging experience. Object: Marriage and joint ownership of sawmill.
Reply to Hope Falls, Colorado, postmaster by May 17
Braden Lyman convinced 4 women to invest in a Colorado mining town, Hope Falls. When the mining town suffers a tragic mine collapse, leaving Braden himself a victim now bedridden, the town itself is on the verge of collapse. The women who were in Charleston at the time, rush back to Hope Falls after learning Braden has miraculously survived, it's only to hear him denounce them as fools. Lacy, Braden's sister convinces the women that despite the mine collapse, she has an idea that could help the town recover. She proposes turning the mining town into a sawmill by buying up the surrounding land, but they need to hire men - and they need investors - or husbands and that is where the idea for the ad came into play. Little did the women imagine that these men would show up in person to apply not only for the job but for potential husbands as well.
Chase Dunstan, has tracked one of his former brother in laws, Robert Kane, to a jail cell to learn about his own brothers death in a mine collapse that left his sister, Laura now a widow using what little money there was as a settlement to start a new life. He has to know the answers to the reasons behind the collapse, the way it was handled afterward, what current plans pushed Braden to stay in Hope Falls and what did any of this have to do with the incredible ad. He believes that there is more to this collapse than what he knows and sets out to investigate in Hope Falls, when the ad arrives in the paper looking for experienced logging men/husbands. Might just be the perfect way to get to know the owners of the town and look for clues to what might have happened to his brother in law.
When he arrives in Hope Falls, Chase sees men being forced on to the train against their wishes to go. He also sees a man, Granger, who he used to work for three years back working as a guide through prospective timberland higher in the Rockies. Having Granger here in Hope Falls, the claim they're trying to build a sawmill gains credibility. Grangers know lumber like no other family in North America. But why were the men calling him Creed? These men were the rough customers who insulted ladies and brawled in the streets, and now caught fighting were being ordered to leave town on the next train out of Hope Falls.
What exactly was really going on in the town of Hope Falls and just what did the ladies behind the ad have to do with it all? You'll have to pick up a copy of Kelly Eileen Hake's novel, Tall, Dark and Determined to find out. This is the second book in the Husbands for Hire series and draws an interesting parallel on the mail order brides idea. This book does have a confusing start, but once you iron out the details of who is whom, you're off on a really great adventure. At times, it seems the story is a bit faced paced and I found myself going back to re-read parts of it again to clarify what I had missed. I would have preferred to see this one slow down a bit because the premise behind it all was a great reason to draw my initial interests in.
I received this novel compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley for my honest review. Being a huge fan of the western romance genre I was hoping for a bit more than I got. However, I am determined not to give up on this series just yet. I rate this one a 3 out of 5 stars and look forward to picking up the first book in this series, to see if I may have missed something that would have aided me in understanding the story of these characters more.
Tall, Dark, and Determined is the second book in Kelly's Husbands for Hire series. I didn't like this story as much as I enjoyed the first one. The first 4 chapters were a recap from the first book. I don't mind recaps if it's only a few pages, but 4 chapters was a bit much. Lacey and Chase went from hating each other through a majority of the book, tolerating each other for a couple scenes, and then in-love suddenly at the end. The in-love part wasn't believable, just kind of sprung on the reader at the end of the book. I loved Lacey's determination to do things that most would consider manly, like hunting. I want to see how things will turn out for Naomi and Cora, so I'll read the final book.
With thanks to Barbour Publishers via NetGalley for my review copy.
Welcome to Hope Falls where three enterprising young females are accepting applications for husbands-for-hire. With one woman already snagged, Lacey Lyman is one of only two remaining. No one really catches her eye until a handsome hunter arrives. Will Lacey find a way to bag her prey? Determined to investigate why Hope Falls's mine collapsed, Chase Dunstan poses as a potential husband and a hunter, giving him the perfect excuse to poke around inside and outside of town. If only he could get the chatterbox Lacey Lyman off his trail. Can he keep his cover while solving the mystery of the mine?
I have to start this review by stating that I couldn't finish this book. I managed to get about 70% through it before I stopped trying to get interested in it. For whatever reason, this novel couldn't capture my interest at all. The premise did, but not the story-telling itself.
I found the first five chapters of the book are very confusing. It felt like the author introduced too much information at once. For those of us who haven't read the first book in the Husbands for Hire series, it was a lot of information to take in.
I didn't feel like the motives and stakes were enough to compose any kind of conflict (again, I didn't read the first book in this series, so that might be part of the problem). I'm still not sure why the hero needed to solve the mystery about the mine collapse. Since he isn't any kind of sheriff, and only a ranger, it didn't make too much sense to me. The story almost makes you think, by the way it starts off, that he is in law enforcement. But he's not.
To be honest, those first five chapters were so confusing that my head spun trying to digest the story. Too much happened way too fast. In addition, tension-filled scenes that the author clued us into as an important moment were cut off before the very events took place that the author built up to. Those moments were completely skipped, then the event itself appeared only in passing dialogue, merely telling us what transpired.
There were also moments where this story would stop in a scene, take us to another scene, then several chapters later it would take us back to the the scene where we left off. By that time, I'd forgotten about that scene!
Again, the beginning of this novel introduced way too many characters. The novel held far too many view points, as well--some that held no significance to the plot.
The characters, overall, didn't strike me as memorable. In fact, the ones that truly stuck out in mind were Lacey's brother and his fiance. Other than that, nothing in this story held my interest.
I know that Kelly Eileen Hake is a skilled writer, so I'm not sure why this novel came out the way it did. It could be a combination of several things that meshed together.
I really wanted to enjoy this novel, but I couldn't.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
If you enjoy series books I would highly recommend that you start with book 1 in this series, Rugged and Relentless. The books are stand alone but there are many details from the first book to add to the enjoyment of the second one. The series is based on four women who have bought up land in Hope Falls. Lacy Lyman's brother, Braden, owned a mine there, when it collapsed it left many dead and Braden injured. The women, led by Lacey are building a sawmill and a town. Since women can not own land at this time they put an advertisement out for three husbands. Cora, is already engaged to Braden.
This story is focused on Lacey Lyman and Chase Dunstan. Chase is wanting to find what was behind the mine collapse. He don't believe it to be an accident and he is sure the advertisement for husbands is some type of code for some other nefarious deed. His brother-in-law was killed in the accident and his sister was left destitute. He is determined to get to the bottom of this for his sister Laura's sake. When he gets to town he finds an old friend there, Jake Granger. Jake is engaged to one of the women already. Chase gets a job as a hunter, to keep fresh meat coming into the camp for the meals. He will snoop around when he can to find his answers. He believes the spoiled socialite, Lacey, has it in her to get whatever she wants, even to the point of destroying the mind so she could buy the town.
Lacey is pretty stubborn, as the reader I wanted to wallop her a few times myself! She wants to hold onto her prim and proper ways and yet she wants the freedom to do more things that men are allowed to do. She is afraid of failure and that fear causes her to be a bit sharp with Chase, and it starts their relationship off on poor footing. She wants Chase gone but is outvoted by the other women. Cora, Evie & Naomi see a man who may help Lacey. And so goes the story as these two battle each others stubborn wills.
Decoy is a unique character. Chase's well trained Irish Wolfhound stands a good 4 foot high and 6 foot long. He was able to get into Lacey's good graces even though his master could not. I also enjoy the way Kelly lets other characters put their views into the stories. We see things through several different eyes not just the two main characters.