First Published: 6 February 2011
Publisher: Kimberley Martinez
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Finished Date: 29 November 2011
Blurb from Goodreads
Red Rock follows the journey of the Hunter family, and their daughter Rachel, a teenager struggling to take care of her ill mother. Her illness forces the family to sell everything and move to a new town where they can get help for her. Along the way, they stumble into fortune and decide to keep it a secret. But with every secret, comes a consequence and Rachel will soon find out that not everything or everyone is what they seem. Upon arrival in the new town, she meets several people who befriend her and the plan seems to be working, until one night when someone throws a rock through their window threatening to take back what is theirs. Lies, deceit and betrayal plague Rachel and the entire family as they struggle to keep their secret and find out who is behind the devious plan.
This book wasn’t what I expected. I expected it to be a simple Western romance, with hot heroes, strong and mature heroines, all those usual sort of historical Western romance. But after reading it, I realised that it didn’t exactly meet my expectations. That isn’t entirely a bad thing either. The reason why I didn’t give it more than 3 stars was because of several things that made me didn’t fully enjoy the book. I’ll cover more later.
On its own, the writing is pretty good and the overall storyline was interesting. But I had several issues with the characters and the pace of the book. I’ll give a very brief summary of the book. (Note: There may be small spoilers) Basically, it was about this family traveling to another town in the hope of finding a doctor that could cure the heroine’s mother. Along the way, they ran across some dead travelers. After searching around, they found loads of gold. Of course, they took it, justifying that the dead couldn’t do anything with it and it could help them. At the same time, they also took their possessions, with the same reasoning. They gave them a decent burial at least. What happened next was pretty typical. They go into town. Girl meets guy. Girl doesn’t like guy but still thinks he’s handsome and all. Guy crazy about girl, wants to marry her. A lot of unnecessary detail next. Basically, they find the doctor for the mother. Girl meets another guy whom she likes a lot. That guy likes her back. Needless to say, he’s bad. A lot more unnecessary things then a HEA for girl and first guy. I won’t say anymore lest I give away too much of the plot.
Now, some problems I had was the fact that there was way too much elaboration on needless detail. As a result, it made the book seem really draggy and made me rather bored reading it. It’s like detail on how every single building looked like was given. I mean, sure its good to give description to let the reader “see” the place. But in this case, I felt that it was too much. I would have rather seen a bit more of how the characters matured and grew up throughout the book.
Let’s talk about the main character, Rachel. She’s 17. However, I felt that she was really immature in the beginning of the book and the way she thought and all made me dislike her a little. I mean, to me she acted more like 15. Ok wait, let me clarify one point. When it comes to heroines, I have a pretty high standard of them. I don’t know why, I just feel that any less is a disgrace to the female race. Sure, Rachel was strong-minded and rather independent. I did like that about her. But… Sometimes, I felt that she was rather vain, and I cannot stand that in heroines. Pretty hypocritical of me, because I am rather vain myself, though I’m trying to cut the habit! Another was the way she treated the guys. I mean, it isn’t exactly evident in her behavior, but somehow I got the impression that she has a rather self-inflated view of herself. Like, she wanted the store to be named after her. And the way she treated the two guys in her life, the main hero (whose name I simply cannot remember, James, maybe? I know it starts with J.) and Charles, the 2nd guy she met. Oh and for the hero, I’ll call him J if I have to use him in my review. Yeah, I can’t really explain it, but the way she treated J was pretty mean and the way she treated Charles was really rather flirty and all. And I just can’t stand that. Call me conservative or whatever, but I really don’t like flirty heroines. But towards the end, she did mature a bit and seemed more her age. So towards the end, my feelings toward her were pretty ambivalent. I didn’t really like her, but neither did I dislike her.
For the rest of the characters, they were alright. I just felt that more emphasis could be given on their individual characters. Like J. I didn’t really know him after reading the book. I mean, I knew a bit of what he was like, for example, he was a kind-hearted man. But I couldn’t understand him and when I can’t understand characters, I can’t empathise with them. This could also be because I’m too fussy. But well, I wanted to see more of the other characters, instead of so much needless description.
The main plot was fine, it was pretty interesting, if a bit typical. Other than the description, I don’t really have any other real problems with it. Oh, but I felt that some of the events were pretty unrealistic. For example, what were the chances of Rachel wandering off and going to the exact spot where the bag had been thrown. And how would she have spotted it? Another thing was the conclusion. I didn’t enjoy the gunfight. It felt too contrived to be real. I felt there wasn’t that intensity there should have been, especially when the men died. And I really cannot believe that Rachel’s father didn’t die. I mean, his injuries were rather serious, because of the places he was hit in. But yet, he still managed to survive all the way back to the town. How? I don’t know.
Lastly, let’s talk about the romance. It was alright. I’m pretty sure J did love Rachel. But I certainly could not feel the love on Rachel’s part. It seemed to be more of an infatuation. Like the typical signs were there, possessiveness, jealousy and such. But I couldn’t feel her love for him. When she said she loved him, I was skeptical. I think there wasn’t enough interaction between them that was good. As in, conversations where they didn’t argue. You see, most of the time, they were always quarreling. Its mostly Rachel finding fault with him. And as a result, I couldn’t really believe the love on her part.
But enough about the cons of the book. There were many things I did enjoy. I liked Rachel’s father. He was a really sweet man and the love he had for his wife was simply amazing and so, so sweet. I actually did enjoy the storyline, apart from the parts that were draggy. I did enjoy it when she was captured because it added excitement to the story. The betrayal she must have felt was also pretty good. I especially liked the part where after she knew that Charles was bad, but she wanted to protect her father, she pretended that everything was fine when he came. It may only have been a short scene, but that scene showed me that she was truly courageous. Really. It couldn’t have been easy.
All in all, I did enjoy reading the book. I finished it in about 1-2 sittings? And even though there were draggy parts, I continued reading because somehow I knew that the ending would be better. And it was, apart from the gunfight. But actually, some aspects of the gunfight was interesting. I do remember enjoying it. I can’t exactly name a part, but I know some parts of it were good and realistic. Though the ending was a little abrupt, I can more or less imagine what happened next. The beginning was also good, it really did catch my attention. Though I wouldn’t classify this as a typical Western romance, it was still an enjoyable book. The romance part wasn’t the main part of the book, it was more of the suspense and the mystery surrounding the events. It did take quite a while to build up to it, but when it finally did, the book was interesting.
This ebook was given to me by the author, Kimberley Patterson in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks, Ms. Patterson! :D
My name's Victoria and I love to read! And I guess no matter how busy I am, I'll always find time to read because you can't stop a passion, can you? I love netball, especially shooting, there's just something so peaceful about it, isn't there?
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