Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty
Series: Hell's Eight #1
Publication Date: May 1st 2013
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The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed...until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted. Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger — definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favour...one Caine’s honour won’t let him refuse. From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she’s determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn’t enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her body, her demands...everything. Yet there’s still a bounty on Desi’s head, and keeping her satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive. 'Intense, edgy and passionate, this is old-school historical romance at its finest.' - Romantic Times 'Caine’s Reckoning is a can't-put-it-down adventure story...Superb writing and characterisation, along with a well-described setting, bring the story alive and pull readers into the action.' - Romance Reviews Today
I just decided to do a lightning review for this book. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because Casee already wrote up a great review with a good description of the book, so now I don’t have to. Thanks, Casee!!
There’s been a lot of hype about this book in blogland. Pretty much every site I’ve visited has recommended it. It was ok, but not great like I thought it would be from all the hype.
My big issues stem from the heroine. She was a mass of contradictions. I thought I would be shocked by her past and feel an emotional connection to her because of it, but instead I was just annoyed with her and the way her past was..not glossed over, but certainly overcome in a rather trite way. I think I expected a major moment…something to help Desi heal from her past, and I just never got it. It wasn’t that there wasn’t some emotional depth here, it’s just that it was lost somewhere in translation. I still don’t understand how she didn’t suffer more from her past. In the beginning it seemed she was really scarred, but by the middle of the book she was kind of like, “Eh, I’m over it, let’s have sex now”. And then she was like, “Eh, I don’t want to have sex because of my past.”
She was also portrayed as strong, intelligent woman, and that was confirmed in the opening scene of the book, when she fought off three uber bad guys. But over the next hundred or so pages (Side Note:: When I transfer a book to my eReader it lists the pages differently. Where a book might be 400 pages, it shows as 700 on my Reader, so I have no way of knowing what page I’m on exactly, or even how many pages are in a certain book..and you know, I’m just too darn lazy to go look elsewhere ::End Side Note) she seemed lacking in strength. Or maybe not lacking, but not putting her strengths to good use.
I honestly can’t put my finger on just one thing that bothered me. It was just a bunch of little things. Like the first time she and Caine have sex. She seemed more than willing, even though he went a little farther than I think he should have considering she’d been used as a sex slave for a year. That whole, “Give it to me, babee” thing seemed off. Then, every time they were getting intimate after that, she really struggled with it, having flashbacks and stuff. It was pretty inconsistent.
I also felt there were some plot holes. I realize this is the first book in a series and SM had to set up the rest, but the premise behind her plot – that Desi was being used as a sex slave because of her inheritance – seemed to lack depth. We were left to wonder who exactly was pulling the strings, but in the last chapter Desi wrote a letter to her twin sister and named the man, only we never saw them finding it out. We also never saw Caine and the other men from Hell’s Eight go after the 6 bankers who used Desi, or them finding out additional information. I’m still not sure how Desi got kidnapped in the first place, seeing as how she was chained to a bed. I’m thinking a lot of these issues will be cleared up in future books, but I was left unsatisfied.
Despite that, however, I enjoyed this book. Sarah McCarty has a strong writing voice that flows well, and I was absorbed in the story. Caine was a good hero, and his patience with Desi was admirable. I truly felt their emotional connection, even if I couldn’t see Desi’s emotional issues. He’s strong, stubborn and possessive, but not in a creepy stalker type way. And I really liked his relationship with his “brothers”, the other men who formed Hell’s Eight. I have a lot of male relatives, and they interact about the same way.
I’m very anxious to read the next book in this series, and find out what happened to Desi’s sister. I’m assuming all 8 men will each have a story, and that makes me happy. And you know, A happy Holly is a good thing. 😛
Overall the book was well written with an engaging story, good hero and interesting plot. It had some issues, so I’m giving it:
3.5 out of 5