When Zach McKnight, an irresistible oil rig worker with a thick-as-honey Texan drawl, first pokes into the secrets surrounding the mysterious Maddie Wells, he has no idea that the chance encounter will change his life forever. Maddie Wells is on the run with Jesse, the infant son of her murdered sister. The boy’s father isn’t far behind. He wants his son and is willing to kill to get him. Zach is intrigued from the first moment he sees the dark haired beauty in a hotel, but getting his hard working hands on her delectable body is more easily dreamt than achieved. He gets shot for his trouble, by Maddie no less, and sucked into the web of lies and fear that are her constant companions.
Maddie has kidnapped her nephew, Jesse, and is on the run from his father. You see the father, Derek, is one evil man who not only killed Jesse’s mother, Maddie’s sister, but also killed Maddie’s boyfriend, Vince. She’s bound and determined that Derek will not get his hands on his son. She heads to Galveston, Texas from Wyoming and ends up getting a job as a bartender.
Maddie meets Zach the first night at the bar. They are instantly attracted to each other and end up in Zach’s hotel room. Something scares Maddie before the deal is sealed and not only does she end up leaving but she shoots Zach in the arm she does. Zach likes her feistiness and doesn’t give up on Maddie over a small thing like a shooting and decides that he’s gonna get the girl. Maddie isn’t prepared to get closer to anyone because it’s hard enough to keep her secrets but Zach has a way of pulling her in and not letting go. If she gives in though she runs the risk of becoming complacent and when that happens Derek might find her.
There were a lot of things that I liked about this story. The love that Maddie showed to Jesse and her feelings of protection were wonderful. She had loved her sister and wanted to do right by her son and that meant not letting the evil bastard that was his father get a hold of the boy. I thought the risks she took were crazy but I had to admire her bravery.
Zach was a huge part of what I liked about this story as well. He was a great guy and was raised to respect women by wonderful parents. He came from a huge family (13 kids) and seemed to care about all of them. Sure, they pissed him off as only siblings could be he wouldn’t have traded them for the world. That family loyalty really came through on the pages.
The story itself was very well done and I enjoyed it for the most part. There were, however, 1 major thing that annoyed me and 1 that had me shaking my head in disbelief.
The Disbelief: Zach met Maddie in a bar and took her up to his room and got hot and heavy as Zach had been on an oil rig for 5 or 6 months. I understand that he wanted her to stay but when she decides to leave, goes a bit loco on you, pulls a gun and shoots you I’m thinking there ain’t no way that guy is going to look favorably on that! I think it would be more something like, “What the f*ck woman? You psycho bitch get the hell out of here!” lol But Zach wasn’t like that. He was the type that help hurt animals and stray puppies and apparently he saw the fear in Maddie and didn’t hold it against her. I admire him for that but yet I had to wonder about him all the same.
The Annoyance: The McKnight family is from Eastern Texas. I can’t say that I’ve been to Eastern Texas in my life. Maybe everyone talks like a completely uneducated, unintelligent person but I just don’t think that’s true at all. The McKnight family however took the hick-speak to an all new level. Reading their dialogue was almost a bit too hard to do and the more I read the more annoyed I got. I think the stories saving grace as far as this went was that they didn’t actually “think” in hick-speak, they just spoke that way.
Despite those two issues with the story I really liked the whole premise of the story and how it all played out.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place