Love's Sweet Revenge
by Rosanne Bittner
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Page Count: 512
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Format: MassMarket Paperback
How got: personal buy via local B&N
First attention getter: already fan of series
Their Passion Shaped a Nation
Over the years, Jake and Miranda Harkner have endured all the dangers a wild and brutal West could throw at them. Now, settled on their ranch in the beautiful Colorado hill country, they’ve finally found peace. But for a man like Jake Harkner, danger is always lurking, and the world may not be ready for an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman-turned-legend to hang up his guns.
Threatened by cruel men in search of revenge, the Harkner clan must be stronger than ever before. Yet nothing can stop the coming storm. With the Old West dying around them and the rules of this new world ever-changing, Jake vows to end the threat to his family no matter what it takes…
Even if it means sacrificing himself so his beloved Miranda may live.
Star Rating - 3
While a part of me enjoyed seeing Jake's and Randy's story continued for so long, ultimately I felt disappointed by this addition to the tale. I don't know if the author intends to write more in the series, but I can't say that I'll be as eager for the next volume as I was for this one.
I did enjoy seeing Jake's and Randy's story continued. It's rare to see historical romances with leads as old as they are. It's pleasant to see that romance continues for so long and stays as vibrant; in this book, it does. Jake's and Randy's emotional pull are just as strong as they have ever been. I loved most of their scenes together, just like in previous books.
There were times where the author harkens back to the same old themes and emotional pitfalls of previous books, though. Jake's continuing thought processes of not being good enough for Randy and Randy's continuing efforts to counteract that do get old. While this feature is a fundamental foundation of Jake's character and personality, constantly exploring, discussing, and mentioning it made me tire of the whole thing. While it didn't kill my regard for their relationship and romance, it was definitely a downer.
I enjoyed the authors continuing effort to keep her historical background as accurate as possible. She continues to show that she is a leading lady in historical romance when it comes to this aspect along with her emotional relationships. I got a real taste for ranch life in the 1890s and the differing societal environment that came about as the Old West got tamed. Seeing Jake's struggles with this new world order as he tries to protect his own was the root of many conflicts in the novel. They added a nice dimension to the overall romantic relationship and family drama.
To me, the biggest downfall to this book is the amount of filler that pads out the impressive page count for a historical romance. Now most of Bittner's work tends to run longer so that's not as much of a surprise. It's just the sheer amount of content that is repetitious.
Big example of this is the sheer amount of sex scenes in the book. Now it’s great to know the folks Jake's and Randy's age can enjoy a healthy sex life; however, when you have sexy times almost every four or five scenes it gets a bit much. This combined with the repetitious exploration of themes, personality traits, and dangers our family faces already done to death make this book a slog through most of the time.
While it's great to have historical romances that explore a relationship as far as this series has and still have a fantastic emotional pull, this particular volume has huge flaws. Repeated themes and filler content cushion this book out to the point of absurdity. If another book is forthcoming in the series, I don't know that I'll be as eager for it as I was with this one. It might be time to retire Jake and Randy and explore other people. Their grandchildren might be an interesting choice given when they'll be coming of age, during World War I and the Roaring 20s. Now that would make for an interesting setting for a historical romance in this family!