Spice, $13.95, ISBN 978-0-373-60523-1
Historical Erotica, 2008
Meet Sam MacGregor. He’s the hot Texas Ranger who is a gallant protector and lover of women as well as champion of the downtrodden. Villains, beware, because his gun is only slightly longer than his penis. When Sam’s Creed opens, our hero is looking for a woman, but Isabella, the sole survivor of what seems like an outlaw ambush on a few wagons heading along the San Antonio trail, is not the woman he is looking for, dang. Or maybe she is, since she’s hot and trying very hard to be Salma Hayek, and he’s intrigued by the secrets that he knows she is keeping from him. Who is she and what is she up to? Somewhat predictably as this is a Western historical romance we’re talking about here, Bella is on the run from a very bad man.
This book shares most of the same strengths and flaws as the previous book in the series, Caine’s Reckoning, so I suspect that anyone who enjoyed the previous book would feel the same about this one. In fact, Sam and Caine have so many similar traits in their physical abilities and personalities, they could be cloned from the same Western superhero precursor. Bella suffers from being “on” for so long, unfortunately, to the point that her “feisty” nature crosses the line into tedious sassy mouthing-off with very little brainpower to back up the talk. Given her predicament, I find it hard to believe that Bella will always have a “sassy” thing to say for every occasion. As a result, I find it hard to take her predicament seriously.
While the emotional and characterization aspects of this story are lacking, I have no problem with the love scenes here. Now, those are some steamy scenes indeed, I tell you. Ms McCarty seems to be far better at writing love scenes than romantic scenes at the moment, and I can only hope that she manages to fine tune her hand at writing realistic characters and poignant emotions one of these days.
In the end, I can only repeat here what I said about the previous book: I wouldn’t have given this book this high a score if the love scenes haven’t worked that well.