Published: November 29, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Everyone in Hellcat Canyon has always known that Glory Greenleaf has an amazing singing voice. And while Glory counts herself among those who know how talented she is, and she knows if she ever makes it out of Hellcat Canyon fame awaits her, getting out isn’t all that easy. For one thing, her family needs her. For another she’s never really left her home town and she’s actually pretty shy. And there’s something more, a secret she has never shared with anyone. There’s a man who has always had her heart, even though he broke it.
Eli Barlow knows his place in the world and is comfortable in it. As deputy sheriff of Hellcat Canyon the rules and laws are laid out and he’s good to go following them. But the one thing he cannot control is his heart. That is something Glory Greenleaf captured years before. So much so that on the day after his 17th birthday he carved their initials into the eternity tree—sealing them together, for better or worse, forever.
Together they remain in a kind of stasis…circling each other, waiting for something to shift their words. That something could very well be hotter than hot movie star, Franco Francone.
I enjoyed Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal series and she was earmarked in my mind as a historical romance writer. I’ve seen long-time favorite authors try to make the shift from one genre to the other and not done it well. Most notably is when a fabulous contemporary romance writer tried to move to women’s fiction (which I generally find pretty depressing to read so stay away from it, even when it’s a favorite author writing it.) When I saw Long had begun to write a contemporary series, Hellcat Canyon, I hesitated to pick it up. I just did not want to be disappointed if it didn’t measure up to her historical romances. I needn’t have worried. Long out does herself in this series. She really hits her stride. I totally loved the first book in the series, HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON and WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK is even better.
On the surface both books are your basic contemporary romance and can be read as such. You have your couples who want each other…in WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK they have loved each other for their entire lifetimes and in the romance formula they have their obstacles and then find their happy ever after.
But Long gives readers so much more. If the reader chooses he or she can take even more from the story. In HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON she takes the almost improbable scenario of a wildly popular Hollywood star coming to a small town and meeting and falling in love with a local girl. And how many of us at one time or another didn’t have that fantasy? But that story goes more deeply into who people are below the surface. You can read it as a straight romance or drink in that deeper introspection.
In WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK she not only paints these amazing scenes so much so that you know what it feels like to be inside the Misty Cat, feeling the scarred wood of the tables, smelling the scents of grilled burgers and beer and overhearing local conversation. She takes you into the hearts of two people that have been broken and, at times, you wonder if their hurts will ever be healed. Long tells her story in layers that wrap you into them as her characters’ lives unfold.
Each of the books is a complete stand alone on its own. Franco, Glory and Eli are introduced in book 1 and the main characters, T.J. and Britt, are mentioned, but you do not have to read them in order. If you have been, as I was, reluctant to read Long’s new genre, don’t be…you are missing some really good reads.
I looked for and so far haven’t seen a third book in this series – here’s hoping the publisher is smart enough to keep the series going because it is a really good one.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.