HQN Books published this western contemporary romance book on December 27, 2016. I read it in paperback format, courtesy of the publisher. Although I received an advanced reading copy for review, my opinions were not influenced.
Wyoming Brave includes elements of romance, sex, mystery, and action.
The Wyoming men are back! In their quest for true love on the range, are these ranchers bold enough to open their hearts to the women under their protection?
Ren Colter may own an enormous ranch in Wyoming, but he scorns his wealth. He’s closed himself off since his fiancée left him months ago, so he’s shocked when he allows Meredith Grayling to stay with him. He tells himself it’s only to protect the blonde beauty from a stalker, but Ren’s alpha instincts soon kick in.
The last thing Merrie wants is a devastatingly handsome man like Ren lurking around her. He’s too experienced, too appealing for her already shot nerves. What she needs is just to get away from it all: the man haunting her waking dreams and the one hunting her like an animal. But no woman escapes this Colter cowboy!
Jen’s Review of WYOMING BRAVE
This review first appeared on our old site, booksthathook.com. I have edited and (hopefully) improved it.
Merrie and Sari are the abused, adult daughters of a mob-connected man who had killed a woman. The son of the woman wanted revenge and had arranged for hits on Merrie and Sari. Sari’s hitman had been caught, but Merrie’s was still after her. So, for her safety, Merrie travels to Wyoming to stay with her friend’s brother, Ren, at his ranch.
Ren had recently been humiliated by a woman, and was not in the mood for female company. He did not take well to Merrie’s presence. Also, he assumed she was dating his brother, which meant she was probably a money-hungry slut, in Ren’s opinion. He treated Merrie accordingly.
Merrie and Ren have to get to know one another, to learn the truth and, eventually, fall in love.
Normally I don’t have difficulty suspending disbelief. I did, though, while reading Wyoming Brave.The whole idea that a guy hired a hitman when he was drunk and couldn’t remember who he hired seemed far-fetched. Also, I had a hard time believing that he hired two different hitmen, one for each sister.
Because I found this hard to believe, the danger didn’t seem real to me. Of course, I was wrong, and Merrie was in very serious danger. I’m just saying that I didn’t feel it beforehand. That could also be because Merrie seemed more afraid of Ren than she did of the man hired to kill her. Perhaps if there had been at least one prior attempt on her life, I would have been more concerned for her safety.
Despite the lack of suspense in some places, the book moved along at a steady pace. I was surprised it didn’t get boring in the middle, where many books lag. The only place I felt it could have moved quicker was after the climax. I’m not the kind of reader that wants to know everything about what happens to a couple after they get together.
Merrie, having had a painful and sheltered upbringing, was difficult for me to relate to because she was easily intimidated, fragile, and gentle. However, I wanted to see her happy and safe. Something about Merrie made me like her, even though I usually prefer tougher heroines.
Ren was also hard for me to relate to. He acted unreasonably and held grudges. Again, I still end up liking him. This is to the author’s credit. Diana Palmer excelled at building up all the characters, balancing their flaws with admirable qualities.
I really liked the romantic development. It never felt forced. The relationship changed over time.
It took me some time to get used to Diana Palmer’s writing style. She’s very straightforward. She tells you what the characters’ personalities and hang-ups are. I’m not used to this kind of ‘telling,’ but I could see the merits. I was like: at least we got that out-of-the-way and I know why he is the way he is.
I also had to adjust to the omniscient narration. Palmer wrote the story in third person with multiple points of view that switch abruptly. From one paragraph to the next, you can be in anyone’s head, even one of the minor characters. I’m so accustomed to third-person, limited, point of view, that I got distracted every time the point of view changed. I would have to backtrack sometimes to figure out whose head I was in.
The author didn’t spend a lot of time on setting details, which I appreciated. The descriptions didn’t bog down the story. Even without a lot of details, I could imagine the locations.
My main complaint about the writing is the repetition of information, which wasn’t always consistent. Palmer repeated conversations and details. On the other hand, the characters sometimes acted like they didn’t know the information. For example, Merrie explained to Ren why she couldn’t dance. Later, he acted surprised that she could dance, and she explained it again. I was also pretty sure that Merrie had already told Sari who Snowpaw was. But, Sari commented about Snowpaw like she didn’t know who he was.
Do I Recommend?
Although I had some complaints about the way the book was written, I enjoyed the story a lot. The characters and the romantic development were great, which more than made up for any of the negative things I have mentioned. Now that I know what to expect with the writing style, I’m okay with it. I would read another book by Diana Palmer.
If you like romance novels about sexy ranchers with a little humor and danger mixed in, you should read WYOMING BRAVE. It’s the kind of naturally progressing romance I appreciate and enjoy, with damaged characters who have to overcome their own issues before they can be successful in a relationship.
My Rating for WYOMING BRAVE: 4 out of 5 stars (B)