Monday, March 20, 2017

A Down to Earth Western Romance: Forever a Hero (Review)

For the youngest Carson brother, finding—and fixing—trouble seems to be all in a day's work

Mace Carson doesn't consider himself a hero. Back in college, he came upon a woman in trouble and intervened—but he was just one irate Wyoming cowboy with his boots planted firmly on the side of right. Now a successful vintner, Mace is shocked to be reunited with the woman he saved. But it turns out she's in Wyoming on business…a corporate executive representing the company that wants to buy his winery. Only, he's not selling.

Kelly Wright has never forgotten that horrible night ten years ago when Mace came to her rescue, has never forgotten him. The surprising success of a winery in the middle of ranch country has brought her to Mustang Creek, and she's secretly thrilled to discover Mace at the helm. Reluctant to mix business with pleasure, Kelly vows to keep things professional, until her attacker is released from prison and comes for vengeance…against both of them.
Forever a Hero
The Carsons of Mustang Creek #3
Linda Lael Miller
Pub Date: 3/21/17
HQN Books
Genre: Western Romance
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Linda Lael Miller revisits the Carsons of Mustang Creek, this time focusing on the youngest Carson brother: Mace. In Forever a Hero, Kelly Wright is on a mission to persuade vintner Mace to sell his small but successful winery to Great Grapes International. Despite their former acquaintance, Kelly the maiden in distress and Mace her knight in shining armor, Kelly is determined not to mix pleasure with business.

I love western romances and Forever a Hero is one of the best I've read so far. The story takes off after Mace saves Kelly from an unfortunate accident, yet again. The tension between the two characters is palpable as they try to figure out how to proceed. Mace is determined not to sell, but he's willing to keep Kelly around to explore their personal connection. Mace and Kelly are two intellectuals with a passion for wine. While Mace focuses on perfecting the taste and tone of each of his wines, Kelly is the marketing guru. She knows just the right words to use to convince others of her ideas. The two are an obvious match and its fun to see them come around to the same conclusion.

A bit of suspense is thrown into the mix of this storyline when Kelly's attacker is released from a ten year stint in jail. The big question is whether or not he's willing to risk going back to jail for the sake of getting revenge. This part of the plot rounds the story out a bit, but I actually would have liked to see it expanded upon. This character was mostly a shadow that caused Kelly and Mace to watch their backs, and it didn't make a strong impact until the end of the novel. Even then it was over and done with in a matter of paragraphs.

The plot is fast paced but leaves enough time for readers to experience the fresh Wyoming landscape.  I even feel like I went to the Mountain Winery vineyard myself and walked among the rows and rows of growing grapes. Linda Lael Miller has a way of writing characters who are so in tune with their surroundings that their stories feel authentic. Their desires and goals are so believable and realistic which adds a rich layer of drama when plans don't work out quite in the way they expected. Fans of the Carson brothers will revel in this latest installment, and readers unfamiliar will be itching to visit Mustang Creek!
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*



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