Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jodi Thomas - When a Texan Gambles

It all started when she got thrown off the wagon train. Now, a crook is dead, and Sarah Andrews has been raffled off in a "Wife Lottery." That seems bad enough—until she discovers her new groom with a knife in his back.
He just barely survives—and now if Sarah doesn't get him out of town fast, someone is going to make sure Sam Gatlin doesn't live long enough to enjoy the honeymoon. No matter what he may have done, or how many enemies he has, Sarah feels she owes him. After all, he saved her from a life in prison. But never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that this dangerously attractive Texan would steal her heart and make her want to take the biggest gamble of all.

Comment: This is the second installment of the Wife Lottery series by Jodi Thomas. I've read the first book practically a year ago and I liked it enough to keep reading.
I've purchased the remaining books and I have them for months now. A year after I decided to complete the series. This month I picked the second story.

This story features Sarah, another one of the three ladies that was put of the train and part of the allegedly murder of a man. Along with Bailee and Lacy, Sarah was given away in a wife lottery contest as a way to stay out of prison. Sarah was given to Sam Gaitlin, a man everyone knows is a bounty hunter.
Sam doesn't exactly know why he wanted a wife in the first place but she seemed so innocent and fragile he couldn't let her be. He thought only to take her to the house he has but along the way he has to keep Sarah safe, help friends and deal with his ill fame that makes everyone try to take him down. Will they reach happiness at last?

Well, after a year I have to confess I didn't remember many details from the first book but I took a look at it, especially the end so I could recall some information. Once gain, I liked the emotional end like I did when I read it but it didn't offer much information about this couple and I remembered the lottery took place in the beginning. Still I was left with the feeling I really liked the first book and I wanted to experience it again with this one.

However, I'm afraid I didn't get the same experience with this one. It's just not as romantic or captivating as the other.
Two things that obviously had to be different but still they are more lacking in my opinion happened:
First, the couple is different thus their behavior and relationship is also different.
Second, the narrative seemed more boring and dragging in this story.

I'll start with this. The plot isn't as special as the first book's. In that one, I was engrossed in the way the relationship shaped what happened because what mattered was how the couple was developing their feelings to each other and how that affected what surrounded them.
In this book the plot seemed weaker and honestly I didn't really care about Sam's need to stay alive and all the bounty hunter's job needs and issues. This narrative was heavily set on the journey Sam and Sarah had to make to reach their house but I felt the beginning was so boring that I had real trouble staying focused on what was happening.
Things dragged on and the surrounding sub plots didn't captivate me either so while this happened, the couple's relationship had to keep up the novel but I felt that it also didn't happen.

The couple of the first book was slowly falling in love and I loved their scenes together. With Sam and Sarah I never had the feeling they were falling in love. Sure we see some romantic and hero-like gestures from Sam mostly but there's not a connection I think is enough to support this romance. In my opinion they never really matched as a couple. 

Sam is a man full of secrets and hidden deeds and I got his honorable character but he didn't strike me as being special, as having some sort of trait that would make him unforgettable. I mean, there's nothing wrong with his personality or characterization, the author made him likable, but..it's not special enough.
Sarah has had a hard childhood and life. Everything that ever happened to her was duty done and I felt she never had a goal in life but going with others would make her do. I understand her need for stability and her personality was sure to be endearing to the reader. But personally I think she was too bland and not even her past which is surely meant to be emotional and heartbreaking moved me to the point where I thought the is the ultimate heroine!

So, the narrative isn't as richly done as the other book - the only other work by the author I can use as comparison - and the main couple isn't as devoted or special to make this amazing. Individually they didn't convince me and as a romantic pair it also didn't happen.
This story is a bit of a disappointment despite the trademark western elements that give some life to this story. I really hope the next one is better.
As for this one I already forgot some things and I assume it won't be one of those that remain with me for too long...
Grade: 5/10

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