Monday, January 18, 2010

Touched by Love by Tracy Garrett


The time period is pre-Civil War Texas. In Touched by Love by Tracy Garrett, gun-for-hire, Jaret Walker, was hired to capture a man and escort him to a Mexican prison. What he didn't realize was the man he put in prison was accused of a crime he didn't commit to get him out of the way so that an unknown villian could steal the family ranch. Jaret tries to correct his mistake by rescuing the innocent man from prison, but the poor man gets shot in the process. Injured and unable to travel to his home, Jaret offers to go to the man's ranch to try to figure out who set him up and protect his sister, Isabel. Unfortunately for Jaret, most of the ranch employees are suspects and Isabel is insistent that she can take care of herself.

This being a romance, it's no surprise that the guy gets the girl and the bad guy gets what he deserves. There isn't a great deal of suspense here since the identity of the villian is anything but shocking. The author also trots out (pardon the pun) alot of western cliches to kill time until the final climax... a barn fire, a psychotic stallion that only our heroine can control, attempted murder by rattlesnake and poison, a fake marriage to prevent a hanging, two kidnappings, and so on. I think the only things missing were a bank/stage robbery and a stampede.

BEST FEATURE: The scene where the previously mentioned pyschotic stallion, crazed by the barn fire, threatens to trample our heroine. When Isabel finally gets the horse under control, she looks up and discovers Jaret standing close by with a rifle pointed at the animal's head. That sequence was written so well that it took my breath away.

WORST FEATURE: The inconsistencies... mainly the confusion over whether the villian is trying to kill Isabel or kidnap her for a forced marriage. Which is it?

PARENTAL WARNING: minor sexual content and violence

MY RATING: 2 - Strong effort, but for Western or Romance lovers only.

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