Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty. Where do I start? It started off with a bang that sucked me right into the story and ended on a more emotional note, one that had the tears flowing. Oh how I love a book that takes me on a roller coaster ride emotionally.
I won't go into the plot or try to summarize it for you as so many others have done, but I do have to ask you one question: Did you all laugh aloud as I did at the rooster scene? And the second one on page 428? I must share the snippet:
She looked down at the red pacifier in her hand and then at the dog. "What do you think, Boone? Should we throw away our scruples or make a stand for what's right?"
Boone eyed the monster. It spread its wings and crowed. Mid-crow, Boone shivered and let out a moan of pure terror.
Desi glanced at the outhouse. Shadow would be popping out of there any minute now, which meant expediency was her best bet if she didn't want a twenty-minute lecture. "You're right. We don't have time for scruples."
She tossed the pacifier on the ground. Cantankerous went for it with unholy zeal. She shook her head as he hopped on board. "That's just not right."
LOL…No, it's not right, but it sure is freaking funny. That as well as the scene where Caine is teaching Desi to shoot and she misses on purpose (the purpose is a kiss), shooting the outhouse instead of her target, and Sam comes running out pulling up his drawers, gun at the ready. Snort. Ms. McCarty paints a very vivid picture, one that made me laugh out loud.
I felt so badly for all the men of the Hell's Eight, what they went through when they were little boys. The old West was a son of a bitch, wasn't it? Forcing boys to grow into men before their time, and allowing women to be used as any man saw fit. Son of a bitch, indeed!
I enjoyed watching Desi bloom as she found her footing on the ranch, and mostly after she learned that she didn't have to work herself into the ground to earn Caine's respect. She'd already had it.
I liked Caine from the first page. I found his hard exterior very attractive, but when his sensitive side came to the fore, that was when I fell in love with him.
Together Caine and Desi learn to give and take, to bend, and in the process find love. She's the one thing he'd never expected to find, he's not at all what she expected her husband to be, yet together they find the one thing neither knew they were looking for: Each other.
Caine's Reckoning is a story of hope, a story of grit and determination. At the core of the story I found love, laughter, and family. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time, and one I will read time and time again as I anxiously await the next book in the series: Sam's Creed.
My grade: A. You can buy it here, here, and on November 1st here.