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“If you are an avid reader, then you are probably familiar with a common phenomenon. There is usually that book...somewhere in between book 5 and book 500 where you just sit back and take it all in. The point where the story and the characters matter more than anything else...more than sleep, more...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Overall Rating: 4.85 // Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 5.0 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 1.0 / Suspense: 3.5 // Historical Flavor: 2.5 // Laughter: 16 / Grins: 3 // Tears: 6 / Teary: 7
Open Country: 4.85:
Warner displays her skills as a gifted storyteller in this wonderfully entertaining romance. Readers are drawn deep into the story because it is so easy to experience the same deeply-felt emotions of laughter and tears right along with the hero and heroine. The author's sense of humor is evident as she interlaces the romance with humorous, well-written dialogue. The rich flavor of the story is rounded out by the addition of several well-developed, multi-faceted supporting characters.
Patrick Henry "Hank" Wilkins: This giant, bear-sized man revealed a vulnerable heart hidden behind a silent assessing gaze. It was so easy to love this man who had a way with animals, children and was always taking things apart to see how they worked. Loved the way Hank was determined to walk his own path in spite of living in the shadow of his older brother.
Quote: When he had something to say, he spoke. When he didn't, he didn't. (page 100)
Molly McFarlane: Could not help but feel an emotional connection to this heroine who has spent her teen years training at her father's side, having had no beaus, no girlish chatter, nor party dresses. Could not help but admire this strong-willed, self-reliant, compassionate heroine who continued to get up and fight each and every time she was knocked down. A very strong woman whose desire to be loved drove her to perform great deeds.
Story Line: 4.0:
What a unique way to place a woman in the path of a man who had walled off his heart. Have her marry him while he is unconscious! Then give her the gift of healing and include a brother who needs those skills to blackmail her into taking care of her 'husband.' A great idea that was entertainingly developed.
Warner starts off the story with a bang as Molly finds herself fleeing with her niece and nephew to protect them from an evil stepfather. After a train derailment, Molly resorts to deceit to try and secure money for her continued flight. The story become remarkably slower until the end of the book where Molly has to deal with the villain sent to find her.
Drawing emotions from her readers is one of the skills at which Warner excels. This book forces readers to experience the full range of emotions, from side-splitting laughter to moments of joy and sweetness, to experiencing fear and pain, and to shedding tears right along with the characters.
A beautiful relationship slowly developed between a great bear of a man who protected his heart by watching life pass him by and a woman who had given up hope of having any kind of future that involved a husband and family.
In spite of the romantic kisses and strong awareness between Hank and Molly, when it come to the actual lovemaking, the readers were left out in the cold. No spice. No sizzle.
There is a degree of suspense running through the entire story. Will Fletcher find Molly, Charlie and Penny? What will happen when Hank finds out that Brady and Molly have lied to him about his marriage? How are Hank and Molly going to win against the brutal villain sent to find the book taken from Fletcher's home?
Secondary Characters: 5.0:
Warner's secondary character development is top notch. These characters add so much realism and interest to the story. It was wonderful that Brady, Jessica, Melanie and Dougal (from book one) were included in this second book. And the interaction between Hank and the two children (Charlie and Penny) was phenomenal, particularly the dialogue.
See Wolf Bear Does Books (http://goo.gl/WNlfY) for a more in-depth, detailed review of *Open Country*.”
“KOBO/SONY”Talthor wrote this review Sunday, April 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Blood Rose Trilogy book 2:Molly is running from men trying to kill her. She enters into a marriage with a fellow train passenger after he is injured in a derailment, although he is unconscious. His amnesia gradually returns, and he isn't sure about the marriage, but love wins out. they bond, and triumph over the killers.”Karen S wrote this review Tuesday, July 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great second book.”Toni Gilbert wrote this review Wednesday, June 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Blood Rose Trilogy, Book 2. Author Kaki Warner”MauiMary wrote this review Friday, September 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“excellent”Krissy B wrote this review Monday, May 16, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you are an avid reader, then you are probably familiar with a common phenomenon. There is usually that book...somewhere in between book 5 and book 500 where you just sit back and take it all in. The point where the story and the characters matter more than anything else...more than sleep, more than getting the laundry done, more than fixing supper. You can’t think about anything else until you get to ‘The End’ and even then you still can’t shake the story from your memory.
Open Country is one of those books.
Molly has just rescued her niece and nephew from their terrifying step-father after her sister passes away. Lost and penniless, she and the children board a train heading for California. Along the way there is a horrible accident. Now, Molly finds herself working feverishly to help injured passengers. One of those passengers is Hank Wilkins, who the doctor swears isn’t going to make it through the week. Molly, being desperate and seeing an opportunity she cannot pass up marries Hank so she can claim the settlement money once he passes.
There’s just one little hiccup in Molly’s plan...Hank survives.
Hank wakes up to discover not only did he make through the train wreck but he’s....married? Hank has no recollection of getting married or his wife. She feels like a stranger to him. Yet, she and his brother Brady confirm they are really wed, so Hank must be confused from the accident. This beautiful woman who saved his life and repaired his injured arm must mean something to him. After healing from the worst of his injuries, Hank and Molly head back to his ranch to make a fresh start and try to remember what they mean to each other. Molly is overwhelmed with guilt for the lies she’s told Hank. But with her brother-in-law hot on her heels, and her niece and nephew’s lives at risk, can Molly truly afford to be honest with the man she’s falling in love with?
Open Country is book two in the Blood Rose Trilogy. Brady and Jessica from book one, Pieces of Sky, play a large role in this book. If you’ve read the first, you’re going to love this continuation of their story. If you haven’t, there is no time like the present to catch up! Will you be lost if you don’t read the first? Not really, mostly because this is Hank and Molly’s story and Warner does refresh the main points from book one when needed. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it!)
What is so irresistible about Hank? It’s his rough edges, the macho attitude, but underneath all of that is the most tender romantic hero ever put on paper. It’s the grizzly man who responds to ‘I love you’ with ‘Me too.’ The man who jumps to anger and irrational thought when his female is in danger...the man who refers to pregnancy as ‘being good breeders.’ He’s the kind of man who feels honor-bound to this woman and this marriage even though he doesn’t remember anything about it. He doesn’t question it, he just knows if they say it’s true, it must be. He is the quiet hero that we easily swoon over. The shy individual who doesn’t want the acknowledgment from his good deeds, but he does them anyway, with the goal to come home at the end of the day feeling content. Being the invisible, hard working man...just like everyone else. But of course, he’s not.
"I would never try to control you," she said.
He snorted, "Hell, you already do."
Letting her hands fall to her lap, she frowned at him. "How?"
"By walking into the room. Saying good morning. Breathing." He grinned, "But I don't mind."
Warner knows how to grab your emotional interest. She writes first kisses that steal your breath away and turn your mind to mush (much like the heroine in the story). There are moments of such tenderness you either can’t help but smile or cry tears of joy. She also writes scenes with such great medical detail you nearly cringe at the difficult parts. It’s that attention to detail that draws you in, that makes you care about these people. These characters are so carefully crafted you almost question whether or not they are real. It’s not just reading a story, or adventure...it’s investing time in the lives of the characters. The characters in this world Warner has created are intelligent, witty, and of course, hopelessly flawed. Those characteristics are what make them so perfect and so irresistible.
Open Country is a emotionally compelling story of passion, betrayal, family and the power of unwavering love. It focuses on an old-fashioned courting of an extraordinary and brilliant female by a independent and compassionate man. It also demonstrates the extraordinary bonds of family. This book is guaranteed to pull everything from you. You’ll weep, blush, laugh, cringe and sigh...and once you finish, you’ll want to go back to page one and experience it all over again.
Overall Review: 5/5
Heat Level: 3/5
Lisa @ Once Upon A Chapter”
“good”alaina wrote this review Monday, November 22, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The death of Molly McFarlane’s sister Nellie forces Molly to assume responsibility for the welfare of her young niece and nephew. When it becomes clear the children’s step-father Daniel Fletcher is involved in dealings that will ultimately endanger them, Molly takes the children and heads west, intending to put as much distance between Fletcher and the children as possible.
Molly, having served as her physician/surgeon father’s assistant from a young age, is a capable woman who quickly realizes that the scant amount of money she has left will not provide for her and the children for very long. Fearful that Fletcher has sent trackers after them, Molly’s quandary over how to keep them safe is met with an unusual solution in the form of a tragic train derailment. When Molly discovers the railway is paying a death benefit to families of those killed in the train wreck, she marries a man who is not expected to survive his injuries, planning to collect the settlement money when he dies.
Complications arise almost from the moment Molly sets her plan in motion: her husband turns out to be from a wealthy local family and he has a brother who is suspicious about the circumstances under which his confirmed-bachelor brother was wed. To make matters worse, Molly’s years of training will not permit her to stand back and allow the man to die of his injuries when she has the expertise to save him. Molly applies herself to the task of saving the man’s life, all the while fearful of what will happen when he recovers enough to expose her as a fraud.
As Hank Wilkins recovers from his injuries at his family ranch, he puzzles over the fact that he has no memory of his wife or his adopted children while Molly wrestles with how and when to reveal the truth about their sham marriage to Hank. The handsome, taciturn man who once represented nothing more than a cash settlement to fund her journey west becomes the embodiment of the dream for love and family Molly has long denied herself. Their fragile bond is shattered when Hank’s memory returns before Molly finds the courage to reveal the truth.
As the trackers sent by Fletcher close in on their quarry, Molly and Hank struggle to find a way to begin again, unaware that Molly’s nephew has evidence of a conspiracy involving Fletcher that Fletcher is willing to do anything—including commit murder—to recover.
Open Country offers more than the standard “woman and children fleeing danger” plot. Although Molly’s certainty that Fletcher’s men are after them is mentioned often, no real sense of danger is instilled in the reader until Molly has an encounter with the most evil of their pursuers well into the story. Up to that point, the danger is talked about, but the leisurely pace of the novel stalls the element of suspense. The heart of the story focuses on the unfolding relationship between Molly and Hank, with the author’s gift for insightful dialogue and her ability to capture complex emotions lending credibility to the developing romance.
Open Country is a well-written, satisfying read for those who enjoy themes about the redemption of trust and the capacity for mutual attraction to turn into love.
“While I'm giving this book a review, I must say that I didn't actually finish this book (which is why I won't give it a rating). There were a couple of reasons why I gave up on the book, which I would like to share with you.
First of all, there are a lot of swear words in this book. Several characters were taking the Lord's name in vain, and there were a couple of other swear words that were used rather frequently. Second, there were a couple of inappropriate/unnecessary scenes that I came across in just the first part of the book.
That being said, I was really intrigued by the characters and the plot. Warner's writing is engaging, and I appreciated the action that drew me into the story right away. However, I feel that there is a way to handle gritty emotions and real situations with authenticity without dragging the reader through the gutter, so to speak. I would cite author Julie Lessman as an example of how someone can tactfully handle "edgy" situations.
I "met" Kaki Warner on Seekerville, so when I saw this book of hers at Borders a while ago, I decided to give it a try. And while I think from what I read that her writing is good, I did not enjoy her use of language and inappropriate scenes, so I cannot recommend it.
*I should also say that I am aware this is not a Christian fiction book.* ”