I fell in love with Kaki Warner’s writing when I read the first book in her Blood Rose trilogy, Pieces of Sky, last year. Her characters were so well written and the romances were just *chef’s kiss* perfection. Once I finished that trilogy, I picked up Warner’s only attempt (so far) at modern Western romance, Rough Creek. I was shocked at how much I DISLIKED that book. It ended up being a DNF because it was so bland and boring. However, I wanted to give her books another chance so I picked up the Runaway Brides trilogy. I also bought the spin off trilogy, Heroes of Heartbreak Creek. These books are historical Western romances, like the Blood Rose trilogy, so I fully expected to love them… Unfortunately, as of right now, that isn’t the case. Heartbreak Creek, what I’m reviewing today, is simply okay BUT I have high hopes for the rest of the series. Let’s talk about it! This review will be spoiler free.
I like to give a heat level rating for all books with romance. If you’re curious about my rating system, you can check it out here.
Edwina Ladoux hoped becoming a mail-order bride would be her way to a better life, but as soon as she arrives in Heartbreak, Colorado, and meets Declan Brodie and his four rambunctious children, she realizes she’s made a mistake. Luckily, Edwina and Declan agreed on a three month courtship period, which should give them time to get the proxy marriage annulled. Except that as the weeks pass, thoughts of annulment turn into hopes for a real marriage- until Declan’s first wife suddenly returns.
- Heat Level-
This book was so close to being fantastic. A romance set in the 1800s Wild West is usually my thing but unfortunately, Heartbreak Creek fell a little short.
In typical Kaki Warner style, the characters had a lot of depth and I was truly interested in all of them, even the villains. I especially loved the two main characters, Declan and Edwina. Declan is the strong, silent type while Edwina is independent and feisty. Those types of characters being thrown together for a slow burn romance should have been a match made in bookish heaven for me… and it would have been if the pacing was better.
The book started off strong but really got bogged down in the middle. I found myself skimming a good bit until the last 15% or so. This was a more plot driven story rather than character driven so events kept happening to keep Edwina and Declan apart. The slow burn aspect actually didn’t go on for that long but they still couldn’t be together because of different circumstances. In my opinion, that isn’t entertaining to read about, it’s annoying. This might be a me thing but I always prefer character development over anything else and I left this book still not really “knowing” the characters. Right when things got super interesting, the story ended. This is part of a trilogy, though, and while the next book follows one of the side characters, I know that the main characters from this one do make an appearance. I can only hope that they’ll be further fleshed out because they have a ton of potential.
Heartbreak Creek isn’t bad, it’s just disappointing.The ending was fantastic and since I didn’t read the synopsis beforehand, I was totally surprised by some of the twists. I do look forward to finishing the series because I am interested but I wish I felt more invested than I do.
I have yet to find a Western romance, by any author, that is on par with Pieces of Sky but of course, I’ll keep reading them until I do. If you know of any, please let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!