Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Wild Ride to Paradise by Renee Michaels

Intrepid lady gambler, Catharine 'Cat' Bennington's lucky streak has run out. Otis Harlow, the man who murdered her husband, has caught up with her.

Rancher Jake Turner, is a widower, and has finally acknowledged that he needs to find a wife to be a mother his two young daughters.

Needing a place to hide, Cat travels to Loving, Texas, pretending to be Jake's mail-order-bride. Otis, their common enemy, is hot on her heels.

Jake insists they marry, so he can give her the protection of his name, but she refuses. She believes he couldn't satisfy her particular needs.

He strikes a bargain with her, if he can fulfill all of her demands.

She agrees, thinking he is too unsophisticated to suit her, besides as soon as the danger has passed she was leaving Loving.

Little does she know Jake has a surprise or two in store for her.

Reviewer: avidscribe
Call me atavistic. Maybe it's my age or how well I was educated. English used to matter. Substitute French, Spanish, Italian ... this situation is becoming epidemic and is not only an English language problem. Punctuation used to be as important as spelling. A book didn't get published till several readers went over it with a fine-tooth comb because it was mandated. Books didn't get released till they were perfect. There used to be a value to getting it right and having a job well done. Increasingly, I find ebooks coming out with no adherence to these values. This book serves as an example of gross negligence.

There is NO excuse for the volume of grammatical errors and misspellings throughout this story. There were so many I couldn't avoid them and they were like land mines blowing up in my face every few pages tearing me out of all semblance of immersion in the plot. Commas in the wrong place or not used at all. Question marks where they don't belong or not used at all. Periods missing at the end of sentences. Run on sentences. Some errors were so egregious I had to read a line several times to understand what was being said. When the last name of the heroine got misspelled, it was clearly time to hang up my hat and push the book away. Seriously, no one is home. No one is caring to do right by this author. Or is it the fault of the publisher? Why are not one but TWO editors listed for this book? Were they blind or just punching a time clock? It boggles the mind, it really boggles.

This is from Red Rose publishing! Hey Red Rose! Did ANYONE bother to read Renee Michaels’ story before it was printed? For that matter, Renee, don’t you have well meaning friends who could be doing beta work for you? This loose-handed kind of publishing is becoming commonplace and I despise it. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Her loosened the crude rope and wrapped it around her waist tethering her to Fleur.
Not only did I have to stop and figure out what was being said, the absence of a comma called the length of it questionable.
"Calm down, Jake, your anger is going to make you reckless" his brother cautioned uselessly, because there were no words, that could ease the mounting fury that rode him.
No comma where it's needed and a comma where it isn't. Ghaaaa!!
The dreadful realization that in a short while she'd at the mercy of Otis Harlow fell on her like a ton of bricks.
Let's see. It's 1877. Ton of bricks. Ahem. Wasn't it possible to find a metaphor for her shock that wasn't so modern? And yet another example of a sentence missing its verb, btw.

Saying that, I can't even say I enjoyed the story ... and I did manage to slog through all the errors to get to the end, god knows why. The time period is 1877 and the feel and texture of this story is largely modern. Little effort went into authenticity of character, plot or background elements. To compare this to another author or period piece would be a disservice to the comparison but honest to god, the dialog, the exchanges, the personalities are so modern I don't know why the hell this was placed 130+ years into the past.

The story opens with the heroine bonking the bad guy (Otis) over the head with a chamber pot. That's probably one of only a handful of references that allow the book a claim to a period piece, by the way. She hightails it out of there and Otis pursues because he thinks she has a ledger of his that lists all the trafficking he's been doing with Army supplies that has made him rich. Makes complete sense to me (huh?) that he'd keep a ledger of his nefarious dealings, doesn't it? In a hurry to get out of town fast, she stops to have a menage before boarding a train to become a mail-order bride for a man who saw her in a saloon one time and has the hots for her.

Then there seems to be, oh, maybe a chapter or two missing? She’s already agreed to a marriage in name only, she’s there temporarily, she wants her own bedroom and accommodations ... but within a week Cat and her new husband are finding ways to brush up against one another, snatching kisses and caresses keeping them both in a constant state of arousal. We aren't given this time in exposition, however; it is done passively within a paragraph only. I don't care how worldly Cat is. It is still 1877 and women aren't jumping men with the knowing, feral appetite the writer gives Cat. It doesn't work.

And how's this for imagery:
The glistening inner flesh was bloated, begging for stimulation.
Ugh! Bloated? How about swollen? turgid? Bloated brings up connotations of dead bodies pulled from the water after seven days. Seriously?

The only element I found potentially interesting in the story gets abandoned halfway through! WTF? The man has two little girls he's raising on his own since his wife died and they need a mother. The older girl clings to Cat, idolizing and mimicking her and gives daddy a shopping list of hair products so she can look just like her new mom. There's potential there; the building of a relationship between Cat and the girls could have made the story memorable and precious. But no. Otis is prowling around, there are more menages to be had (and, typical alpha male, Jake "roars" as he orgasms which would certainly wake the kids), so his children need to be put out of harm's way and they disappear from the text and are never heard from again.

The absence of a single star would serve this book right. I give it ZIP, no stars. I'd give it instead a radiation button telling people it's nuclear waste and steer clear.

Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders


Anonymous said...

Ouch. Sounds like you had a bad experience. Sorry about that and thank you for this review. I had a similar book to review and I understand where you are coming from.

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