Saturday, 30 September 2017

Blood Oath

Author: Melissa Lenhardt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Type: e-book
Series: #2 in the Sawbones series
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Redhook Books
First Published: May 23, 2017
First Line: "We smelled him first."

Book Description from GoodReadsOutlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this action-packed follow up to Sawbones.

Laura Elliston and William Kindle are on the run -- from the Army and from every miscreant in the West eager to claim the $500 bounty for Laura's capture as their own. But the danger isn't just from those pursuing them. Laura and Kindle have demons of their own and a past that won't stay dead. Exhausted, scared, scarred and surrounded by enemies, neither realize the greatest danger is yet to come.

My Rating: 4 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Redhook Books for providing me with a complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: When I read Sawbones, the first book in this trilogy, I was smitten with the gritty writing of what life was like in the post-Civil War Wild West for a young, female doctor who was on the run from the law. In Blood Oath, Lenhardt continues the story quite literally where the first book left off. It had been a year and a half since I had read the first book but I remembered the gist of the plot and the characters ... or so I thought. Readers expecting a little reminder of what happened in the first book will be disappointed that barely any clues are given to past scenes or character connections making it a bit of a hard go for those of us who didn't just finish Sawbones. I would not recommend this book as a stand-alone read.

Life is hard in the West and Lenhardt continues to balance the love story between Laura and Kindle (and their funny banter) with the often dangerous, unforgiving life they've been forced to live. Laura continues to be haunted by the horrors that she lived through in the first book and I appreciated that the author didn't have Laura jump back into the fray with little or no repercussions from the horrific trauma she experienced. It felt much more authentic to see her struggle with her emotional scars and her reactions made her a compelling and sympathetic character.

The Sawbones trilogy is a gritty, sometimes gruesome, adventure romance set in the dangerous Wild West featuring two characters readers will root for as they try to catch a break in their seemingly unending, tumultuous lives. It has some good twists and Lenhardt doesn't shy away from big issues involving the effects of violent abuse and the complicated and volatile relationship between the white settlers and indigenous people. I look forward to jumping into Badlands, the final book in this series soon.

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