THE DALTON BOYS TAKE THE REINS
The infamous Dalton Gang was once known for riding—and playing—hard. Now, as owners of the Dalton Ranch in Crow Hill, Texas, they’re working from sunup to sundown. But one look from the right woman can tempt them back into the saddle…
When a walk on the wild side turned into a nightmare for Everly Grant, she escaped her abusive ex by taking a job with Crow Hill’s small newspaper. Now assigned to write a human-interest story on the return of the Dalton Gang, she soon discovers that Boone Mitchell could give her plenty more than a good interview. As much as she craves safety, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Boone’s dangerous streak. Before she takes the cowboy to bed, she lays down the law: There are no strings attached, and she’s the one in charge.
That’s fine for Boone. In fact, Everly teaches him things no other woman ever dared. Soon they find themselves wanting more than their simple arrangement will allow. But to get there, Everly will have to open up in ways she thought she never could…
This blurb came from the author’s website.
Throughout the two previous installments Undeniable and Unbreakable, Boone seemed to be the most grounded. He had a loving supportive family who practically adopted the two other boys and directed them to the Daltons when they needed to work off some excess energy. So, what would cause Boone to take off and vanish, then upon his return keep everything focused on the ranch, only coming into town when unavoidable? I was curious about his reasons for lying low and as the only unattached member of the Dalton Gang, he held a special place in my heart. I was also super curious to find out what type of personality would catch his interest so I couldn’t wait to read Unforgettable, and was really sad when I kept trying to turn the page only to discover I had reached the end.
I loved this story. Watching two people who closed themselves off from everyone else due to a mixture of guilt and fear learn to trust and open up to others. Kent provided their back-story in bits and pieces as they discovered and spent more time with each other. Their slow growing emotional connection was a delight to watch even as they explored their mutual physical attraction. Yes, they had a few misunderstandings but they took the time to work through them. They also discovered that each had some hidden sore spots but due to their past experiences and how they considered the relationship a purely physical one, they were able to ask questions or leave sensitive subjects alone without taking offense at the reaction. The thing I found most interesting was how that same undemanding acceptance fostered their emotional connection and encouraged conversation on those same topics. As they grew more comfortable with each other, both Boone and Everly started opening up to other people. They both learned that the issues, which left the biggest negative mental mark, really weren’t that big compared to what could be after all. I am not going into further detail about the shadows from their past except to say that I think the way Kent resolved or handled them was very impressive.
“There’s something to be said for getting a woman out of her clothes. Not the ones who’ll strip for anyone, but the ones who put that kind of trust in a particular man.”
“What kind of trust is that?” she asked, and he couldn’t tell if she was playing with him, or wasn’t sure what he meant, or a combination of both.
He decided to lay it on the line. “That he’ll do right by her, and in more ways than making her come.”
“That he won’t go talking about what they’ve done together. That he’ll keep her secrets close. That’ll he value what she’s given him, and take care of that gift, because that’s what it is, that privilege. Sharing something like that with one woman only and no one else ever again…”
“You want that.”
He nodded. “Most men do. Those who recognize all the things a woman can offer. Things that aren’t between her legs.”
In addition to Boone and Everly, Kent kept my interest in the town of Crow Hill itself. I saw how work on the ranch was progressing, the character of several of the townsfolk, the lingering ghosts of the past, and a potential attraction. I enjoyed getting a chance to know some of the other inhabitants in what appeared to be a much less hostile environment. The change in atmosphere of the town when they were dealing with Boone or his two friends was striking and served to highlight how a group of friends who caused the same amount of mischief could be thought of differently based on their family life. This just screamed “small town” to me and really brought Crow Hill’s impression of the Dalton Gang members and Boone’s distance in sharp contrast.
Kent had so many different elements in Unforgettable that I really enjoyed. I fell for the slow romance, the character growth, the town, and hints of a romance to come **crosses fingers**. I liked both Boone and Everly and thought their pairing was a lot of fun. This has been one of the most enjoyable western series that I have read in a while. I am both looking forward to and hoping for another installment set in Crow Hill.
I give Unforgettable a B+