Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Boots Under Her Bed

Boots Under Her Bed by Jodi Thomas, Jo Goodman, Kaki Warner and Alison Kent

Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 0425267849
ISBN-13: 978-0425267844

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jodi Thomas on the WEB: Website, Twitter, facebook, goodreads

Jo Goodman on the WEB: Websitefacebook, goodreads

Kaki Warner on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, facebook, goodreads

Alison Kent on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Boots Under Her Bed, courtesy of Alison Kent's website.

Synopsis:

From four acclaimed authors come four all-new novellas featuring the rugged men of the West and the women who want them…

From Jodi Thomas...Callie has done a lot of crazy things, but it’ll take one more to prove she isn’t nuts: find a husband, fast! Her only requirement: he has to be taller than she is and swear not to have her committed during their ruse of a marriage.

From Jo Goodman...Felicity Ravenwood was raised to be independent-minded, but when this runaway bride opposes her father’s choices, it is up to Nat Church to bring her around. But he doesn’t count on springing her from jail, holding her hostage, or falling head over boot-heels in love.

From Kaki Warner...Two strangers on a train have more in common than they know—both have hidden purposes and ties to a Nebraska bank robbery. But when their schemes unravel, they find a bigger surprise awaiting them than either could have imagined.

From Alison Kent...When runaway New York socialite Maeve Daugherty joins her father’s bodyguard Zeb Crow on his personal mission of revenge, what was a slightly scandalous new life as a bookkeeper for an infamous San Antonio brothel becomes downright dangerous. But that’s not stopping Maeve from having the time of her life.


Thoughts:

Boots Under Her Bed is the new historical romance anthology from four well known romance writers, Jodi Thomas, Jo Goodman, Kaki Warner and Alison Kent. These four short novella's offer readers who have never read these authors a chance to see if their writing style appeals to them. It also offers readers who know and love their work a bonus. A short work that will entice them to read more from their favorites.
With stories ranging from bank robbery, runaway brides and socialites to jail breaks and hasty weddings, this anthology set in the West has something to offer just about every kind of romance fan. A great collection of novella's with a Western theme!

What I liked and didn't like, all in one:

I will be the first to tell you that I sometimes have mixed feelings about reading anthologies. I have a hard time deciding whether I think any author can get a romantic theme down to novella size and make it work. But I will have to say that there are some distinct advantages to this format as well, especially as a preview to the author's work. I liked anthologies that are set in world's that authors have already created, it showcases their abilities and it gives new readers a chance to see what they've got, so to speak. 

Boots Under Her Bed is a very well written and put together anthology set in the West. Jodi Thomas is well known for writing Western Romance, as is Alison Kent. I was unfamiliar with Kaki Warner or Jo Goodman's work when I began this book, but I'm pleased to say that both of their novella's fit the theme and kept me interested. The length of the anthology was comfortable and though I liked a couple of the stories better than the others each one held it's own against the others. As far as anthologies go, I was happy with this one for sure.

Crazy Callie is Jodi Thomas' offering in Boots Under Her Bed. It's basically a marriage of convenience story with a crazy twist, literally. If Callie doesn't find a husband her step-father will have her committed. I liked the urgency of this story. Thomas makes the reader believe there might be some question about this gal's sanity and it adds an interesting element to the story. Given that this is a novella, I wanted more time with Callie, she is definitely a character that might deserve a full length story of her own. One of my favorites of the anthology.

Nat Church and the Runaway Bride comes from author Jo Goodman. This was my first experience with Goodman's writing and I was pleasantly surprised. This story had a lot of potential with a great hero and a bride who would do just about anything to escape marriage. The novella included a jail break, a hostage situation and true love. I liked the author's voice, this story was simple and to the point and showed great clarity. I was intrigued by this one and would definitely read more from this author now that I am aware of her.

Kaki Warner's story, The Scent of Roses was probably my favorite of the anthology. I had never read her work before, so that really surprised me. You have two characters who are both trying to solve a crime and end up thinking that each other may be the culprit. I liked the train setting and the fact that the hero just couldn't seem to keep his illicit thoughts to himself. Warner uses a great deal of wit and humor in this story. It was very entertaining and Warner obviously knows what she's talking about when it comes to writing a good Western themed romance. A very good read.

I have enjoyed Alison Kent's work for some time. She has a way with a love scene that is unparalleled in Western themed romances, and I was excited to read her contribution to the anthology, The Hired Gun's Heiress. Great title, a very likable hero in Zebulon Crow, and your typical socialite gone astray in Mauve. It had all the right elements, but didn't seem to get off to a good start. I think this is a story that would have benefited from a longer length, in that, it needed that set up time and background that is usually sacrificed in shorter fiction. It was still a good read, but perhaps not the best showcase of this author's work.

Overall I am happy that I got a chance to review this book. I was introduced to two new authors in Jo Goodman and Kaki Warner and got to read two good stories from old favorites in Jodi Thomas and Alison Kent. The novellas worked well with each other and provided a good sampling of what each author has to offer readers. I thought The Scent of Roses was obviously the best story, the humor in it just won me over. Crazy Callie was also a favorite. I loved the 'crazy' theme. Reminded me of 'crazy' Cora from Quigley Down Under with Tom Selleck. Great movie and a great story in this case from Jodi Thomas. The other two stories were good as well, just not my favorites. 

Pick this one up, I think you'll enjoy it!

Boots Under Her Bed is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Jodi Thomas is the New York Times bestselling author of Promise Me Texas and Can't Stop Believing.











Jo Goodman is the USA Today bestselling author of True to the Law and The Last Renegade





Kaki Warner is the award-winning author of Behind His Blue Eyes and Bride of the High Country.











Alison Kent is the bestselling author of nearly fifty novels across many genres, including Unforgettable and Unbreakable.

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