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Open Country by Kaki Warner
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818148,805 (4.02)3



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In the second book of the RosaRoja series, we can't help falling in love again with the Wilkins family.
Again, Kaki Warner transport us to the rigors of the West and its "traps", to the love for the land and its brave people.
This is the story about Hanks and Molly, two brave people that need to confront all of their past mistakes to make a new future.
I liked it a lot, the plot, the way it's written and the way you get captivated by the story. Kaki Warner is going to my favs shelf. ( )
  Lost_Lenore | Dec 28, 2013 |
Second in the trilogy of brothers living in New Mexico Territory in the early 1870's, this is Hank's story. Molly McFarlane, out of desperation, marries an unconscious Hank Wilkins because she believes he won't live after a train derailment and she needs the railroad widow's settlement money because she is fleeing her evil brother-in-law with her niece and nephew. Of course, this isn't right and she knows it, which becomes a major fly in the ointment when Hank lives after all. His amnesia doesn't help matters either as the lie is prolonged. Good story, with a truly scary villain who is tracking Molly and the children. I loved Hank who is the big, strong, silent type. Shy about his unusually handsome face, he hides himself under a beard most of the time. To say the least, Molly is devastated by the first time he sees him smile clean shaven. Wonderful story between the two, though I did have trouble with the deception going on for so long, but it was still great to see so much of Brady, who I really loved from the first book in the series, as well as Brady's wife, Jessica. Brady sees to Hank's safety while he is ill and barely gives Molly an inch. He's not a pushover when it comes to her, and I was glad of it. I'm becoming a Western lover and these books are great and keep me riveted and reading, reading, reading until they're finished. The character development and the plot lines are first rate. ( )
  ktleyed | Aug 15, 2013 |
Overall Rating: 4.85 // Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 5.0 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 1.0 / Suspense: 3.5 // Historical Flavor: 2.5 // Laughter: 16 / Grins: 3 // Tears: 6 / Teary: 7

Open Country: 4.85:
Warner displays her skills as a gifted storyteller in this wonderfully entertaining romance. Readers are drawn deep into the story because it is so easy to experience the same deeply-felt emotions of laughter and tears right along with the hero and heroine. The author's sense of humor is evident as she interlaces the romance with humorous, well-written dialogue. The rich flavor of the story is rounded out by the addition of several well-developed, multi-faceted supporting characters.

Hero: 4.5:
Patrick Henry "Hank" Wilkins: This giant, bear-sized man revealed a vulnerable heart hidden behind a silent assessing gaze. It was so easy to love this man who had a way with animals, children and was always taking things apart to see how they worked. Loved the way Hank was determined to walk his own path in spite of living in the shadow of his older brother.

Quote: When he had something to say, he spoke. When he didn't, he didn't. (page 100)

Heroine: 5.0:
Molly McFarlane: Could not help but feel an emotional connection to this heroine who has spent her teen years training at her father's side, having had no beaus, no girlish chatter, nor party dresses. Could not help but admire this strong-willed, self-reliant, compassionate heroine who continued to get up and fight each and every time she was knocked down. A very strong woman whose desire to be loved drove her to perform great deeds.

Story Line: 4.0:
What a unique way to place a woman in the path of a man who had walled off his heart. Have her marry him while he is unconscious! Then give her the gift of healing and include a brother who needs those skills to blackmail her into taking care of her 'husband.' A great idea that was entertainingly developed.

Action: 3.0:
Warner starts off the story with a bang as Molly finds herself fleeing with her niece and nephew to protect them from an evil stepfather. After a train derailment, Molly resorts to deceit to try and secure money for her continued flight. The story become remarkably slower until the end of the book where Molly has to deal with the villain sent to find her.

Emotion: 5.0:
Drawing emotions from her readers is one of the skills at which Warner excels. This book forces readers to experience the full range of emotions, from side-splitting laughter to moments of joy and sweetness, to experiencing fear and pain, and to shedding tears right along with the characters.

Romance: 4.5:
A beautiful relationship slowly developed between a great bear of a man who protected his heart by watching life pass him by and a woman who had given up hope of having any kind of future that involved a husband and family.

Sensuous: 1.0:
In spite of the romantic kisses and strong awareness between Hank and Molly, when it come to the actual lovemaking, the readers were left out in the cold. No spice. No sizzle.

Suspense: 3.5:
There is a degree of suspense running through the entire story. Will Fletcher find Molly, Charlie and Penny? What will happen when Hank finds out that Brady and Molly have lied to him about his marriage. How are Hank and Molly going to win against the brutal villain sent to find the book taken from Fletcher's home?

Secondary Characters: 5.0:
Warner's secondary character development is top notch. These characters add so much realism and interest to the story. It was wonderful that Brady, Jessica, Melanie and Dougal (from book one) were included in this second book. And the interaction between Hank and the two children (Charlie and Penny) was phenomenal, particularly the dialogue.

See Wolf Bear Does Books (http://goo.gl/WNlfY) for a more in-depth, detailed review of Open Country. ( )
  Vonda_M_Reid | May 17, 2013 |
I thought I'd love this book because I have a soft spot for quiet, big heroes. It's a good story and I happily read the whole thing, but it wasn't as good (to me) as the first book. And, not that I require explicit sex scenes to enjoy a romance novel, but I didn't find it odd that every intimate moment between the characters was a "fade to black" scene. What's with the sudden modesty? I don't think I'll continue with the series. ( )
  lavender9 | Aug 24, 2012 |
I have had this book sitting on my TBR pile since December. To be honest the reason I didn’t read it sooner was because I didn’t like the first one on the series, don’t get me wrong, Kaki Warner is very talented she writes compelling characters, her descriptions of the life and the scenery are incredible and overall you feel like you are living inside the book, but the plot was too much of everything; too much drama, too many misunderstandings, too much angst, too much death, the end was stretched out unnecessarily and halfway through the book I was ready for it to end. However the writing was really good and the summary of Open Country sounded interesting thus I decided to get the second one and give Kaki a second chance. I can tell you now that I am glad I did.

As I said Open Country is the second book on the Blood Rose Trilogy, the story is set in Texas during the 1870’s and revolves around three brothers, each one the hero of his own book. This one is Hank’s book, he is the middle brother, the calm and taciturn one and to me the most endearing too. The heroine is Molly, after her father’s suicide and following her dying sister’s wishes she flees Georgia with her niece and nephew in tow because her brother-in-law is abusive and she is afraid of what he may do to the kids. The train that is taking them to California derails and while helping the wounded (Molly has medical training) she finds Hank who apparently is fatally injured and with the help of some people she marries him to get a widow’s compensation. Needless to say that Hank doesn’t die but gets amnesia, his older brother Brady who is concerned not only for his brother but for his pregnant wife, blackmails Molly into moving to their ranch to take care of them, Molly accepts not only because of the threats, but also because she needs the protection.

Open Country stands alone fairly well, but if you haven’t read Pieces of Sky I would recommend starting there because the entire plot of that book is explained on this one, there are so many spoilers that it would completely ruin the book for you.

I really liked this book, the plot wasn’t that convoluted as the previous one, and the characters were far more likeable. Hank is an alpha male with a heart of gold and he was my favorite brother since he was introduced in Pieces of Sky. But the soul of the book was the heroine. I absolutely adored Molly, is great to see a strong independent heroine in a historical romance, specially a western, I loved how she was all business and nonsense but vulnerable at the same time, she has a profession that she excels at and is none apologetic about it, but she is also wounded. I love well balanced multilayered characters and Kaki warner does this amazingly well with all of her characters.

I also loved the kids and the relationship between the brothers -although the third brother Jack is missing the entire book- all the scenes between Hank and Brady were a delight to read.

The suspense aspect of the story was also well done, half the book I was dreading the moment Hank would found out about the deception (especially because every three paragraphs or so he actually told how much he hated lies and deceptions). Then there was the danger looming over Molly, the mercenary that her brother-in-law sent to find them is one scary man, all of this adds to the story.

Sadly I had two big problems with this book and each one of them dropped one point from the overall grade. They are huge spoilers and so I have to be vague but let’s just say that the hero does something completely out of character and that even though is something quite common on historical romances it was not only unnecessary to the plot but also terrible, and I don’t think it was properly dealt with afterwards, Molly forgives him and all is well, I just didn’t get it and it completely threw me. The second one was right at the end of the book, Molly has a TSTL moment, granted it was an original way to present a very common plot devise but I was a bit disappointed because -taking aside the Hero’s stupid behavior- the book was doing really well and to me Kaki took the easy way out.

As a whole I liked the book and couldn’t put it down until I finished. I would not only recommend it but I will keep reading Kaki’s books starting with Chasing the Soon the last book on the trilogy. I know that there are some things I am not going to like but I do think is worth it. If you can see past through those bumps on the road I mentioned you are going to love this book, but since I can’t see past them I can’t give it more than a 3. Maybe the next book will be different; I will let you know once I finish it. ( )
  Brie.Clementine | Apr 19, 2011 |
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Book description
Molly McFarlane is as desperate as a woman can get--even one alone on the frontier. Forced to flee with her late sister's children, she must provide for
her wards while outrunning the relentless tracker the children's vicious stepfather has set on their trail. Out of money and with no other options, she marries a man badly injured in a train derailment, assuming when he dies, his insurance settlement will provide the money they need to keep moving west. But there is one small problem. The man doesn't die.

Hank Wilkins doesn't remember the accident he barely survived-and he certainly doesn't remember marrying Molly. Confused and hoping his memory will soon return, he takes her home to his ranch, where Molly and the children are quickly caught up in the boisterous Wilkins family. Molly might be a gifted healer, but she knows little about caring for children, and even less about caring for a healthy man--especially a silent, brooding type like Hank. As Molly and Hank begin to discover each other, the threat of the past seems distant and the idea of a real marriage takes hold...until Hank's memory returns and he realizes he's been betrayed by his own brother and the woman he thought was his wife, and that fragile trust is shattered. Then the tracker follows Molly to the ranch, and as Hank struggles to open his wounded mind and battered heart to forgiveness, Molly rides out into a blizzard to face down a killer in a frantic attempt to protect the man and family she has grown to love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425234304, Paperback)

How do you forgive a brother's betrayal? How far do you go to protect the family you love? Hank and Molly find out in OPEN COUNTRY, Book II of the 1870s family saga, the Blood Rose Trilogy.

Molly McFarlane is as desperate as a woman can get. Forced to flee with her late sister's children, she must provide for her wards while outrunning the relentless tracker the children's vicious stepfather has set on their trail. Out of money and with no other options, she marries a man badly injured in a train derailment, assuming when he dies, the railroad settlement will provide the money they need to keep moving West.

But there is one small problem. The man doesn't die.

Hank Wilkins doesn't recall the accident he barely survived-and he certainly doesn't remember marrying Molly. But as he slowly recovers at the Wilkins ranch in New Mexico Territory, the idea of a real marriage takes hold...until his memory returns, and that fragile trust is shattered, and the tracker follows Molly to the ranch. Then things really start to unravel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Molly MacFarlane, fleeing from a sinister brother-in-law, marries a gravely-injuried train passenger for insurance money, but unexpectedly the man survives and Molly is brought to live with the man's extended family on a wealthy ranch.

» see all 3 descriptions

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