Behind His Blue Eyes
Author: Kaki Warner
What I’m Talking About:
Let me start by saying I REALLY REALLY like Kaki Warner’s writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by her up to this point. I love the way she captures the Colorado frontier. I adore her handsome, haunted, brave heroes and her beautiful, feisty, smart heroines. She is a master of showing what is going on and capturing a moment or feeling. Her relationships are fun to read, the danger is real and I wait with baited breath for the kidnapping or other trouble to come and for the gallant hero to come to the rescue. I must say she didn’t disappoint with Behind His Blue Eyes in regard to any of these things.
Our story centers on Ethan, the hero is haunted with a tragic past that threatens to consume his future, and Audra, the beautiful, independent woman working to save her family and saves Ethan in the process. Along the way they encounter a forest fire that threatens the entire town and a crazed serial killer, among other things. But it is the crazed serial killer that changed the entire novel for me. Don’t get me wrong her is well written, brutal, vile, disgusting, so much so I found my stomach churning in spots, not unlike something out of a Law and Order SVU episode. Now I’ll admit it could just be me and my baggage but I thought Ms. Warner went too far with the villain and the descriptions of his activities. I felt like she could have described his earlier actives, the abduction, what the mine shaft looked like, and the trip to Audra’s keeping place, and that would have given a clear and accurate picture of his craziness and brutality. Instead she goes into such detail in the mine shaft that I very nearly stopped reading. If I hadn’t been familiar with Ms. Warner’s writing style and known there would be a Happily Ever After I would have stopped. The sexual assault was just too much for me. I realize it made a beautiful moment later in the book between Ethan and Audra but I think the picture could have just as clear without all the detail.
Ms. Warner does a lovely job of bringing everything back to a safe, sweet, beautiful place and I wish I could say that that was enough for me. But it wasn’t the darkness was so dark it tainted the rest of the novel. Leaving a bad taste in my mouth for days afterwords and dropping my grade from a solid A to a C which makes me sad. There is no way I’ll be reading this book again.
I will say I was grateful for the epilogue even if it did focus more on Lucinda than on Ethan and Audra because it gave me hope that the next novel will be happier and hopefully less gritty than this one was. I realize as a writer sometimes the characters dictate a path we wouldn’t necessarily choose on our own. I am fairly certain that protagonist Weems did just this in this book. So I am willing to put this book aside, reread one of the past novels in this series and wait for the next one. And in reality, if I could give a split rating: the first two-thirds of the novel would have an A, the few pages of yuck a D or maybe even an F, and the last part an A. However, since I cannot, I have averaged it all out. I’m giving this novel a C. I had issues, big issues but the parts that were good were great.
2.5 stars: Finished it – take it or leave it (C)
About the Book:
Hoping to escape his past, Ethan Hardesty left a career as an architect and went to work for the railroad. Only two things impede his desire to transform Heartbreak Creek into a thriving town once again—a vandal bent on stopping the railroad, and the beautiful but hardheaded woman who won’t sign over the final right-of-way through the canyon.
Audra Pearsall has good reason for not allowing a train to pass within yards of her home, no matter how persuasive the handsome Mr. Hardesty can be. But when vandalism escalates to murder and fear stalks the canyon, Audra doesn’t know who to turn to—until the man she thought was her friend proves to be an enemy, and the man she wouldn’t allow herself to trust becomes her reluctant hero…
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Series: The Heroes of Heartbreak Creek #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Behind His Blue Eyes (Book 1)