Dangerous Heart: Westward Hearts Series #3
Published By: Avon Inspire
Book Category: Fiction, Historical
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Reviewed by Jan Warren
Dangerous Heart is the third and last book of Tracey Bateman’s inspirational historical Westward Hearts series. One of the challenges of being the last book is it must bring the reader, who is not familiar with the characters and plot from the previous books, up to speed as well as keeping the story moving forward by not bogging it down with too much back story. It is a difficult task.
Since I have not read either book one or two of the series, I found myself lost from the beginning, a lot like opening a book in the middle and starting reading.
Dangerous Heart begins months after heroine, Ginger Freeman, an outlaw’s daughter, joined a wagon train bound for Oregon with the deadly intent of vengeance. The hints of her past, like stale breadcrumbs left over from the previous stories, left me wondering what else I had missed.
Obscure snippets of information dropped here and there, also frustrated me with the hero. Why was Dr. Grant Kelley, who had stopped doctoring years ago after his wife was murdered by outlaws, suddenly now using his medical skills? Why was he on the wagon train in the first place? Apparently all of those important life-altering, character-bonding events occurred in an earlier book.
I found that I couldn’t quite connect with any particular character until well over halfway through. As a late introduction to the story, this outlaw had a minor walk-on part, but he gave me what the other characters didn’t, a first impression—not a third book, let-me-refresh-your-memory impression.
That said, the writing was good enough to keep me reading to the end, and the story tied up the many loose ends alluded to throughout, with an unexpected twist or two thrown in for good measure.
If you’ve read, and enjoyed, the first two books in this series then you would most likely enjoy this story, too. I would recommend reading these books in order to get the most enjoyment.
Armchair Interviews agrees: Most series should be read in order or the reader is cheated and doesn’t gain the full advantage of the back story.
Author’s Web site: http://www.TraceyBatemanBooks.com