I have been eagerly anticipating this new series by Kat Martin! I am a long time reader of her’s and when I found the ARC available on NetGalley, I sent a request to Harlequin to read it. I was so excited when my request was approved!
Against the Wind is the first book in Kat Martin’s latest series about the “no account Raines boys”. In the trailers, the “Raines Boys” Jackson, Gabe and Dev are now all grown up and ready to accept love. Here’s the trailer so you can have a sneak peak at Ms. Martin’s next set of three books due out in the new year.
Jackson was humiliated in high school by his secret crush, Sarah, when she refused to attend the prom with him. He headed off to college on a boxing scholarship and has since made millions of dollars. He longed to be back in Wind Canyon and bought Raintree Ranch and has become a rancher.
Sarah Allen packs up her daughter and leaves L.A., hoping to leave ugly memories behind. Her husband has been murdered and no one seems overly motivated to solve the murder, least of all her. He spent years beating her and spending time with a series of mistresses. Although when they married, he had lots of money, his spending habits and his gambling problems left Sarah almost penniless and his estate massively in debt.
Sarah leaves L.A. to return to Wind Canyon, the town of her childhood where she felt safe. It seems that the cabin she has arranged to rent for her and Holly, her daughter, is on Raintree Ranch, now owned by Jackson. Jackson doesn’t want her living on his property because of what happened in high school, but he’s immediately attracted to her again, and decides to let her stay. Unfortunately Sarah’s problems have followed her from L.A. Her cabin is ransacked and she is confronted in town by a man with a gun. Everyone seems to be looking for a list or a disc containing her late husband’s blackmail information. I’ll leave the rest of the story for you to read without spoiling the details!
The pacing of this story is good. The reader is gently lead along through the details of what’s happened in the past as well as the current story. We are kept in suspense at times, but not left missing an essential piece of the puzzle as happens in some stories.
Jackson is a strong hero without being too alpha. Often when authors create cowboys they seem to create an over-the-top unrealistic character. Jackson is strong and capable, decisive without being overbearing. He loves kids and is capable of opening up to love. Sarah has been through a rough time with her husband, but sees to have few lasting effects from the beatings and abuse she got from her dead husband. She is portrayed as a loving mother to her daughter and determined to make a new, safe life for them. The problems that follow Sarah from L.A. make for an interesting twist on the story. They allow us to meet Jackson’s brothers. We mainly learn about Dev, the investigator, who helps Jackson and Sarah sort through information in order to determine who is behinds all the threats.
There is gentle chemistry between Jackson and Sarah. I’m used to glitter filled historical romances that Kat Martin writes. The swash-buckling heros of the Necklace trilogy or the alpha men in the Heart trilogy. This is a different style of novel from what I’m used to reading from Ms. Martin. This isn’t a book filled with clothing flying and graphic details, it is the progression of a love story with just enough details to be titillating. There are enough suspenseful moments to keep the story interesting without suspense being the overwhelming theme. This is a comfortable book to spend a stormy afternoon with!