Reviewed by JenThe Civil War took a lot out of Union soldier Jake Tanner. He lost a dear friend on the battlefield. And his wife and child succumbed to illness while he was gone. The only reason he hasn't given up on life is to keep a promise to find his friend's daughter. But when he finally does locate the girl, he is set on a path to truly living again for the first time in years.
The girl in question works in a San Francisco saloon, run by the fiery Cera. Jake is smitten with the tough and savvy businesswoman right away. But she is gun shy, after her last failed relationship. She also has her hands full with a handful of dastardly men in the city who are kidnapping Chinese girls and forcing them into slavery. She takes the cause onto herself, which quickly puts her in danger. Cera and Jake must work together to bring down the slavers before the slavers can get to them.
Cera is a tough and capable woman with a difficult past, but she wards off Jake's advances almost a little too adamantly. Meanwhile, Jake is smitten with her at the speed of light. And they are in Love in just days. (You know this is a personal peeve of mine.) Jake had the potential to be a tortured hero, but he didn't entirely pull it off. Instead, when he makes his big sacrifice for "Cera's own good," it feels abrupt and unnatural. In fact, a lot of their relationship felt abrupt... and its progression felt a little stilted. It went from "I don't like you," to "My body may want you, but I don't," to "I really enjoy sleeping with you," to "I love you" and so on, in blocky increments.
It's not a bad story, but I guess I just didn't feel very invested in the characters and I didn't really connect with the romance. Not the best fit for me. 2 1/2 stars.
*Book provided by author for review
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Cera's Placeby Elizabeth McKennaRelease Date: December 19, 2011Publisher: CreateSpace