CHASING THE SUN
Author: Kaki Warner ISBN:9780425238615 1/2011 HISTORICAL Publisher: BERKLEY SENSATION
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
CHASING THE SUN is the last book in Kaki Warner's Blood Rose Trilogy. While I missed the first two books in this series featuring the oldest Wilkins brothers, Brady and Hank, there's enough back information in CHASING THE SUN to make this book stand well on its own.
This is Jack's story, the youngest of the brothers, and from all accounts the wildest and most restless of the three. Jack drowns himself in drink and women, then leaves for Australia when his dreams of marrying his childhood sweetheart, Elena Ramirez, fall apart after taking her to San Francisco for medical treatment. After several years in Australia, Jack returns home to the family ranch in New Mexico Territory, only to discover Elena home for a short visit and a woman from his dissolute past with a child in tow, a little girl who looks and acts as charming as her father—Jack.
Desiree (Daisy) Etheridge is no run-of-the-mill saloon girl just looking for a handout. In fact, Daisy is a woman with a grand talent and an opportunity to forge a new life for herself and her adorable daughter, Katie. But in order to do so, Daisy needs money, and where better to get that money than from her daughter's father's family, if not from the father himself? However, once settled in on the ranch and face-to-face with the scoundrel, does Daisy have the will power to take their daughter, the money and run before she loses her heart to Jack, all over again?
I usually like a little more grit and unpredictability in the western romances I read. However, I found myself enjoying the rhythmic pacing and cadence of CHASING THE SUN, not to mention the additional background stories involving both Hank and Brady, and their wives, Molly and Jessica. Daisy and Jack have their own bits of baggage they bring to the ranch, including Jack's relationship and feelings for Elena and Daisy's unresolved issues left behind in San Francisco. The interaction between Jack's brother's families, especially where the children are concerned, is both charming and heartwarming; more than once I found myself chuckling out loud at their various antics and dialogue.
Fans of this series should enjoy the reappearance of many of the characters from the previous two books, PIECES OF SKY and OPEN COUNTRY, as well as an epilogue that sums up all the characters' outcomes quite nicely. CHASING THE SUN is a very enjoyable, well-written romance, one I can easily recommend.