Friday, April 13, 2018

Audio/New Release Review ~ Fearless in Texas ~ Kari Lynn Dell #AudioChallenge #2018NewRelease

Fearless in TexasFearless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell
Texas Rodeo #4
Narrated byJohanna Parker
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio and I also received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease, #AudioChallenge

After her life comes crashing down, Melanie Brookman is determined to claw her way back up again - and this time, she won't make the same mistakes twice. So when her friend sends Wyatt Darrington to help, Melanie keeps him at arm's length. He's exactly the sort of trouble she doesn't need. Wyatt has the perfect distraction for Melanie: rescue his failing bar. She reluctantly agrees and together they hit the road. As they spend more time with one another, undeniable attraction grows. But Wyatt knows that if she ever found out his closely guarded secret, any chance at happily ever after would be left in the dust...

In my review of Tougher in Texas, I said this about waiting for Fearless in Texas
"...since the stories keep getting more entertaining, I *know* it'll be worth the wait."  
And guess what? Dell DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Seriously, this series just gets better and better! I think I'm suffering from a book hangover. Dell delivered another compelling story with characters that are brilliantly brought to life. I'm chomping at the bit for the next installment!

  • Character Development
    Dell excels here and this might be her best yet in this department. (it's a toss up between Melanie/Wyatt and Shawnee/Cole) With Melanie, we have this extremely intuitive gal who makes an art out of reading people. But she isn't so good at turning that talent on herself. With a little help, she does and she isn't all that fired up at what she sees. She does become introspective whenever she's sorting things out so to see her use that introspection on herself, be along with her as she decides on what to change and how to change it and then watch her execute was inspiring. In Wyatt, we have a man who yearns for a connection...a community...a family. Learning his backstory made his behavior and his actions understandable. But it saddened me that despite having the community  and family he longed for with Joe and Violet, the Jacobs family, and the rodeo, he still felt like an outsider. Witnessing Melanie give him his heart's desire was...well, heartwarming.
  • Secondary Characters & Side Plots
    Dell has crafted quite a colorful cast and they along with the side plots add depth and complexity to the story. They also make me debate with myself over who I hope to see in the next installment. From Louie and Gordon, Helen and Rowdy, Grace...gosh! There's so many wonderfully drawn characters and then I get to spend time with some whom I've already met as well. *sigh* I love them all.
  • Setting
    Up to this point, this series has spent most of its time in West Texas and as I've said, Dell captures life in West Texas well. This installment, due to Melanie's need to "get the hell out of Dodge", was spent in and around Pendleton, Oregon. What are the odds Dell would pick another place I'm familiar with? And she nailed the description of the town and the landscape. She's really about to put you there and I love that. Also, the rodeo took a bit of a back seat here but it still had its place and we get to spend time with the horses, cows, and rope. =)
  • Thought-provoking
    I mentioned this in my review of Tougher in Texas but this I'm mentioning it again because it's worth saying. The Texas Rodeo series is romance but the romance is secondary to the story, in my opinion. I like that Dell has her characters take deeper looks at themselves, consider their mistakes and learn from them, figure out what they want in life and how to go about making that happen. And a common theme seems to be never, ever denying yourself love.
I suppose Fearless in Texas had a little different tone since the rodeo wasn't front and center but it was every bit as riveting as its predecessors. Dell wove together a cast of characters I couldn't help by love with a story that kept me captivated. I can't thank Anna enough for turning me on to Dell!

Parker continues impressing me with her ability to keep the pace just right and deliver on all the emotions. And for the most part, she keeps her voices distinct. She's become a favorite narrator of mine, honestly. And I'm once again anxious for the next book in the series!

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