Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review | "Texas! Sage" by Sandra Brown

This week's (belated) review is over a book that I received in the mail along with "Envy" by the same author (review to come soon) which I won in a Goodreads giveaway.
"Texas! Sage" is the third book in a companion novel trilogy, but it is in no way entirely necessary to read the first two books before reading this one (I didn't). If you want to go back and start from the beginning, you'll be a little spoiled, but at the same time, these are the types of stories that have pretty standard and predictable endings.
As always here is the book's Goodreads description:

5296674In the dramatic finale of #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown’s popular Texas! trilogy, the headstrong youngest daughter of the Tyler family finally steps out of the shadows cast by her two older brothers. But forging her own path will take every ounce of savvy in Sage Tyler’s possession. 
The youngest heir to her family’s oil fortune, Sage has always been the unbridled spitfire in the Tyler clan. Now, fresh out of college, she’s looking to settle down at last with her safe, upper-crust fiancĂ©. Then into her life saunters Harlan Boyd, a rootless drifter recently hired for a Tyler Drilling Company project. Harlan’s just the sort of man Sage should avoid, but there’s something irresistible about the laconic cowboy that intrigues her.
When a financial crisis threatens to wreck Tyler Drilling for good, Sage and Harlan must channel their simmering chemistry into the task of saving the family business. But can she trust a man who shares her maverick spirit—and harbors long-held secrets of his own?

The "Texas! Tyler Family" trilogy was first published in 1990-1991, so it's a little bit older than other novels I usually read, and you can definitely tell that there is a lot of tradition going into the storyline. I read Envy, a 2002 thriller also by Sandra Brown, before reading Sage's story, and I think that may have weakened the plot for me.
I felt the romance in this book was forced, the chemistry between Harlan and Sage unrealistic and overdone to make it believable. There were a lot of moments where Harlan basically assaults Sage. Kissing her when she very clearly doesn't want it. Yes, the story justifies itself by having Sage give in, that she was fighting it because she's stubborn, not because kissing a stranger right after being dumped by a boyfriend is odd in any way.
The storyline dragged a lot as well. It felt like it wasn't going anywhere and that a lot of scenes were there for filler because there really didn't seem to be any point to them. I think the book could have been half the length it ended up being and it would have been a more enjoyable story. Considering there were chapters full of forced conflict that all of a sudden wrap up over the course of literally under five pages, it would have made the book read less like a rough draft.

Was this a horrible book? No. Will I go back and read the first two books in the series, maybe. I'm not sure how much of what I had trouble with in this book is the author and the story themselves, or the writing trend of the time- I'll have to read other novels to decide that.
I gave this book 3 stars and I think if you aren't looking for anything intense, something that could be read quickly in the last few days/weeks of summer, this might be for you, but it's not the peak of women's literature in my opinion.

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