True Love

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

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The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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October 23, 2015

Review: Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty

Reissued mass paperback cover
Book 1 in the Hell’s Eight Series


Caine Allen is definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, his honor and his desire for Desi won't allow him to let her go.

From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron. And while she needs his protection, she's determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn't enough for Caine. All he wants is to keep her in his bed. But with a bounty still on her head, first he must keep her alive.

1st edition cover

I have had this one on my bookshelf for a while now and I don’t know why on earth I waited so long to read it! I really wish I hadn’t waited so long...because this one just moved onto my all time faves list! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I honestly couldn't put it down. I lost sleep and my housework took a back seat because of this one big time.

This is the first book in the Hell’s Eight Series and it’s Caine and Desi’s story. Hell’s Eight is a group of men (and a few women) who once were on the wrong side of the law but are now serving as Texas Rangers and they have also carved out a large ranch (Hell’s Eight Ranch hence the name of the series) and a big reputation as hard, tough as nails, deadly and honorable men. When the gang is sent out in search of several women who were kidnapped by a group of ruthless outlaws Caine Allen never thought that he would be rescuing the woman who would quickly become his wife.

Desi is a wildcat of a woman who has much more heart and grit than any other woman Cain has ever seen. She started working her way into his heart the first time he sees her and she is grounding her ground against the outlaws who kidnapped her all by herself with nothing more than her hands and a ton of determination.

Caine, Sam, and Tracker make short work of the desperadoes and rescue the women and look to head back to town, but to Caine’s amazement Desi refuses to go back!

Caine quickly sees by what little he is able to drag out of her and the bruises she has that are much older than anything the outlaws could have inflicted on her, and by how skittish she acts to his touch, that she wasn’t in a good place even before she was kidnapped. And that that is the reason she doesn’t want to go back. Caine will not stand for anyone being abused let alone this beautiful slip of a woman. When he meets her “guardian” when they do get back to town he quickly smells even more of a rat and refuses to turn her back over to the weasel.

Through a world wind of events and to fulfill a promise to the local priest Caine ends up marrying Desi to save her from having to return to her abusive guardian. But Desi doesn’t know if she has met her savior in Caine or just traded one bad situation for another.

It doesn’t take Desi long though to see that the man that she’s married for protection is in fact a kind, honorable, and yes even a gentle man. She never would have thought that the hard as steel cowboy feared by outlaws throughout the territory could listen to her, hold her, and treat her with so much gentleness that even her raw nerves and defenses quickly begin to slip into trust and even…love.

Caine through much patience, care, and understanding soon learns what demons haunt Desi and it’s worse than he ever would have imagined. She was kidnapped first by Comancheros who took her and her sister away from her family. They raped and abused her before she was rescued and then taken in by the townsfolk and then placed under the guardianship of a man that was NO better than the Comancheros. Not only does he repeatedly rape and abuse her himself, but he pimps her out to many other men as well. The nightmare of being literally chained to a bed and repeated raped and beat over the years have definitely left indelible marks on not only Desi’s body but her soul as well. Caine vows that he will wipe all those painful years and other men out of her mind and yes her soul with his body and his love. He is determined to give her the kind of life that this rare and beautiful woman deserves and make all the horror and pain a thing of the distant past.

What follows is a story of trust, desire, and love that should move even the hardest of hearts! I absolutely love Caine and Desi and how their love brings redemption and completion to them both. I was rooting so much for Desi to get her happily ever after, especially with all the horror she had lived through. She is definitely the most tortured heroine that I have ever read about. And though it was hard to read about at times it only made me love and root for her more to see her happy in the end with her sweet and hunky husband.

Again I loved, loved, loved this one it’s as raw and gritty as it is tender and sexy. Sarah McCarty is just a master storyteller that's all there is to it! She knows exactly how to reel you in and engage every single one of your emotions throughout the book. She's truly amazing. This one had me gritting my teeth, fanning myself, crying, and yes even laughing (OMS there is a scene with Desi VS a rooster that is nothing short of hilarious, it had me laughing out loud so much so that my son asked me what was going on.)

While I know this one won’t be for everyone i.e. those who have a problem handling stories about abuse and rape (though let me hasten to say that it does NOT go into much detail on the rape flashbacks... it does say enough that you get a sense of the horror Desi has lived through). And it's not for those who can't take detailed sex scenes...this one is erotic and very steamy for sure. So if you are a bit prudish don't read this one you won't like it. But if you don't mind a great love story that will make your temperature rise then you owe it to yourself to get this one!

It is a great story of redeeming and saving power of trust and love I thought as well as of survival and courage. And I frankly couldn’t wait to dive right into the next book in the series, which I did!!!

Do give this one a shot I think you will be very glad you did! I know I am! As I said this one is now on my keeper/fave shelf.

This one would have got a perfect score if not for some of the language (I can not STAND to hear or read GD and that did make an appearance a few times) also there is a bit of anal sex which I personally don't like either but if not for those two things this one would have got a perfect score from me. 

This one is scorching hot! So definitely not for the prudish at all but if you like a great love story that will make your temp rise this one is definitely for you!


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