This is the second book in the Beartooth, Montana series.
From the moment that I finished reading the first book in this series, Unforgiven, I knew that I simply had to read Redemption. The plan was that I would read Redemption as soon as it came out, because I just needed to know what would happen next, but most importantly I wanted to know more about Kate LaFond, because her character had very much intrigued me, yet there had been so little about her in Unforgiven. However my plan kept getting sidelined, until I finally said enough I’m reading this book no matter what.
The start was fairly strong in this book, we are introduced to Jack and given a bit of background on him. Soon after Kate, along with a stranger enter the picture and before you know it, in typical B.J. Daniels fashion, there is a body found near Beartooth. It is from here that things really pick up and the story starts to take shape and draws the reader in.
While I admit that my biggest interest in this book was finding out more about Kate LaFond, who in the previous book was mysterious and closed off character, I was quickly swallowed up by the various side plots that intersection this books main plot line. They were not a distraction from the main story and in fact at times seemed to enhance it by adding some little bit of mystery from a new angle and also occasionally giving an answer that would help bring the true mysteries answer in focus.
Another great aspect of this book was that it dug up more of the past of not only the main characters, and those from the previous book, but of event which happened in and around Beartooth, some of which had a direct connection to Kate’s story and others which would prove to be an important piece to the overall puzzle and to Jack’s life. Of course this wasn’t all revealed at once, the process was slow and added to the suspense of the book as tidbits of information trickled their way through the pages and the reader could start to put them together in an attempt to solve things before reaching the end of the book.
I liked Jack’s character. He was strong, a bit stubborn and had a good amount of determination in him to see things through even when himself or others around him tried to steer him clear of it all. Kate’s character wasn’t all that strong at first and while it made me mildly disappointed in the beginning as things progressed and she was not only pushed to her limits but also forced to reveal truths about herself to Jack, and the sheriff, her role in the story as well as her character became clearer. There were also a number of new characters added which dramatically changed things in Beartooth over the course of the book.
The side story involving Sheriff Frank Curry, his long time friend Nettie and a young new girl in town, added a nice little aside from the main focus on Kate, Jack and the secrets they were unveiling hidden in the mountain. However there were parts of this little side story which didn’t seem to flow as well, or hold together as solidly as I thought they should. I’m not sure if it’s because I was rushing through these sections so that I could get back to finding out more about Kate or if it just had a different flow to it.
The romance aspect of this book was fairly good. It’s obvious that Kate and Jack don’t exactly get along in the beginning, not do they see eye to eye for a pretty big chunk of the story. But given both of their stubborn ways, and more important the many secrets Kate is hiding and the danger she is in, it makes sense that they would have a slow growing love between them.
Overall I quite enjoyed this book. It had a lot of what I expected out of this series and yet had some unexpected twists and turns which I shall be looking forward to seeing their long term and short term effects in the rest of the series. Anyone looking for a suspense filled romance with a western feel to it will likely find this series, this book, to their likely. I will definitely be continuing on with this series to see just what else in in store for some of these characters, what new events will occur in Beartooth and how things might turn out in the future to any newcomer to the area.