on Nov. 29, 2016
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Also in this series: Hot in Hellcat Canyon
Everyone knows the Greenleaf family puts the “Hell” in Hellcat Canyon—legend has it the only way they ever leave is in a cop car or a casket. But Glory Greenleaf has a different getaway vehicle in mind: her guitar. She has a Texas-sized talent and the ambition (and attitude) to match, but only two people have ever believed in her: her brother, who’s in jail, and his best friend . . . who put him there.
Sheriff Eli Barlow has secretly been in love with Glory since he was twelve years old. Which is how he knows her head is as hard as her heart is soft—and why she can’t forgive him for fracturing her family . . . or forget that night they surrendered to an explosive, long-simmering passion. But when a betrayal threatens Glory’s big break, Eli will risk everything to make it right . . . because the best way to love the girl from Whiskey Creek might mean setting her free forever.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Another fantastic contemporary romance from Julie Anne Long! Like the first book, Hot in Hellcat Canyon, Wild at Whiskey Creek features believably complicated, flawed characters; real and sometimes gut-wrenching emotions; and all the complexity, messiness, joys and sorrows of real life. Long’s humor, insight, and unexpected turns of phrase are the icing on the cake.
Eli is a wonderful hero: big, tough but tender, and so in love with Glory that he can hardly see straight when she’s nearby. He’s taciturn, but eloquent when he speaks from the heart. The unspoken love and simmering anger between Glory and Eli made my heart ache for them. And the way he comes to her rescue is absolutely perfect.
Glory lives up to her name: she’s a star who hasn’t yet found her firmament, a singer-songwriter with an amazing talent and the passion, confidence, and drive to take her to the top. Everything is about the music for Glory — the music, and Eli. She’s sassy, impulsive, full of bravado, and so vulnerable underneath it all… and so, so angry at Eli, even though he is at the center of everything she writes, everything she sings, and everything she wants.
Julie Anne Long understands the power of music and writes about it convincingly. (She should; she played in a band for a while.) As a singer myself, I found Long’s descriptions of Glory’s voice and interpretation of songs so compelling that I could hear her singing in my head. Glory’s song lyrics get under your skin, too; I would love to hear them set to music and sung by someone as good as the fictional Glory.
Long is a good writer as well as a good storyteller. She comes up with with similes and descriptive phrases that delight me with their originality. And I love the way she pulls me in to the characters’ emotions, even when they’re feeling several competing things at once. And how she makes me laugh one moment, and tear up the next. Both her characters use pretty blunt language at times; I’m ambivalent about that, because on the one hand, I’m not a fan of profanity, but on the other, it’s realistic. The dialogue and internal monologues sound completely natural and unrehearsed, while still, reflecting and perfectly expressing the personalities of each character.
There’s no date yet for the third book, so while I wait, I plan to check out Long’s historical romance “Pennyroyal Green” series. It will be fun to see how her historical writing style differs from her contemporary style. If I enjoy those books as much as I have the Hellcat Canyon series, I’ll be a very happy bookwyrm, because there are 11 of them. (Picture a big huge draconic grin!)