Review: SINFUL by Joan Johnston, book 1 of King’s Brats — a contemporary western romance

20697486Title: Sinful, King’s Brats Series
Author: Joan Johnston
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Story Setting: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Pages: 320
Published by: Dell
Published Date: April 28, 2015
ISBN-10: 0804178666
ISBN-13: 978-0804178662

Publisher’s Summary:


After a tragic accident leaves Delta sergeant Connor Flynn a widower, he faces the toughest fight of his life: battling his in-laws for custody of his two young children. To win he’ll need a make-believe bride to take care of the kids while he runs his Wyoming ranch. Who better than a woman he already knows and likes—his late wife’s best friend?

Ruthlessly forced from her home by her powerful father, King Grayhawk, Eve needs somewhere to go . . . and so does the herd of wild mustangs she’s rescued. Connor’s offer sounds like the answer to a prayer. But Eve has a guilty secret she’s guarded for years: She’s always been in love with Connor.

Now forced to live under the same roof as her heart’s desire, Eve must hide the love that has never died, while Connor vows to resist his growing need for a woman who was forbidden fruit during his marriage. Can two lonely people set adrift by fate and haunted by guilt find redemption in the healing embrace of love?

My Thoughts: This story begins a new series for author Joan Johnston and with that comes an introduction of a whole new set of people with flaws, secrets and complexes.

Two families began feuding when King Grayhawk’s first wife, sister of Agnus Flynn, died of an overdose of barbiturates. The way Agnus sees it, King killed her. The feud extends to their children. Agnus Flynn’s son were known as the Wild Flynns while King’s girls were known as King’s Brats. In my opinion, they deserved their nomenclatures.

The boys became men and the girls became women. Both fathers from both families were powerful ranchers with stubbornness running deep within their veins. Agnus wanted to ruin King.

The story begins when Connor, one of the Flynns, comes back from the military to take up the reins of civilian life. His wife, Molly, had died in an accident leaving him with two very young children who barely remembered him. Molly’s parents had taken custody of the two children and didn’t want to return the children. Could he have his life totally destroyed, losing the woman he loved and his two children? As he did on the battle fields, he fought back. Surprisingly, help came from an unexpected source, one of King’s Brats.

Eve and the rest of King’s Brats were going to lose their home. Their father, King, had found his prodigal son after looking 20 years. Finding him in Australia, he had to get him back home. This is interesting because we don’t know why it was so imperative to have him back. Matt had been only 17 when he left home. Now he was 37. King has a past, hidden in secrecy. Matt agreed to return to the ranch with the knowledge that the ranch would be his after one year. However, Matt has a chip on his shoulder. Again we don’t know why. He wants King’s Brats out of the ranch, and he wants full rein of the working of the ranch even before the year is up. King’s Brats are all in their 20’s and he has no love for them. Again, this is a question unanswered. Matt, really comes off as a harsh, unbending man. I would say, very much like his father.

Eve, a talented photographer, presently without the means to move especially as she just rescued some wild mustangs who were to be killed, needs a place for herself and her horses. She is also godmother to Connor’s children whom she loves dearly and they love her.

When Connor wins custody of his children he thinks it will be easy to take care of them. He’d recently purchased a ranch, Safe Haven, to house veterans coming off the battle field who weren’t quite ready to go home. It was a safe place to heal physically and emotionally. It would also be safe for his children. The children are frightened so Eve helps Connor get them to the ranch. But nothing is easy…emotions run deep.

This is a delightful, emotional and heart-warming read with a very rich and textured character development making it most engaging. This is one read the plot is not easily deciphered. It just makes me want to know why they act as they do. There were enough strands of conflict and questions unanswered setting the reader to anticipate book two.

Hidden love, guilty love, sizzling passion, anger, and hurt make a great beginning to this series.

I received a copy from Netgalley and Dell publishing. This does not prejudice my view or opinion.

Joan JohnstonAbout the Author: Joan Johnston, the top ten New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Bitter Creek (THE COWBOY, THE TEXAN and THE LONER plus 18 more including the Mail-Order Bride, Captive Hearts and Sisters of the Lone Star series) and Hawk’s Way (nine in all) novels, has written more than fifty-five award-winning historical and contemporary romance novels, thirty-eight of which are connected. She received an M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois and graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. Joan Johnston lives in Colorado and South Florida.

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Book Release, Romance, Western Romance, Women's Fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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