Leaving Whiskey Bend is a novel rife with characters in desperate turmoil. Former School Teacher Hallie Wolcott and her friend Pearl Parsons have rescued their friend Mary who was in a severely abusive relationship and decided to leave their troubled lives behind them in Whiskey Bend, Colorado. But trouble and their pasts are fast on their tails and the women are trying desperately to keep them at bay and to stay alive from the vengeful and furious stepbrother of Mary who has threatened to kill them both for taking Mary and putting a bullet in him.
Eli Morgan is a man who has lost his family some to murder, some to sickness, some to the sins of his past. Now he is back home and trying to put the pieces of his family and his family ranch back together. His mother has never forgiven him for leaving on the heels of his youngest brother’s murder and now he has returned to find that his older brother is not the man he remembers at all after he fell ill after Eli went off to the military. Eli vows to make amends and to find the person responsible for his brother’s murder. As if this weren’t complicated enough Eli happens upon three women in distress and takes them to his home (as one of them is very ill ) to recover. Vowing to help the women he doesn’t know that his trouble just doubled as Mary’s stepbrother is close behind…
Eli is enchanted by Hallie and neither of them can deny the attraction between them. As their feelings grow can these two lost souls find in each other the peace that both of them are so longing for? Or will their pasts rise up to destroy them all before they have the chance to find out.
Leaving Whiskey Bend was a good read though I have to admit I was expecting a bit more than it delivered in the end. Parts of the book seemed very hard to believe and I won’t go into it as it would be a major spoiler in the book but it has to do with his brother’s illness. That was a MAJOR problem for me with this novel. And there was almost to much conflict going on all the time, then it seemed a bit rushed to clean up all the loose ends.
I thought that if a few of the problems had been focused on and not so many it would have made for a much better paced read and it would have made more sense in the end. Dorothy Garlock is a good writer, but I don’t think this is her at her best at all. I would have liked to have seen more of the relationship with Eli and Hallie focused on and less on his mother’s role in the story, Might I just say that his mother is a piece of work and a half to say the very least. The bad language on this one seemed a bit over done as well at times to me. I would recommend some of her earlier novels over this one.
The new novel from the Voice of America's Heartland, Dorothy Garlock.
In l890 two friends, middle-aged Pearl and pretty, young schoolteacher Hallie, have just about decided to leave the rough Western town of Whiskey Bend, where both are disillusioned with the way they have been treated. The final straw comes when they witness their friend Mary being assaulted in the street by her stepbrother Chester and no one steps forward to help her. They decide to leave and take Mary with them. They go out to the shack where Chester and Mary live to get her, but when Chester attacks them, Pearl shoots him in the leg. He screams after the three that he will follow them wherever they go. Desperately they drive away in an open wagon seeking a new life and safety. One night along the way they are caught in a violent storm and Mary nearly drowns in a roiling river. She is saved by a daring young rancher who brings them back to his home to stay until Mary recovers. The rancher has troubles of his own. He is condemned by his mother for having left his father to run the ranch alone years earlier. He is searching for the murderer of his younger brother. And someone now is trying to kill him. Attracted to him and grateful, Hallie vows to help him.