The Callahans, Book #1
By Lora Leigh
Author’s Website: http://www.loraleigh.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
In the small town of Sweetrock, Colorado there were three Callahan cousins, Crowe, Logan, and Rafe, that were ostracized from everyone in the county. People either ignored them or went out of their way to be mean to them, even as kids. The friends they did have befriended them in secret. Why did a whole town turn on these young boys? What did they do that was so wrong a whole community felt they needed to be punished? It’s simple really. They had the misfortune of having scoundrel fathers that had the nerve to fall in love with and marry three of the town’s most beautiful and rich women. Crowe, Logan, and Rafe were the offspring of those unions and even their own families turned on the boys when their mothers died and they have been fighting to keep the inheritances their mothers left ever since.
There is one person who didn’t let the families of the cousins’ mothers, known as the barons, effect his views on the boys; their Uncle Clyde. He took the boys in and raised them as his own. He was the only one willing to give them a chance while all others accused them of any crime they could, stealing and burglary, to name a few. Little did they know that the accusations would get worse as they grew older.
Several young women were raped and murdered with no known suspects for the crimes. Jaymi was best friends with Rafe and she was sleeping with him. She was one of the few who didn’t care what the rest of the town said, she knew the Callahan cousins were good people. But Jaymi started receiving threatening phone calls warning her that if she didn’t stay away from Rafe that it would cost her her life. And, it did.
The cousins were camping and they heard Jaymi’s screams as she was being raped. They ran to her as quickly as they could and killed her attacker. But they were too late to save her and she died in Rafe’s arms; her dying wish for him to protect her younger sister, Cami.
The cousins called the police, but were quickly accused of the crime, even though there was no evidence and the FBI profiler had suspected there had been at least two men involved and the DNA found on the victims didn’t match the Callahan cousins’. But the town just wanted something else to blame on them. After a long fight, they were cleared of the crimes and no additional perpetrators had ever been found except of course the attacker the cousins had killed.
The cousins joined the military and traveled away from Sweetrock.
Over the years, Rafe and Cami had some intimate encounters, but she always snuck out while she thought Rafe was asleep; an act that hurts them both to their cores. But when she miscarried the child Rafe never knew existed she felt she lost her soul and things changed between the two. She vowed never to let herself be in a position to lose so much ever again. But she had to take that detour that one snowy night to make sure the rumors were true and that Rafe was really back in town. Her car ended up a ditch and she ended up stranded at his ranch during the blizzard. Rafe would never again let her get away so easily.
Then, Cami starts to receive the same threatening phone calls her sister had received. Can she trust Rafe to tell him of the threats? How long before he finds out about her biggest secret of all? How long before he walks away just like everyone else in her life has? And, can they find the remaining murderer before he gets his hands on Cami?
I ended up really enjoying this book, although there were a lot of editing mistakes, which I rarely comment on during a review, but they were that obvious. The most annoying to me was the omission of quotation marks in places making it hard to determine when the speaker changed or what was said vs thought?
The storyline was interesting with the person threatening and killing Jaymi and then setting out to the same to Cami. And, then of course the why of it all. Why would someone care who the Callahan cousins were sleeping with? What kind of threat is it to them?
This is only the second Lora Leigh book that I have ever read and I have the same complaint with both. I hate the whole male dominance thing she does with the men in her stories (or at least the two I’ve read). You don’t get a nice build-up of flirting and romance with the couples, but instead the men almost force themselves on the women because they ‘know’ the girl wants it. I hate that. Here, you have Cami trying to keep her distance from Rafe and he’s outlining all the things he is going to do to her body and all the ways he’s going to ‘claim’ her. *Rolls eyes* Other than that I really did enjoy the book and feel that if the male dominance was removed from the story, I’d probably give it a higher rating.
This book at least had a storyline!! I felt the other Leigh book I read, Tempting the Beast, was all sex and no real storyline to speak of. I like some smut, but still need my smut to have some kind of plot.
When Rafe wasn’t being a dominating ass, I did enjoy him. I loved seeing his protectiveness he had over Cami and all the love that he harbored for her inside himself. Then, you got to see the hurt he felt when he thought Cami was ashamed of him only to be proven wrong once he found out about the baby and how Cami had grieved for the child she lost and had even wanted it before it had been conceived. I kept chanting the whole book…”tell him, tell him, tell him” so I was pretty excited when she finally did, even though he did have to drag it out of her. I kept expecting her to get pregnant again, but she didn’t. Who knows? Maybe that will come later in the series.
I did get confused with so many supporting characters in the book, especially all of the Callahan relatives. I had a hard time keeping them straight and they started blending in to one another in my mind. I hope that is something that gets cleared up for me in later installments of the series.
Oh and Mark was such an ass!! I understand feeling betrayed by his wife with the birth of Cami, but how can you really blame an innocent child? Rafe and Cami were more alike than anybody wanted to admit, both being hated for their parentage. And, it was great that they could find unconditional love with one another; the only true love either of them had ever felt with the exception of Jaymi, of course.
I did enjoy this book and I am eager to read the sequel, Deadly Sins. I just hope that Logan doesn’t pull that domineering bullshit. He doesn’t seem like a character that would, but you just never know.