Rating: 3.5 Stars
LUKE'S CUT is the eighth and final installment in the "Hell's Eight" series but surprisingly enough I think it may be more enjoyable to those who haven't read the entire series. And while I didn't love it, after ten long years since "Caine's Reckoning" was released (book 1) I'm glad to finally be able to finish the series off. I debated between three and four stars for this story, but in the end it just didn't leave me throughly satisfied and after waiting so long for this book to come out, that was a tad disappointing.
First off I never quite fell in love with Josie who was a walking, talking contradiction. One moment she was shy and unsure and the next she was full of sass and competence, these last two mostly when interacting with Luke or shooting her pictures. And speaking of photos, I enjoyed learning the ins and outs and other little details of 1860s photography which I found very interesting. As for Luke, he was your typical Hell's eight hero; strong, arrogant, smart and possessive. I really loved him and the fact that he never gave up on Josie, although for the life of me I can't see what the attraction was for him. She was sweet and I liked her for the most part, but her indecisiveness often had me wanting to shake some sense into her.
The story itself I found entertaining, fast paced, and well written. There was a little action, plenty of romance, and some welcome appearances by a handful of the Hell's Eight men, though not all of them. Caine, Tucker and Ace all appear in the beginning which was nice, and Sam and his Bella play a large part in the second half of this story. Even Tia, their adopted (more or less) mother plays a large part too. And since they travel through Comanche territory I expected to see some Indians, however, that didn't pan out. Then there was a scene with a group of bandits that was never actually resolved either, which I also thought was odd and left me feeling like the story was somewhat incomplete.
But the real kicker was the ending which I think should have included an epilogue and a Hell's Eight family reunion. Maybe a wedding, a sendoff for Josie and Luke on their adventures, or a celebration for Sam and Bella. I was hugely disappointed not to see Tracker (who just happens to be my favorite) one more time too. And although he and Ari are mentioned, Shadow and Caden were never even alluded to at all. In the end it was a bit better than okay, but I guess it just didn't live up to my high expectations.
Setting: 1861 Texas & New Mexico
Ages: Josie (26) Luke (32)
Kindle Locations: 4490 and all of it story =)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Hqn Books (28 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373789092
- ISBN-13: 978-0373789092
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 16.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 177 g
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