Book Review: Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

Reviewed by Heather C

1Title:  Dakota Skies
Author: Taylin Clavelli
Heroes: Jamie Carter/Kit Brooks (Daniel)
Genre: MM Historical Romance
Length: 359 Pages
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Release Date: September 12, 2014
Available at: Wayward Ink Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Born in the wrong time…

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission…

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul…

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies…

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren’t always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.

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Review:

Hmm.  I’m all conflicted on how a feel about this book.  There were so many things that I liked, and just as many things that I didn’t.

For the first 50% of the story, I could not put my Kindle down.  I think I may have even read to that point all in one day.  Then I struggled for thirteen more days to finish it.  So what happened that it started out so well and took a turn in the opposite direction?

In the beginning, the story was all about Jay, one of the co-sheriffs of Blackrock.  He shares the job with his badass twin sister Anna.  They took over the position a few years prior after their father, the previous sheriff, was killed during a raid by a group called the Valdez.  Jay decides to take some time off from acting sheriff and travel his way down to Texas as a bounty hunter.  His two objectives:  learn all he can about the Valdez…and finally figure out his sexuality.

So what did I like about this book?

The Story.  For the first half of the book, I was really into Jay’s journey.  I liked his bounty hunting tales and his developing friendship with Kit/Daniel.  Once Jay finally returns to Blackrock in the second half, I really enjoyed the everyday life and drama of the town and Jay and Daniel’s ideas of how to exist together without outing themselves.

The Characters.  In the beginning, there were soooo many characters being named that I had to start writing them all down!  And thank goodness I did, because almost all of them were mentioned or appeared again at some point in the story.  Second to the overall story, the dynamic and likable characters really made this story work for me.  I even CRIED at the death of an important character!  I liked how we also get to see some of the other characters’ stories…especially Mason and Anna.  Gawd I loved Anna!  I actually would have loved to have seen an ENTIRE secondary plot telling more about her life instead of just the bits and pieces that were told, but that probably would have been frowned upon by most readers.

The Culture.  There is a lot of Western and Native American culture detailed throughout the story.  Once I forgave the verbiage inaccuracies for the time period, I could respect the time the author spent on the Sioux tribe aspects.  I have absolutely no idea if any of those details were historically accurate, but I enjoyed it for what it was.  I REALLY loved the soul sharing twist.

So what did I not like about this book?

The Head-hopping POV Changes.  This will forever be a pet-peeve of mine, and I will continue to complain about it every time I see it.  There should NEVER EVER be two person’s POVs taking place in the same paragraph.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!  I wish every author would clearly delineate when there are POV shifts!  I was re-reading in so many places because I simply could not tell whose head I was in.  In this book, we get a little bit of everyone’s POV: from the MCs, to the sister, to many other secondary character,s to a rapist that only appears in two scenes in the entire book!  Okay, I can forgive getting so many POVs, because I loved every time it was from Anna’s or Mason’s…but mixing them all together is a no-no.

The Flowery Prose.  Sometimes it works, but most of the time, it doesn’t.  It DID NOT work for me at all in this book.  I don’t know if it was bad throughout the entire story, or if I just noticed it more during the second half once Jay and Kit/Daniel started having sex.  It eventually got so distracting that the passionate scenes between them were completely lost on me and ended up being more humorous that sexy.  For example:

Releasing his grip, Daniel slumped back onto the mattress.  He reached for his man and brought him into a lust-filled attack on his plump, wanting mouth.  After losing themselves to the tantalizing meal of tongues, Jay didn’t kiss–he ate his way down Daniel’s body, using his pole as dessert.  Erection and cream was on the menu.  Daniel could imagine the description.

Play with this satisfying, tempting dish for an extended time and you’ll get a surprise.

It wasn’t long before erection and cream was devoured, and the ‘Pud-in-pie’ train ride was on.  Jay prepared Daniel, and soon a soaked carriage was ready to piston its way into a dark tunnel to drop its load.

No no no no no no no no no…THAT IS NOT HOT!

I am always quick to DNF a book that doesn’t interest me, so obviously there was enough here to keep me reading; Jay and Daniel deserved to have their own HEA, and I wanted to see Jay get his revenge on the Valdez.  I think with good editing and a lot of slimming down, this had the potential to be an amazing story.

In the end…Good story, but the execution could have been better.

Overall Impression: It Was Good

*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*

Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

  1. I’m speechless. I’ve read blurbs on other sites about this book and your review is the first I see commenting on the Head Hopping. You would think the Publisher Editors would have picked it up and have the author fix it, plus, the short scene you added? It sounds like the proverbial chick with a dick sort of story. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book and might still do. After all, you did finish reading it and said overall it was good. I’ll be adding it to my ‘maybe’ list.
    Thanks for your honest review.

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