BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review of Westward, Home! by J.A. Campbell

Publisher: Echelon Press
Series: Into The West #6
Release Date: May 3, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon     Smashwords

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

Still not too sure about riding in a dress, Tina and the gang have to escape from Matherson’s men. Twice. Despite her attempts, Tina failed to convince the Sheriff to help with the water feud, but the Markie brothers and their gang agree to assist for a cut of the silver from the mine. First, they must defeat Matherson, and they’re still outgunned. Tina has learned to love the desert, but will a New Jersey teen be able to beat impossible odds and time itself to save the ranch and keep the cowboy she loves?

Reviewed By: Bea

Bea's Thoughts:

First, a disclosure: I helped the author with line edits on this story; I was not compensated in any way. My review is based on the Kindle copy that I purchased, which, darn it, still had typos. 

So, I read this story twice: Once when I was editing and then again after I bought my kindle copy. Really, when I was doing the line edits, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to the story so I had to read it again, this time for the story.

This is the final installment of Campbell's Into the West series. I've been wanting it, because I wanted to see how she wrapped things up, and dreading it, because it's the final installment. Happily, she has more book in other series in the works, so you'll be seeing more reviews of her books.

Maybe it's because I was anticipating this story so very much, but this one was okay for me, about average. It has a HFN ending; I had hoped for an HEA but hey, Tina is a teenager, she has time. Given the geographical and epochal challenges they face, an HFN probably makes the most sense. The loose ends get tied up and while Rowe and Tina may have a HFN, the story as a whole has a happy ending.

"Westward, Home!" picks up where book #5, "Sagebrush Song", left off: with Tina, Rowe, and Angie being chased by Matherson's gang. Campbell wrote a believable chase scene, that didn't make either group look like idiots. Later, there's an escape scene and an rescue scene. Neither were too simple and I loved that Campbell gently poked fun at some of the tropes of the Western genre. For instance -
Tina's group had the advantage, they didn't have to turn around in their saddles to shoot. Still, firing from horseback was no way to win an accuracy competition and most of the shots missed.
 Also, Tina has a brain. She actually stops and thinks before doing things; so many heroines these days are of the TSTL variety so I appreciate the ones who aren't:
Tina couldn't come up with anything to say that wasn't going likely to get her shot, so she kept her mouth shut.
Smart girl.

I enjoyed this installment, but it didn't quite have the magic, for me, that books 1, 2, 4, and 5 did. But it could be me. I had high expectations for this book. I do like how Tina has changed over the series and grown up; even other characters, such as her BFF Jessica, comment on it. I'm not a fan of stagnant characterization so that's a big plus for me. Other good things about this installment - romance, action, smart heroine (as mentioned earlier), fun and believable characters, humor; pretty much everything you could want. It's a good ending to the series, and I suspect it won't be long before I sit down and re-read the whole series, one after the other.

I own this Kindle book.


  1. This sounds like a fun series with likeable characters. Bummer this one was just ok.

  2. Thanks for all the reviews Bea!



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