RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner

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Title: Pieces of Sky
Author: Kaki Warner
Publication Info: Berkley 2010
ISBN: 978-0425232149
Genre: Historical: American

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.Ev’s RITA® Reader Challenge is for this novel, which finaled in the Best First Book category.

Book CoverPlot Summary: On a stagecoach traveling through New Mexico Territory, Jessica Thornton is a long way from the cool mists and lush gardens of her native England. An authoress and milliner, she carries the weight of a scandalous secret-a horrible shame that has brought her to the West on a desperate search for the only family she can trust: her brother.

No one prepared Jessica for the heat and the hardships. And no one prepared her for a man like Brady Wilkins. For, despite the rancher’s rough-hewn appearance and her own misgivings, Jessica must put her life in his hands after their stagecoach crashes. And she begins to see the man behind the callused hands and caustic wit. A man strong enough to carve out a home in the wilderness, brave enough to fight for his own, and passionate enough to restore her faith in herself-and in her heart.

And here is Ev’s review:

I read all kinds of historical romance, just not westerns. This book could change that. This novel reminded me once again there are truly gifted storytellers still to be discovered. It’s a simple, yet not so simple story of two careworn souls finding each other. Brady and Jessica are Warner’s gift to the reader, fully realized and wonderfully wrought on paper. I laughed, I cried, felt their pain, and gloried in their love.

“Give me your hand.”

She looked over to see Brady holding out his hand, palm up. “Why?”

“So I can hold it.”

“Why do you want to hold it?”

“Because the sun’s down and I’m afraid of the dark. Or because you’ve been ogling me like a buyer at a cattle auction and I figured I’d give you a treat. Or because I like doing it. Just give me your damn hand.”

She gave him her hand. His palm was warm and rough against hers, his fingers long enough to encircle hers in a sturdy grip. It made her feel secure and safe and petite. “I was not ogling,” she said after they had rocked for a while.

“You were.”

“I was noticing. There is a difference.”

He leaned closer until his shoulder rubbed against hers as they rocked. “And what did you notice?”

Warner’s singular writing just enhances the reader’s experience. In the landscape of her story nothing is out of sync, no emotions unfounded, nor actions unconnected to the character’s reality. There are worthy secondary characters, a truly sick villain bound on revenge, and I’m happy to report, brothers with stories to be told. 

If you expect instant lust with immediate, graphic sex with page-turning, shoot-them-up cowboy action, then this one is not for you. But if you want to view the precarious life of a rancher in the New Mexico Territory of the 1860’s and experience the wonderful evolution of real love between two remarkable people, then this one IS for you. This why I read romance.


This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | WORD Brooklyn

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    d-day says:

    My thought process while reading this review:

    Wow – I rarely read westerns, but this sounds right up my alley!  I can’t wait to read this one. 

    (clicks Kindle link)

    $13 DOLLARS?!?!

    Um, maybe the library will have it. 

    Ouch.

  2. 2
    Aspexi says:

    Wow, d-day, you’re right – it is $12.99 as a Kindle ebook!

    So clickety-click-click, it just took 5 seconds to place a request with my town library. The book is listed as available, and I’ll have it by tomorrow morning. I’d love to support the author, but, again, wow! I really can’t conceive of paying that much to basically “lease” any ebook….

  3. 3
    Carolyn says:

    I’d bought this book some time ago, but there’s no way I’d pay $13.00 for a new-to-me author. So I looked it up in my Amazon account.

    I bought it back in February 2010, before I got so heavily into ebooks. So it was bought in paper. The price?  $4.89 ‘cause I bought it used.

    I don’t know that I’d do that now. I’m completely converted to digital.

  4. 4
    kkw says:

    Ah ha! So this is the book that comes before the dancing armadillos. The super villainous villain – you didn’t find him over the top?  This was my biggest problem with villain #2.  Also, in the 2nd book, Brady was an unbearable idiot, but he comes off very well in that excerpt.  Does he get concussed frequently over the course of this book? Maybe it happens between this book and the second, because any intelligence has seriously dwindled by the sequel.  I was sure I wasn’t going to read this one, but you’re really tempting me.

  5. 5
    cecilia says:

    I thought this book was really kind of terrible. The villains were over the top. The happy endings (resolutions to the problems keeping the protagonists apart) were over the top. The idea of a milliner (the bottom of the barrel socially) being some kind of social arbiter was ridiculous. And on and on. I definitely would recommend that if you’re tempted to read it, get it from the library.

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