After a collision and a kiss, sexy biker Sawyer sets his sights on Mia to keep him company while he’s inspecting a nearby ghost town for restoration. But Mia knows better than to trust a man who’s all looks and charm, and even though she wouldn’t mind a little fling, she’s got that curse to think about. The one that kills off any man who marries the first-born daughter of each new generation — within hours. Sure, she may not be looking for ring, but why tempt fate?
But... Oh, holy comma overload! Seriously, I think there were more commas where they didn’t belong than where they were actually needed, and it made for a really weird reading experience. It’s hard for a story to really flow correctly when oddly-placed commas dictate random pauses mid-sentence with not enough sentence to follow. It’s like someone told the editor that the word “and” should never be used without a preceding comma, and I found myself having to go back and reread things each time, since they didn’t really make sense the first go round. An editor who knows the difference between dependent and independent clauses would make all the difference in the world.
Judging Covers: The cover had me picturing a much different man, someone more cowboy and less biker, probably with more hair. I’m not saying that it’s a bad cover or really even misleading, just that I looked at it and expected something with more of a farm and ranch vibe than small town. So I guess in a way it was a pleasant surprise to meet a bald, Harley-riding mountain of a man instead of a typical romance novel cowboy.
The Verdict: If the punctuation hadn’t been a disaster, I’d probably be giving Leather and Lace five stars — it really was a great story.
Mia, unlike most romance novel characters who had a really awful experience in the past, didn’t let anything get in the way of having fun. From the opening scene to calling her grandmother “sugarbritches” to the permanent blanket fort, she seemed to enjoy everything about her small town life. She did, however, let the whole family curse thing control her dating life a little too much, but I can’t really say I blame her. I mean, history did prove a pattern, and that’s not a chance I imagine anyone would want to take on the man they decided to marry.
Sawyer was pretty great, too. He was a big, strong guy who looked like he could take care of himself, but he wasn’t that stereotypical romance hero who’s constantly showing off his temper or his strength. And while it wasn’t exactly love at first sight with Mia, he was certainly intrigued enough not to give up the first time she turned him down for a date. In fact, he was incredibly thoughtful about it, talking first to one of her best friends to both show that he was a good guy and to find out if and how he might get her to give him a chance.
Also unlike most romance stories, neither one of them was really interested in more than a fling, however long that might last, though they weren’t completely closed off to the possibility. But of course, just when things started looking long-term, the past came back in the worst way, and some (slight) angst ensued. But more fun was the way everything played out, including an unexpected twist in the aptly named ghost town. It was a great addition without being over-the-top, and it made the ending just as intriguing as the very first scene.
Leather and Lace is a quick read, with a different spin on small-town life and romance, and if the weird comma placement won’t trip you up, it’s certainly worth the read. I just hope the next book in the series sees better editing, since I’d love to keep going.