The Banty House
by Carolyn Brown
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Number of pages: 288
Source: Net Galley ARC
Read 5/20/20 to 5/23/20
In the fading town of Rooster, Texas, all that’s really left is a service station, a church…and the Banty House, a long-ago Depression-era brothel. For more than seventy-five years, Betsy, Connie, and Kate Carson have called their mama’s house a home. The three eccentric sisters get by just fine with their homemade jams and jellies, a little moonshine on the side, and big hearts always open to strangers. Like Ginger Andrews.
An abandoned teen with a baby on the way and nowhere to go, she’s given a room to call her own for as long as she wants. The kind invitation is made all the sweeter when Ginger meets the sisters’ young handyman, Sloan Baker. But with a past as broken as Ginger’s, he’s vowed never to get close to anyone again. As a season of change unfolds, Ginger and Sloan might discover a warm haven to heal in the Banty House, a place to finally belong, where hope and dreams never fade.
My relationship with this author is all over the map. Sometimes she’s like a best friend that I’m so glad to catch up with, sometimes she’s that annoying coworker that I’m trying to sidle away from inconspicuously. This time she’s somewhere in between.
This story started off nicely for me. I enjoyed getting to know the sisters and had no problem picturing their small town and house. After a bit it settled into a relaxing pace. I wasn’t getting anything spectacular from the story, but it was enjoyable and relaxing. Sorry for using so many metaphors today, but I felt like I was kicking back on a breezy porch with a glass of lemonade. Slow and steady. I was engaged but not invested. The story was, at that point, getting a solid 3 stars from me. Comfortable.
And then it went off the rails. Not for a huge portion of the book, just a few pages. But it was enough to tick me off and feel as if the writer was being lazy. Let me be clear, the character I adore the most in this story is Sloan. He’s been through the wringer but is still one of the most kind and patient characters ever. He’s sexy and strong and smart and just an all-around good guy. Because of all of these traits, the way he handles a particular situation irked me. He is way to protective for things to play out as they did and he would NEVER let Ginger stay in a place she may be in danger. It just didn’t make sense. Plus, the transition to this scene was very odd. I actually thought Sloan was dreaming for a bit because it went from one thing to another with no real sense of urgency or realism to the story.
Thankfully, things went back to normal (for this story) after that brief transgression, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. I was no longer trusting the author to finish strong and that made the last bit of this story a little less enjoyable.
I will continue reading this author. Like I said before, I have my ups and downs with her. A adore her Lucky Penny Ranch series and have thoroughly enjoyed the books in her Longhorn Canyon series I’ve read so far. But I cannot, in good conscious give this one a 3-star rating.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**