Top positive review
I Devoured Knox and Can't Wait for Tate!
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019
YES. I mean, yes, yes, and amen. Susan May Warren is back and I love it! Now, I liked her latest Montana Rescue series--but I loved the Montana Marshalls debut. This was the Susie May I missed from Deep Haven and Christiansen days, the one who focused more on character and emotional/spiritual development than tracking the bad guys through the wilderness. Oh, there was some of that too, but I liked the balance more in this one. Also, because Montana Marshalls is a new series, I had a much easier time keeping up with who was who and how they fit in.
Knox and Kelsey, as well as Tate and Glo, are nothing short of power couples, but are a pleasure to get to know on their own. Kudos to Susie May for once again pulling off two couples, and in the space of a shorter novel, no less. I loved the development of both relationships, especially Glo calling Tate all those nicknames and Knox and Kelsey bonding over hockey games and old Western episodes. The former is probably something I'd do to a guy--I especially loved it when Glo called Tate Shakespeare.
But I also loved the individual character development here, and the non-romantic relationships. Kelsey will always stick with me, because Susie gave her some serious trauma without making her a helpless victim. (Seriously, I happened to be reading that part in public and had to be careful not to audibly react). With Kelsey, you understand completely why she's running and exactly why she wants so badly to beat the fear but can't. I saw myself in her--I haven't gone through what she has, but I do have things in my life that I'd rather die than let win, and it was convicting to be reminded that only God can beat the demons for good.
Speaking of, the spiritual and emotional element here is on point in a way I can barely describe. It's subtle, but that actually helps point the reader and characters toward Jesus in a more organic way. When the Marshalls talk about God as their Father and Friend, you know they mean it, and they're in it for the long haul--but you don't feel like they're preachy or perfect. Even though the Marshalls aren't real, I felt like if I could show up at the Triple M, they'd accept me, bumps, bruises, and all--and I could believe God would, too. I'm saved and understand the concept of grace, but I've tried to earn it a million times. These characters help you realize yeah, God really is crazy about you.
I know I said I appreciated a break from the suspense element, but Susie scored there, too. I'm now anxious to know more about Reba Jackson, the Bryant Group, how Tate got mixed up with the Russian mafia (!!!) and all that jazz. I've also always liked when Susie's books lean toward Western, so I enjoyed the rodeo/cowboy element, as well as Knox's love for the ranch, how he had to work through that with Reuben, and so on. The element of the Yankee Belles in general was a favorite--they'd definitely be on my iPod. I want more of the Marshalls, as much as Susie wants to give. I want to know every single one of them like they were my own family. Please, please hurry with Tate!