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Open Country

Open Country

4.1 38
by Kaki Warner

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How do you forgive a brother's betrayal? How far do you go to protect the family you love? Hank and Molly find out in OPEN COUNTRY, Book II of the 1870s family saga, the Blood Rose Trilogy.

Molly McFarlane is as desperate as a woman can get. Forced to flee with her late sister's children, she must provide for her wards while outrunning the


How do you forgive a brother's betrayal? How far do you go to protect the family you love? Hank and Molly find out in OPEN COUNTRY, Book II of the 1870s family saga, the Blood Rose Trilogy.

Molly McFarlane is as desperate as a woman can get. Forced to flee with her late sister's children, she must provide for her wards while outrunning the relentless tracker the children's vicious stepfather has set on their trail. Out of money and with no other options, she marries a man badly injured in a train derailment, assuming when he dies, the railroad settlement will provide the money they need to keep moving West.

But there is one small problem. The man doesn't die.

Hank Wilkins doesn't recall the accident he barely survived-and he certainly doesn't remember marrying Molly. But as he slowly recovers at the Wilkins ranch in New Mexico Territory, the idea of a real marriage takes hold...until his memory returns, and that fragile trust is shattered, and the tracker follows Molly to the ranch. Then things really start to unravel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Molly McFarlane flees from her vicious brother-in-law with her late sister's children in tow in this second entry of the Blood Rose trilogy. Without a real plan, she heads for the frontier, hoping for a new life but the train carrying them is derailed and, desperate, Molly marries an injured man in the hopes of getting the widow's benefits. However, Hank Wilkins doesn't die, and though he remembers nothing, still he takes Molly and the children back to his ranch, where he starts to fall in love with her. But when a tracker sent by her brother-in-law menaces her and Hank learns the truth about their marriage, Molly is desperate, with no one to turn to except the man she has deceived but also come to love. While there's a great deal of genre conventions in this historical romance: rough and tumble men, independent but vulnerable women and a frontier code of honor, still, Molly and Hank are a charming couple, despite the needlessly dramatic villains and the preposterous 'conspiracy' around them. For fans of Western romance who don't mind some suspension of disbelief.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"Warner earned readers' respect as a strong western writer with her debut, the first book in the Blood Rose Trilogy. With the second, she cements that reputation. Her powerful prose, realistic details, and memorable characters all add up to a compelling, emotionally intense read."
-Romantic Times

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.78(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of Kaki Warner
“A truly original new voice in historical fiction.”—New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas
“I highly recommend any of [Kaki Warner’s] books.”—USA Today
“[A] solid romance…an engaging read.”—Publishers Weekly
“Flawlessly written.”—Chicago Tribune
“Filled with adventure, humor, and deeply satisfying emotion.”—The Romance Dish
Kaki Warner is the 2011 RITA Winner for Best First Book for Pieces of Sky

Meet the Author

Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest. Although she now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, Kaki actually grew up in the Southwest and is a proud graduate of the University of Texas. Kaki now spends her time gardening, hiking, reading, writing, and soaking in the view from the deck of their hilltop cabin with her husband and floppy-eared hound dog.

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Open Country 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
LifeChick More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of Kaki Warner until I went to the new fiction section of my library, looked over the titles that seemed interesting, and picked up Open Country. When I try out a new author, I never know exactly what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with the way the story pulled me in from the first page. I enjoyed the clean, descriptive writing. I liked the way she kept the tension going between not just Molly and Hank, but Molly and Brady, Hank and Brady, and Molly and Charlie. I was worried almost from the beginning about Hank's probable reaction to Molly's deception. My only complaint is that the tone of the story is mostly serious, but switches to a more light-hearted tone in places. At times, I wasn't sure if I was reading a comedy or a drama. Other than that, the story is well-written and I will be reading the previous story in the series, as well as the third when it comes out.
Tiger_Holland More than 1 year ago
Molly McFarlane has a classic romantic heroine's grab-bag of problems: her dad died recently, her sister died recently, she's caring for her 6-year-old niece and 8-year old nephew, and they're all on the run from her villainous, abusive brother-in-law. And since this is 1871, there aren't a lot of resources at Molly's fingertips, as a single woman without a big inheritance. Faced with this desperate situation, Molly makes an equally desperate move and marries a dying man so that she can get an insurance settlement to help her provide for the kids. But Hank Wilkins doesn't die easily, so Molly finds herself married for real and still terrified of the bad guys her brother-in-law might send after them. I have so many mixed feelings about this novel. On one hand, I really enjoyed reading it, but on the other, there were so many times I was jerked out of the story by the characters' offbeat decisions. For example, Molly survives a train wreck and promptly decides that the best way of providing for herself and her sister's children is marrying this soon-to-be-dead bearded guy whose name she doesn't know. I don't have a problem with the morality of the set-up--a desperate woman marrying a dying man so that she can provide for her wards, but the actual circumstances are really iffy. She hears someone talking about how much money the wreck victims' families will get, and she thinks that it'll be just enough money to get herself and the kids settled in a new life. The funny thing is, Molly was trained by her medical genius of a father, so she has a decent chance of providing for the kids without resorting to this deception. She even thinks about the possibilities in an earlier passage: "She would find employment--either as an assistant to one of her father's medical colleagues, or in a clinic or hospital" (pg 9). But she's made up her mind to try for this insurance money, so she checks the guy's hand for a ring (never mind that wedding bands for men were not commonly used until World War II, sixty-five years later), and consoles herself that he's unmarried and at least she isn't taking money away from some other legitimate widow. It's still kind of a low-down thing to do, but at least she has the decency to feel super guilty. Plus, it's not legal--he never agrees to marry her, and he's not conscious for their wedding vows. Then for a long while, if you forget the slight zaniness of the setup, it's a very good story. Molly's gotten herself married to Hank Wilkins, co-owner of Wilkins Cattle and Mining in New Mexico. She knows this because his brother Brady, apparently the hero of book one, shows up and threatens her with jail time for using his brother in such a way. Brady thinks she's a bigtime mercenary with an eye on Hank's fortune, when in reality she's only a teensy bit mercenary. I did like how Brady hates her immediately--it's nice to see a damsel in distress that everyone's not petting and pitying. But Molly redeems herself by caring for Hank once she realizes he's got a small chance at living. She's got incredible medical knowledge from helping her father tend wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and we get wonderful medical details like seeing her use silver wire to sew Hank's muscle tissue back together and horsehair to sew up the outer skin. I'm not being sarcastic; I really appreciate the realistic presentation of medical trauma because it makes the story come to life and really cements the time-period authenticit
Sis_Steel More than 1 year ago
Open Country is the definition of a five star second book in a trilogy: tremendous spunky heroine, handsome wounded hero, characters from the first book woven seamlessly into the new story, and the same brilliant writing that captivated this reader in the first book, Pieces of Sky. Interestingly, I read this book featuring a Civil War veteran nurse right before I started My Name is Mary Sutter, a historical Civil War medical novel creating a lot of buzz this summer. Open Country is just as vividly historic and humane, dealing with the after effects of war for the caregivers and the dangers of childbirth in women. But Open Country is a true western historical romance with emphasis on the romance. Molly's need to protect her newfound love and family is a realistic one. Hank's struggle to trust Molly rings true. Their emotions and conflict are honestly portrayed with more than a few gut-wrenching scenes. A more than worthy follow-up to Pieces of Sky, Open Country took everything I loved about the first book and topped it. If you have not read the first book, Open Country is still a stand alone read, but you will want to go back and catch up after falling for Kaki Warner's writing.
RowdyJewelCT More than 1 year ago
YAHOO, SHE DID IT AGAIN! Kaki Warner managed to fill this 2nd book of the Blood Rose Trilogy with just as much tension, suspense, romance, and humor as she did in Pieces of Sky. I could not stop turning the pages, and now I can hardly wait to read the last Wilkins brother's story Jack's-Chasing the Wind! January 2011 seems like forever away. Warner definitely knows how to spin a tale and I for one am looking forward to many more fascinating and wonderful books from her!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In reading this book, I did not feel the connection between Hank and Molly, there was no chemistry. With Brady and Jessica you felt the chemistry the moment they met. I loved Hank, but wish Molly's character had been written differently.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1871 at the suggestion of her sister's doctor, nurse Molly McFarlane travels from Atlanta to Savannah to see her sibling Nellie who is dying from lung disease. Molly's brother-n-law Daniel Fletcher is nasty to her; telling her to go home. Nellie pleads with Molly to run off with her two preadolescent children from a previous marriage, as she fears for them under Daniels martinet abuse. As Molly flees with her niece and nephew, in nearby Jeanerette, Rustin lectures Daniel for failing to find what his late father-in-law hid as the wealthy man plots a second Southern rebellion because war is money. Meanwhile, out west a train wreck leaves Patrick Henry "Hank" Wilkins near death, remorseful but desperate Molly marries him so she can inherit at least an insurance claim to take care of the kids and hide from her odious brother-in-law's operatives. Instead Hank recovers, but is clueless re marriage and a train wreck. He takes his wife and her wards to his family ranch in the New Mexico Territory where his family embraces the newcomers. As they fall in love and his memory returns, her Georgia roots are arriving. The second of the Blood Rose trilogy (see The Pieces of the Sky) is a wonderful historical tale starring a strong ensemble cast. A key fresh premise is the push for a new Confederacy revolt as personal economic gain due to war motivates Rustin and his cohorts, who stole gold from the south several years ago. With an intriguing lead couple whose marriage is shaky as he knows part of the truth in spite of two frightened children needing them and the rest of the Wilkins, fans will appreciate this superb Reconstruction Era romance. Harriet Klausner
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Sparky_Patches More than 1 year ago
Overall Rating: 4.85 // Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 5.0 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 1.0 / Suspense: 3.5 // Historical Flavor: 2.5 // Laughter: 16 / Grins: 3 // Tears: 6 / Teary: 7 Open Country: 4.85: Warner displays her skills as a gifted storyteller in this wonderfully entertaining romance.  Readers are drawn deep into the story because it is so easy to experience the same deeply-felt emotions of laughter and tears right along with the hero and heroine.  The author's sense of humor is evident as she interlaces the romance with humorous, well-written dialogue.  The rich flavor of the story is rounded out by the addition of several well-developed, multi-faceted supporting characters. Hero: 4.5: Patrick Henry "Hank" Wilkins: This giant, bear-sized man revealed a vulnerable heart hidden behind a silent assessing gaze.  It was so easy to love this man who had a way with animals, children and was always taking things apart to see how they worked.  Loved the way Hank was determined to walk his own path in spite of living in the shadow of his older brother. Quote: When he had something to say, he spoke.  When he didn't, he didn't.  (page 100) Heroine: 5.0: Molly McFarlane:  Could not help but feel an emotional connection to this heroine who has spent her teen years training at her father's side, having had no beaus, no girlish chatter, nor party dresses.  Could not help but admire this strong-willed, self-reliant, compassionate heroine who continued to get up and fight each and every time she was knocked down.  A very strong woman whose desire to be loved drove her to perform great deeds. Story Line: 4.0: What a unique way to place a woman in the path of a man who had walled off his heart.  Have her marry him while he is unconscious!  Then give her the gift of healing and include a brother who needs those skills to blackmail her into taking care of her 'husband.'  A great idea that was entertainingly developed. Action: 3.0: Warner starts off the story with a bang as Molly finds herself fleeing with her niece and nephew to protect them from an evil stepfather.  After a train derailment, Molly resorts to deceit to try and secure money for her continued flight.  The story become remarkably slower  until the end of the book where Molly has to deal with the villain sent to find her. Emotion: 5.0: Drawing emotions from her readers is one of the skills at which Warner excels.  This book forces readers to experience the full range of emotions, from side-splitting laughter to moments of joy and sweetness, to experiencing fear and pain, and to shedding tears right along with the characters. Romance: 4.5: A beautiful relationship slowly developed between a great bear of a man who protected his heart by watching life pass him by and a woman who had given up hope of having any kind of future that involved a husband and family. Sensuous: 1.0: In spite of the romantic kisses and strong awareness between Hank and Molly, when it come to the actual lovemaking, the readers were left out in the cold.  No spice.  No sizzle. Suspense: 3.5: There is an degree of suspense running through the entire story.  Will Fletcher find Molly, Charlie and Penny?  What will happen when Hank finds out that Brady and Molly have lied to him about his marriage.  How are Hank and Molly going to win against the brutal villain sent to find the book taken from Fletcher's home? Secondary Characters:  5.0: Warner's secondary character development is top notch.  These characters add so much realism and interest to the story.  It was wonderful that Brady, Jessica, Melanie and Dougal (from book one) were included in this second book.  And the interaction between Hank and the two children (Charlie and Penny) was phenomenal, particularly the dialogue. See Wolf Bear Does Books for a more in-depth, detailed review of *Open Country*.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fleshed out characters No holes in the plots Humor Plenty of heartache and drama This whole series is excellent - especially Pieces of Sky
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*finds mouse in cookie jar then turns back* MY COOKIIIIIIEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *strangles the mouse* (srry gtta take meds! Weird organ pains! Gnite! *kisses*
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This is a great follow-up to Pieces of Sky. From the very beginning, the story moves quickly and pulls the reader in. I couldn't help but fall head-over-heels for Hank. I highly recommend this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Though her first novel was good I thought this one had a better story line. Fell in love with Hank in the previous novel. Definitely recommend!
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loved it!
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