Book Review: Colton by Blood by Melissa Cutler

Colton by Blood by Melissa Cutler is the second book in The Coltons of Wyoming series. Dr. Levi Colton is called to Dead River Ranch to care for his father, a man that never claimed him as a son. Looking for some closure, and to help his half sisters, Levi knows he is in for a challenge. When he did not expect was to find Kate McCord, a pastry chef with her own mission and sweet smile. Neither is eager to put their heart on the line, and plenty of more pressing matters are on their minds. The Colton patriarch is dying, an unsolved murder and kidnapping plot still weighs heavy on everyone's minds, and wildfires are burning. Can the pair come to terms their own demons and their attraction before they fall prey to a killer's trap?

I will start of by saying that I did not read the first book in the series, The Colton Ransom by Marie Ferrarella. However, while there were certain bits of background story that I might have not had a complete picture of, I felt that Colton by Blood stood on its own well. There was a well balanced mix of drama, fun flirting, and suspense. Kate is a woman looking to rebuild her life after losing everything she cared about. Tragedy took her family, and left fear of the dark and a bundle of debts in their place. She is trying to survive and do better every day, but never really expects love or even success in her future, just survival. Levi has been the denied bastard son for most of his life, and is making peace with his situation. The loss of his mother, his less than picture perfect childhood, and one forgotten night leave him with ghosts to do battle with. Levi's response to to become a doctor in order to help others, and to find a healthy way to connect to others. Together the pair fight their attraction, not wanting to be detracted from their goals, but cannot seem to stop the connection or flirting that seems to pop up between them. The larger family dynamics and suspense are extremely well done and had me intrigued- interested to read more of the series.

I have to admit that there was one thing that bothered me, and that just might be my issue rather than a problem with Colton by Blood. I think it was about half way through the book, I saw the start of a plot twist. It certainly made things more dramatic and intense, but I thought it a little to obvious. In fact, I commented on it out-loud and received a strange look from my husband as I told my Kindle how disappointed in that aspect of the story. I do not want to give it away, and the story as a whole was still very good, but I thought it was a little to easy of a twist to tie everything together.

I would recommend Colton by Blood to readers that have read and enjoyed the other books by Cutler, or The Colton Ransom by Marie Ferrarella. The characters and flirting were perfect, and the suspense was fairly well done as well. If you like all the mysteries introduced in a story to be tied up in the end, then you would be disappointed here. To get all the big secrets about the Colton family, I think readers will have to dive in and read the complete series. However, if this book is an indication of the quality of the entire series, the effort will be no chore.

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