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Leaving Whiskey Bend Hardcover – November 13, 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Garlock's newest (after On Tall Pine Lake) feels old, and not just because it's set in 1890. Schoolteacher Hallie Wolcott flees Whiskey Bend, Colo., with her friends Pearl and Mary after Mary is beaten by Chester, one of the town's many brutes. Pearl, the eldest, has been through this before, and she won't rest until they find a place that feels safe. Fortunately, a powerful storm leaves them washed up at tumbledown ranch owned by Eli Morgan. Eli's cantankerous and cruel mother wants no part of the women, but she begrudgingly changes her mind when an accident lands her in bed. Meanwhile, Chester's been tracking the ladies; will he find them at the ranch, the place where each woman feels she can finally find true happiness? The answer to this and other cliffhangers are apparent to the reader long before the resolutions are played out on the page. The prose is lifeless, the dialogue wooden and the whole thing reads like a poorly strung-together mishmash of western romance tropes. (Nov.)
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Review

"There is nothing better than Dorothy Garlock at her best." (Sandra Brown, New York Times bestselling author)

"There is nothing better than Dorothy Garlock at her best." (Janet Dailey)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (November 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446577936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446577939
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,878,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dorothy Garlock always makes me feel that I am at the place where the action is. Great book. I couldn't put it down until I was finished.
A must buy book. Lots of action and a few laughs.
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Format: Paperback
I have read nearly all of Dorothy Garlock's books and always look forward to new offerings from her. She never disappoints. I especially enjoy her stories about life in the 30's and 40's. That would have been MY youth. Leaving Whiskey Bend is not one of my favorites of hers, although it is a good story. It is nearly impossible to imagine people behaving the way they do in this story, especially in today's society, and getting away with it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Leaving Whiskey Bend is a disappointing out for Dorothy Garlock. The plot of three women escaping the rumor mill and evil Chester Remnick of Whiskey Bend is weak and the character development of all the main characters, weaker. Garlock puts misguided energy into the creation of sympathetic Caleb Morgan in the book's prologue, only to have him come to an untimely end by page 8. Sadly, like Caleb's ludicrously disfunctional family, the novel never recovers from the loss. As the story progresses, the balance of characters--none of whom are particularly likeable--are one-dimensional and never fully defined as tragic or comedic.

Garlock's trademark ability to make landscape and characters come to life on the page doesn't begin to glimmer through the murkiness of this volume which reads more like a first effort than the work of a seasoned writer who's talent is best showcased in the Missouri series and particularly in The Edge of Town (Missouri, Book 1).

Garlock's publisher is fond of using the line, "There is nothing better than Dorothy Garlock at her best," Sandra Brown, New York Times bestselling author. Unfortunately, Leaving Whiskey Bend is far from Garlock's best work. If you haven't read her, don't start here. Check out her Missouri series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Leaving Whiskey Bend is a novel rife with characters in desperate turmoil. Former School Teacher Hallie Wolcott and her friend Pearl Parsons have rescued their friend Mary who was in a severely abusive relationship and decided to leave their troubled lives behind them in Whiskey Bend, Colorado. But trouble and their pasts are fast on their tails and the women are trying desperately to keep them at bay and to stay alive from the vengeful and furious stepbrother of Mary who has threatened to kill them both for taking Mary and putting a bullet in him.

Eli Morgan is a man who has lost his family some to murder, some to sickness, some to the sins of his past. Now he is back home and trying to put the pieces of his family and his family ranch back together. His mother has never forgiven him for leaving on the heels of his youngest brother’s murder and now he has returned to find that his older brother is not the man he remembers at all after he fell ill after Eli went off to the military. Eli vows to make amends and to find the person responsible for his brother’s murder. As if this weren’t complicated enough Eli happens upon three women in distress and takes them to his home (as one of them is very ill ) to recover. Vowing to help the women he doesn’t know that his trouble just doubled as Mary’s stepbrother is close behind…

Eli is enchanted by Hallie and neither of them can deny the attraction between them. As their feelings grow can these two lost souls find in each other the peace that both of them are so longing for? Or will their pasts rise up to destroy them all before they have the chance to find out.

Leaving Whiskey Bend was a good read though I have to admit I was expecting a bit more than it delivered in the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition
After reading 22 of Garlock's books, most of which are wonderful, this story is a real disappointment. Garlock is known for her characters-with-depth; here, she didn't seem to waste much ink creating characters that were multi-dimensional and interesting.

Probably the most exciting character was Caleb Morgan. However, he was finished by the end of the Prologue. After the strong build up of this youngest son, it was a shock when he was gone. None of the other characters seemed to receive as much attention.

By the ½ way point, I realized that I didn't really care about any of the characters in this book. The premise of the story was neither logical nor interesting. Hallie, Pearl and Mary were a strange combination; their friendship simply didn't ring true.

On the other hand: The villains seemed meaner than the protagonists were good; it made for one strange and unbalanced story.

This author is a master at creating a mood and making place descriptions sparkle. For example, all five books in the "Dolan Brothers" series bring small town living and the feel of the Depression years to life (with amazing clarity).

Here, the two towns where most of the action took place -- Whiskey Bend and Bison City -- seemed to be ugly spots in the road. They were places one would want to leave as quickly as possible.

It pains me to give such a negative review because I admire Dorothy Garlock's writing and storytelling skills. She's been one of my favorite authors since discovering her some time ago. Any writer can have a book that doesn't `speak to the reader' and hopefully this is just a fluke.
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