Happy Friday, Bookworms!!
Today I’m reviewing Roustabout, the third book in the Traveling Series by Jane Harvey-Berrick.
Twelve years ago Tucker McCoy walked away from the hell that was his family with not much more than the shirt on his back. No regrets. Never once looking back.
Living his life as a roustabout turned stunt rider with a traveling carnival keeps a smile on his face. His new family are the people he’s chosen to be in his life, the people who travel his road. Kes, Zach and Zef don’t share his blood, but they share his hopes and dreams. Understand his fears and know what makes him tick. They’re his brothers, his real family.
If you keep moving, no one can catch you—it’s a simple rule. So when Tucker crosses paths with Tera Hawkins, he knows he should move on. There’s no woman that’s ever been worth breaking his rules for. Besides, she’s off limits, untouchable. He knows stronger men would walk away, but dammit, he’s always been weak.
All he can offer her is a night she’ll never forget, but will that one taste be enough?
MY RATING: 3.75 stars
***ARC received in exchange of an honest review***
I absolutely LOVED The Traveling Man (see my review HERE) and The Traveling Woman (see my review HERE), they are both on my list of favorite books of 2015. And even though I didn’t rate Roustabout 5 stars I liked it a lot too!
This review is a bit harder for me to write because I LOVE Jane Harvey-Berrick’s writing and I LOVE the magical world she created in the previous two books. But with this one I missed that overwhelming feeling of belonging to a book while readint it, that powerful connection to the story. I had one issue from the start. Unfortunately I didn’t like the heroine. I mean, overal, I like Tera, but I don’t like her attitude.
I couldn’t connect with her in any level at first and to me she didn’t seem like a strong woman. Tera is a character that I would like to have more of her so I could maybe understand her better, because to me, she didn’t appeal, unfortunately.
I loved Tucker in TTM and TTW, he was funny and I loved his player vibe. I still liked him in Roustabout, we get to see he is not the shallow man everyone thinks he is, he is deep and I knew that behind his joker mask there was a man with a wounded past. And what a past it was!
Tucker travel back to his past and his roots made for the start of the conflict in the plot, although it was just the beginning of it.
Tucker’s past was a horrible one, with a mother who neglected him over her drinking and his only salve in the middle of a sh***ty life was a woman who ended up betraying him to the most! When I learned the level of Rene’s betrayal, I wanted her to BURN. Almost as much, or even more, than I wanted Sorcha to burn in the other books! And since she wasn’t satisfied with already ruining something in Trucker’s past, she goes and do something to harm his present and future too.
One thing I thought was a minor lose end was how Rene was dealt, in my opinion she deserved a whole lot of trouble for what she caused. I’m glad though that Tucker showed, once again, how much of a good man he is. He totally made me swoon!
In Roustabout we learn about Tucker’s past and we see him with our favorite gang, his circus family! I loved seeing Kes and Aimee again, and Zack and Luke, and Zef and Rollo. They make for the perfect family and I’m glad Tera get to see that the circus family is the most loyal and loving one, much more than her own family.
Speaking of Tera’s family…hm, by the end of The Traveling Woman, even though I still didn’t like him, I could see some redeeming qualities in the Senator. Senator Hawkins is Tera, Kes and Con’s father. And I don’t like him at all now. He was quite mean to Tucker and he continues to give Kes the cold shoulder, even though he thinks Con is reputable enough to be his son. I love that Tucker shows him he is more than a roustabout, more than a stunt performer. He is what the Senator wished he was one day and that is the biggest IN YOUR FACE to Senator Hawkins. He deserved it and much more! I LOVED when Tucker crashed their party, literally!
I hate that Tera doens’t speak up for her brothers to her father. Even though she learned so much about the kind of man her father is, she continues to be the spoiled daddy girl through most of the book. I don’t think she changed that much in that aspect. I didn’t like the way she goes after Tucker, the way she does and because of that I can’t see her connection with him. Which for me was a shame, because Kes and Aimee’s connection is what makes the other books to me.
In Roustabout, I love Tucker, and how he shows he is an honorable man and how he grows up, but I’m still disappointed at Tera. I don’t see the magic in their love and because I saw so much of it in the other books, it was what I was most expecting. Maybe it was because I personally didn’t connect with the heroine, but the love story was not strong enough, or wasn’t shown as strong enough, in my opinion.
Roustabout is told in both Tera and Tucker’s POVs. I don’t particularly like male POVs, but I think Jane is a master in writing them. In fact, I think Tucker’s POV was better than Tera’s. In Tucker’s we get more inside his head than in Tera’s.
One thing I liked about Tera and I wish was more shown is her relationship with Kes. It’s great to see they bonded as brother and sister and we get to see they do share love. I wish we have seen more of it, though. It would make for a good character development on her. I liked how she and Aimee became friends too and how Tera gets advice from her.
The circus family was, as usual, very enjoyable and funny. How I wish to be around these characters! And after so many years together, this book brings some changes in their lives. It’s great to see they growing!! I want to know more about Zef, he definitely intrigues me. Plus we get Daniel if we get his story and you all know how much I love my Daniel! Zack and Luke…I’m not sure I want a full-novel story on them to be honest, but I like them. I loved Zack in the previous books.
Jane almost broke my heart with this book and for parts of it I was not sure I could continue withtout being desperate. Well played, Ms. Jane! I’m sure I have a few gray hairs on my head how because of you! LOL
Overal I enjoyed Roustabout and being back to the Circus, but to me there were some minor lose ends and I missed the connection between the hero and the heroine. Would I still recommend it? Definitely! You don’t want to miss Tucker in all his hot (and hot it was! I needed to fan myself a few times) glory! Plus if you missed the Carnival after reading The Traveling Man and The Traveling Woman as I did, Roustabout will take you right back to it! The Carnival life might not be for everyone, but everyone deserves to see and feel the magic in it, after all the carnival isn’t the traveling, it isn’t the places where the circus will be set, the carnival are the people who travel with you, who make the circus. The Carnival is in their hearts.
“This is the carnival, where magic happens…and dreams come true.”
The motorcycles circled the stadium like gladiators, or maybe like men jousting on horseback in days gone by: charging at each other, daring each other, until eventually they were ringed around the outer fence, each preparing for their first jump.
Zef went first, blasting off the ramp, followed a split second later by Tucker in the opposite direction, and I was so certain they were going to crash in the middle, I screamed and closed my eyes.
Aimee squeezed my hand hard, causing me to wince. I opened my eyes just in time to see Kes leaping through a circle of fire, the flames glancing off his helmet.
On and on it went, higher, faster, closer. Sweat trickled down my body, pooling under my armpits, leaving me drenched and weak.
The engines revved and hummed, and then they all charged together, a flying tower of men, with Kestrel cartwheeling over the top of them.
The crowd screamed and clapped and cheered, and Aimee and I stood up, shrieking with them.
“Oh my God!” I yelled over the noise. “I nearly had a heart attack!”
Aimee laughed and wiped her eyes.
“Every time,” she whispered, her voice shaky. “Every time.”
I followed her back to the RV where the guys were peeling off their sweat-soaked leathers, standing in their underwear, huge smiles plastered across their faces.
Tucker scooped me up in a sweaty hug, his hot skin slick to the touch.
“You are amazing!” I said honestly, a relieved laugh breaking out of me. “Stinky, but amazing!”
He laughed loudly, his head thrown back, his eyes crinkling with happiness, and then he kissed me, deeply.
The Traveling Man (Traveling Series, #1)
I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.
Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t.
Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.
Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough.
The Traveling Woman (Traveling Series, #2)
How many times do you gamble on love? When love has knocked you down, should you give it another chance? When does optimism become stupidity?
And what happens when the man you’re in love with is never still, always moving, always traveling? Do you say goodbye, or do you leave behind everything that you’ve worked for, everything that you’ve ever known? Can a traveling carnival be my home?
Oh. You thought I had the answers. No, sorry. No answers, just a lot of questions—and a heart that wants to rule my head.
Can one person be my home?
I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It’s only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.
I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.
Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.
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