After a marriage that nearly killed her, Emma’s just trying to start over in a new town, where perhaps her past won’t come back to haunt her anymore than it already does. The last thing she’s looking for is a new relationship, especially with a man who’s known for throwing punches, but when Gage Dawson comes into her life, all bets are off.
But... There were parts of the plot that simply didn’t add up, primarily Emma’s noticeable lack of hesitation when it came to involving herself with Gage. A woman who was terrorized by the last man she loved probably wouldn’t have run so quickly into the arms of a man she’d just met, one who was vilified by the community and quick to punch back. Granted, she saw a softer side of him, and he never once did anything the least bit threatening to her, but this part of the story simply didn’t fit well. It made the past abuse seem like a convenient excuse to throw in a bit of violence toward the end, which I doubt was the point. I know the stories in this series are short, and that must certainly affect how much development can be done, but neglecting this very important part of Emma’s character in favor of getting to the next scene made this bit feel particularly rushed and unfinished.
Judging Covers: Nope, my feelings about the covers in this series haven’t changed.
The Verdict: Dawson’s Stand starts off with a bang, placing us in the last terrifying moments of Emma’s relationship with her now-ex-husband. Fast forward a year, and it’s clear that while she’s survived and moved on, she’s still trying to get her life back together.
Gage is one of the Dawson boys, now grown men, whom the town loves to hate. In previous books, I don’t think we got a good look at just how despised the Dawsons are, probably because Sydney was best friends with Luka and because the second book took us into Luka’s love life. But in Dawson’s Stand, we see that the Dawsons are loathed, blamed for any ugly situation that occurs when they’re around, and even targeted for trouble. It’s like the town is filled with bullies, all out to get the Dawsons, and the guys have no choice but to his back when provoked.
There were certainly some things about this book that were perfectly written and really stood out, such as the opening scene and later when Emma came to Gage’s rescue. The moment Emma was in danger toward the end, the town’s hatred for Gage shined its brightest, and the suspense was so sharp it was almost painful. Even the moment where everything changed, and Gage was finally allowed to run off to save Emma was pretty incredible. I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say, the drama in this one was a nail-biter and had me turning the pages as fast as I could. Dawson’s Stand was an entertaining read, just long enough to tell a good story and just short enough to get to the next book quickly!