Book Reviews

Book Review: Rough Road (Whiskey River Road #7), by Kelly Moore

Rough Road (Whiskey River Road #7), by Kelly Moore

Publication: May 20, 2021

About: Clem and Boone are the backbone of the Calhoun family. They found their second chance together many years ago after Clem left him at the altar. They’re happily married, but Clem has never been able to give Boone the one thing she feels he wanted the most.

Boone is a happy, satisfied cowboy. He adores his wife and daughter, wanting for nothing more, but to live the rest of his days growing old with the woman he loves. His life is perfect other than the teenage daughter that’s driving him nuts. His ideal life is about to take a rough road he never saw coming, and he’s not sure he will survive it.

Clem is madly in love with Boone. He’s a good husband and father. She’s one lucky lady to have such a hot cowboy. He’s protective and broody when it comes to the Calhoun’s and she wouldn’t have him any other way. Life couldn’t be any better…until she gets news that will turn her whole world upside down. Rough doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The secret she keeps from Boone may tear them apart. It will be a test of their love not only between them, but the entire Calhoun clan. Will they be able to stand together or will it finally be the one thing that rips them apart?

*My Review*

At the end of Ethan and Jane’s book, Magnolia Mill, I was basically heartbroken that this series was coming to an end. I have read every book that Kelly Moore has published over the years, but this series has been my favorite. So guess how happy I was to find out that she was fast-forwarding the series to continue their stories ten years later? I was thrilled! Rough Road begins with Boone and Clem, still unable to keep their hands off of one another, and their life raising their now seventeen-year-old daughter, Rose. Bear and Nita’s daughter Missy is also seventeen, and she’s now training horses with hopes of going to the Kentucky Derby. The rest of the gang is around happily married and raising their kids, with Chet still trying to call the shots. We also get a new character, a young man named Tucker that quickly catches Missy’s eye and reminds Boone a lot of his younger self. Everything seems happy and perfect, but it’s not. 

When I first started this book, I thought it was going to focus on the girls now that they are older, especially once Tucker’s character was introduced. However, just like the start of this series, Boone and Clem are the main focus with plenty of activity from all of the other family members blended in. All of the ladies still can’t stay away from their alpha men, Chet’s cranky most of the time but not nearly like they used to be, Rose and Missy have grown up and are starting to cause problems for their parents, just as they did for Chet when they were younger. But then we learn Clem’s secrets, thus introducing a huge internal and external conflict for Clem, Boone, and the entire family.

I’ve always loved Kelly Moore’s writing and imagery making it to where all of my senses come alive while reading, but her characterization in this book is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Clem and Boone have been around since the beginning with moods varying from steaming mad to silliness to sexy. But now she has taken them to a completely different level, demonstrating parts of their characters that I never expected – fear, hopelessness, anger, and resentment. Don’t get me wrong, Rough Road will make you laugh (and possibly blush) as much as the other books, but I was floored at the seriousness of portions of the plot and the transformations of Boone and Clem throughout the book.

Did I mention how much Kleenex you need to have on hand while reading this book?

Yes, this book did make me cry my eyes out. But don’t worry about it being a downer! Although there were certainly tears of sadness, there were also plenty of tears of joy and laughter. As typical with Kelly Moore, there were plenty of subplots that built tension, added to the characters’ depth, and that were just plain funny! There’s ample romance, teenage crushes, teenagers going behind their parents’ backs, serious storms, and much, much more. And just wait until Clem show’s up at Winnie’s pampered pet shop to cover Winnie’s lunch! That is a priceless scene that will have you dying laughing and cringing at the same time.

Rough Road is a spectacular book that has honestly taken this series to the next level. Moore has poured her heart and soul into her characters and their experiences which is evident from the first word to the last. There is romance, tension, suspense, sadness, and joy all wrapped up in this perfect package. This is absolutely a five-star read which I highly recommend, but as always with this series, make sure you start at the beginning to fully appreciate each wonderful character and their amazing journeys.

*See below for reading order and links to reviews. 

**Thanks to Kelly Moore for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions!

Pre-Order Rough Road on Amazon!

Missed the start of this series? Check out my reviews for books 1-6! P.S. they are free right now with Kindle Unlimited!

coming homeComing Home (Whiskey River Road, #1)

A cowboy. An empty altar. Coming home is complicated.

What stopped me from walking down the aisle to the perfect man? My stupid rebel heart, that’s what. 

I loved Boone Methany with everything I had, but I wanted more than just the ranch I grew up on and training horses for the rest of my life. Leaving him on our wedding day wasn’t something I planned on. Neither was coming back to my family ranch after seven years in the military just to eat a heaping helping of crow.

I thought I was prepared to see him again. What I wasn’t ready for, was him being engaged.

Coming home is about to get mighty complicated.

stolen heartsStolen Hearts (Whiskey River Road, #2)

A thief and a single father don’t bode well. She’s snarky, and sexy which can only lead to two broken hearts.

It was a day like any other on the ranch.

Hard work and no play makes for a cranky cowboy. Needing a night out on the town left me sneaking in my father’s house like a teenage boy.  That was my first mistake of the day.

The second was playing hero to a damsel in distress that turned out to be no damsel at all but a sexy, snarky woman who took me by surprise.

How you ask?

I’d been a ladies man.  That is until I became a father.  My rebel days were gone. A six-year-old sassy daughter changed all of that for me.  I didn’t need the complicated messy kind of love stuff. My hands were full.

A mission into town to handle a family issue would make my life more muddled. The day I met the woman who would steal my heart.

A thief. A woman on the run.  A woman with one too many secrets.  A woman whom I had to save because if I didn’t, I feared she disappear and take two hearts with her. I wasn’t prepared for the danger she was in and the decision I’d have to make. She’d hate me for sure.

I definitely wasn’t prepared for her to leave.

three wordsThree Words (Whiskey River Road #3)

Wild at heart. One hot cowboy. A heap of trouble.

What stopped me from saying the three words Ian wanted to hear? My stubbornness that protected my heart, that’s what.

A handsome cowboy with a hot body and a sense of humor to boot, Ian Daughtry was everything a woman could ask for. He was downright pretty to look at. The day he left my world spun out of control. It changed me inside. I was no longer the sweet, innocent girl. Instead, I became the wild child desperate to feel anything but love.

Now he’s back, slipped into town unbeknownst to me. My family knew but didn’t want to tell me, afraid it would rip me apart.

I have a news flash for him. I don’t care how hot he is, he ain’t gettin’ me back. This woman has done fine on her own. But boy howdy… just seeing him he sent me in a tailspin. One that might get me in a heap of trouble.

kentucky rainKentucky Rain (Whiskey River Road, #4)

A law-abiding man, breaking all the rules and dodging love. I’ll either run her off or give her my heart.

I threw in my hat, giving up my job as a lawyer to become the one thing I swore I never would…a cowboy. I’ve lived on my father’s ranch my entire life, but never learned how to be a rancher’s son. Instead, I was urged to become an attorney by my father, who doesn’t live by the letter of the law.

Now, I’m left picking up the pieces of my life, trying to figure out who I am, and what I want. Trouble is brewing for me, I can feel it in my bones, especially when my friends-with-benefits relationship with Margret starts to feel like something more than I have to give. She deserves a better man than me.

My plan is to keep her at arm’s length. Her plan is to pull me in closer

wild rideWild Ride (Whiskey River Road, #5)

He’s a tough cowboy. She’s a wild ride and the daughter of his family’s enemy. Will they let passion win out, or will it tear them to pieces?

Noah was raised apart from his family. Now, he’s trying to fit in with the Calhouns. But fitting in isn’t always easy when you’ve been a loner. A roll in the hay with a gorgeous woman fits his lifestyle. Falling in love was never in his plans.

Molly Granger’s lived a hard, dedicated life to her father. A man she loathes but has pledged her loyalty to—at least by all appearances. Her only focus has been revenge, even at the cost of her own life. Her goal is thrown off-kilter the day she meets Noah in a bar.

The connection between Molly and Noah is raw and intense, but neither one wants to admit their attraction. A wedge forms between them when Noah finds out her father is enemy number one.

Trapped between desire and vengeance, will they find a middle ground?

Magnolia Mill (Whiskey River Road #6)

She moved to Salt Lick Kentucky to a family she never knew. Now that she’s cured, she has a second chance at love. Will she take it or will she let fear chase him away?

Jane moved from Texas to Tennessee with her twin brother Noah to a family she had never met. She was overwhelmed with the warmth she received from each one of them. She was broken and dying. They healed her physically but they couldn’t take away her inward scars. She fixed herself up, plastered on a smile, and won the hearts of the town. As mayor of Salt Lick, she had a new beginning to fulfill her dreams, fall in love. Her only problem was, she wasn’t ready to let go of her heart so easily.

Ethan York came home with his best friend, Clem Calhoun. He was a big city boy trying to manage his life on the ranch. He found his calling in life; to be a cowboy. He also fell in love with Jane the first time he laid eyes on her. Neither one of them were ready to explore their emotions. Time passed and Ethan felt like he couldn’t breathe any longer with her in his life. His new job landed them working together on projects. The fire within him was ignited. Jane pushed him away. But Ethan proved to be one persistent man, like a dog with a bone.

She was trapped behind her secrets, not willing to share them. Will she ever be able to let go and fall in love, again?


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