In present day, Zach is searching for his friend, Laurie, who has gone missing. In 1892, Layton is an outlaw, but longs for a more settled life and a home and someone to share it with. When a rainstorm and a car accident send Zach to the year 1892, he finds himself immediately in the path of Tom and Layton and their gang of outlaws and is taken against his will by Tom to be sold at auction.
Zach thinks he wandered into some elaborate reenactment and can’t grasp that he is really in 1892 and has no idea how to find his way home. Layton has been put in charge of minding Zach so he doesn’t escape, but Layton grows to like Zach and wants to keep him safe. But, Layton is tied to the outlaws and his life is not his own and Zach doesn’t want to be attracted to a thieving man like Layton. Across time and a vast desert, the men will have to rise up against Tom to secure a seemingly impossible future
Wild as the West Texas Wind is the third book in Jackie North’s time traveling Love Across Time series. It takes place after the events of book two, Honey from a Lion, and it would be best to have read that book to fully understand the events taking place here as Zach is searching for what happened to his best friend, Laurie.
It was easy to get caught up in this book initially as Zach is devasted when Laurie is missing and he searches for answers. Zach then finds himself also in the year 1892 and immediately walks into trouble with Tom. Zach is taken hostage by Tom and the gang and has no resources to escape or to continue his search for Laurie.
Layton has been with Tom’s gang for the past five years. Tom sort of rescued Layton as Layton was an orphan and was being abused, but Layton’s choices are not his own. Layton has no choice now but to choose allegiance to Tom, even if he is starting to realize that loyalty to Tom is misguided and Tom is only out for himself and will invoke violence on anyone he thinks has wronged him.
The beginning of this book had action and a promising set up, but then it all slowed down and I felt like I was just waiting for the inevitable showdown against Tom. I was never able to warm to either Zach or Layton much on their own and we are told about how they feel for each other and the chemistry they share, but it didn’t come off the page for me. Given the time period, they could not be open with each other in public, but even their private moments didn’t transcend. The time travel aspect was also lackluster for me as well. The scenes are isolated as the group spends most of their time in the desert and there is not much shown of Zach trying to acclimate to life in 1892 and the world building is only on the periphery. There is also a feeling here that the story may not actually be solely time travel, but possibly something else mixed in as well.
I really like the idea of this series and I am still intrigued as to where it will go, as while Zach and Layton are headed in the right direction, their ending was more abrupt and their relationship was still so very new. There is more coming in this series and we could see their relationship develop further or we could possibly see their friend Maxton join the crew if he were to wish his way to 1892. If you have enjoyed this series, especially the second book, you could also follow along on this next episode.