Whiplash – Janet Dailey #Review #NetGalley

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

I picked this book up because I have enjoyed other books written by Janet Dailey.

But there is something different about this book. Janet Dailey passed away in 2013, so I am assuming Whiplash was written by a ghostwriter. I was not able to conjure up any empathy for the heroine, Val. She never seemed to able to move past her sordid past and terrible mistakes to embrace the present opportunities. That gave me no reason to root for her.

The book is set in the world of the National PBR (Professional Bullriding) Finals rodeo event in Las Vegas, Nevada. I loved the way the author set the scene and took me inside the rodeo arena to see the action close-up. When a man climbs on the back of a 1,800-pound bull and the chute is opened, anything can happen – and does.

Casey Bozeman is the hero in this story and I immediately fell in love with him. He is one of those people we all know, who will step up to help anyone in need. His job is to protect the cowboys that ride the bulls. And more times than one, he had to collide with the angry bull to save another man’s life.

Casey and Val fell in love when they were teenagers. But that was years ago. And after Val left with no explanation and dropped off the face of the earth, he was left with a broken heart and life. But he put himself back together and even tried marriage, which failed. He finally came to grips with the notion he could never love anyone the way he loved Val, but she was gone. That is until she turns up with her family at the PBR. But Val is in trouble. The kind of trouble that threatens lives. You don’t cross the mafia and live. And yet Casey is determined to help her and to get her back into his bed.

There were parts of this book that I loved. The older sister, Tess, the younger sister, Lexie, and her husband Shane were all great characters. They are united with one goal and that is to save their ranch and produce some stock bulls to ride into the big money in the rodeo arena. Each character has flaws, but they form a united front. Val is the outsider, even though she’s come back home after leaving a drug and alcohol rehab treatment. The troubles Val brings to their door, are monumental and can end it all. She repetitiously has thoughts of remorse, but her actions don’t back up those thoughts. She has deep dark secrets that she keeps hidden along with the scars on her body.

The author drops hints throughout the book as to what her secret is, but until it all comes out, the reader is left to wonder what it is that keeps this beautiful woman so conflicted. I commend the author for that.

While I loved the rodeo setting and enjoyed the plot, I would like to have seen Val be more genuine instead of trying to manipulate everyone, including the men who were determined to kill her. She is playing a deadly game with innocent lives.

The star of the story is a bull named Whiplash. Even though he’s been bred to be bucking stock for the rodeo, he’s young and easily traumatized. But it took his fury to bring down the antagonist.

The story comes to a conclusion with an overall happy ending.

With less repetitious thoughts and scenes, this would be a stronger story.

While I would like to give this book a higher rating, I can only offer up Three Stars.

Stories From The Road #5

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a new series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a van full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

“I started out playing rodeos with George Sadler and the Saddle Pals. We’d go out all day on Saturdays to various little towns around the area and advertise the rodeo. They’d  have an old flatbed trailer set up as a stage on the courthouse square or somewhere downtown. We would play for fifteen or twenty minutes and plug the rodeo that night, then load up and go to the next town. George was a fiddler and loved to play hoedowns. I played rhythm guitar for him and sang.  Then, we’d play the rodeo dance that night. It was a good experience for me.

At one point during my time with The Saddle Pals, a guy came along named Gene Dunn. He was a tall slender fellow and a damned good lead guitar player. He worked in the oilfield (pipeline). His son is Ronnie Dunn of the famed Brooks & Dunn. Ronnie was born in Coleman during the time Gene worked with us.

We cut a record or two on King Records that never got pressed. George Sadler was quite a songwriter. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, he actually wrote, “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes,” that Slim Willett and many others had huge hits with. I say this because I heard and played that song many times before Slim ever cut it. Slim came to me and asked me to teach his guitar player the riff when they were learning it, and that’s a true story. I don’t know the deal, whether George sold it to Slim or if he just cut it and claimed to be the writer. Lots of stuff like that went on back then. No one hardly ever copyrighted their songs. It was a different time. But, that song went on to be huge and I don’t know if George ever got a dime from it. He lived very poorly.

I’ll tell one more story about George Sadler. They lived in an old run down house out in Novice. They must have had ten kids. And, they had chickens. But, they let the chickens run in and out of the house, so needless to say, it wasn’t the cleanest place I’ve been. When I’d go out to talk to George, I’d have to shoo the chickens off the couch and try not to sit in chicken shit. But, this was just the way they lived. There’d be a baby crawling around on the floor and kids in stair-step ages running around. But, he was a great songwriter and fiddle player and I learned a lot from him. I just never stayed for dinner.”


**I scoured through hundreds of photos looking for one of George Sadler, but found nothing and uncovered nothing on the internet. Another thing that was not commonplace back then was cameras.**

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES