When the Bluebird Calls by Leiland Dale

When the Bluebird CallsWhen the Bluebird Calls by Leiland Dale

Six months ago for veterinarian, Devon Reid, things were just starting to look good. He had a boyfriend, a beautiful house and a fantastic job. What more could he ask for? A fateful call during the night changed it all. His mother was dying of cancer and being the only family left, it was up to Devon to care for her. With his constant absence at home his boyfriend left and his enjoyment and love for his job died…just like his mother.

With his emotions and life in turmoil Devon decides its time to make a change. Leaving the city life behind and taking a job in a small town in Montana was just what the doctor ordered. In walks hunky ranch foreman Greg Elliot.

Greg has lived most of his life on a ranch. Living in a small town didn’t leave any prospects for a relationship…until he meets the new veterinarian, Devon Reid. The sadness in his hazel eyes brought out protective instincts in Greg.

What is a city boy to do when a small town cowboy ropes him in?

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

[I actually like the cover. Even though I know that guy’s overused at least its western, no naked chest, has a romantic feel so you know it’s a romance novel. No complaints!]


When the Bluebird Calls shows that sometimes simplistic writing and basic emotions win over readers. This is the first book I’ve read of this author and it’s decent. There are no real surprises and the characters are pretty basic stereotypes in every way but the story offers a sweet, caring romance with a strong happy ending in a cowboy setting that is sure to please fans. This is the sort of easy, undemanding story that satisfies even though it’s not that good. It’s not bad though either so the quick pace and recognizable elements may be enjoyable for readers.

The plot revolves around Devon Reid who moves to Montana to get away from the grief of losing his mother. He’s trying to create a new life for himself and immediately is attracted to a local ranch foreman Greg. The two waste very little time in getting together and soon they’re in love. But of course all is not that easy as an ex-boyfriend of Devon’s suddenly shows up and causes problems (predictably) and Greg’s younger brother makes an appearance while setting up for the second book in the series.

The story is very basic in that Devon and Greg meet, have sex, fall in love, deal with psycho ex-boyfriend from nowhere, and live happily ever after. That’s not bad necessarily but the rudimentary plot is coupled with a very basic style of writing. The prose tends to be very simple and easy to read but also state every action, no matter how unnecessary. For example:

He walked past the kitchen and threw the empty container in the trash on his way to the bedroom. Grabbing his clothes from the edge of the bed, Devon walked into the bathroom in need of a nice hot shower. He pushed the shower curtain aside and turned the shower on, holding his hand under the water, and adjusted the knob until he felt it was the right temperature. He quickly stripped out of his clothes and got into the shower, shutting the curtain behind him.

Again, this isn’t bad but it lacks a lot of descriptive quality and general interest. The plot also has no real tension and attempts to throw some drama later on by resurrecting the ex-boyfriend. Now here this entire plot device makes no sense and is obviously very contrived. The ex-boyfriend is suddenly mentally unstable and not only does he do things completely out of character but of course there is the Scooby do clue on the ground to point to him and his convinent confession. These are pretty cringe worthy aspects of the story but don’t worry, everyone moves on very quickly and doesn’t dwell on this. Unfortunately it moves on to an equally cringe worthy aspect which is Greg’s young brother and of course his big announcement, which makes no sense and is pretty silly.

While the story has some bad moments, the characters are ok. They are decently developed but their romance takes place off page. The reader is treated to the sex between them and their internal musings about how they’re falling in love but the real action is all stated quickly and happens off page. For example the story says the two men talked for hours about their likes, dislikes, dreams, and so on; that they spoke on the phone every night and met for dinner or lunch frequently. However none of this happens in the book but merely summarized quickly so the reader believes these two have done more than lust for each other. That’s fine but very bland and doesn’t make their instant love any more credible.

I guess overall I found the story bland and just one of many cowboy stories without anything to really stand out. There are some pretty basic traps the author falls into and perhaps her writing and plots will improve with time. There is nothing horribly offensive about this so I can see why some find it pretty enjoyable. As a quick, fluff read about cowboys you could give this a try.

Get it HERE!

5 thoughts on “When the Bluebird Calls by Leiland Dale

  1. With his constant absence at home his boyfriend left and his enjoyment and love for his job died…just like his mother.
    Is it wrong that the construction of that sentence made me snort my coffee? And it’s in the blurb!

    • I found the whole “his enjoyment died just like his mother” to be horrible. I mean it does get across the dead mother but come on. This is a case where someone else should have written the blurb lol.

  2. Whoa, that excerpt you quoted gives me the impression that this story probably shouldn’t have been published in that it has the feel of an apprentice piece that the author is doing to teach herself how to write.
    It can be a big mistake when an author sends an apprentice piece to a new e-publisher that is taking just about anything to build up its initial catalog (and I’m making an unfounded assumption here — I don’t know anything about this particular publisher), because then it stands as the beginning of her professional reputation. And who is going to want to read the next book if the first one was that flawed?

    • Hi Val, thanks for commenting! You actually touched upon the exact sentiment I felt but didn’t want to voice. This definitely felt like the author’s first book as she attempted to write in the genre. On the plus side, it avoids a lot of horrible pitfalls and still manages to excel over any number of wretched offerings by more experienced authors. But also, it feels unpolished and amateur in many ways.
      I think readers are very forgiving though and likely to accept this first offering and still buy more as she gains experience. I’ve found very few readers are horribly turned away by authors, which is surprising given how saturated the genre feels!

      • You make a good point that an apprentice piece that’s overwritten still isn’t as bad as some really bad stuff that experienced authors are “phoning in”. I hadn’t thought about that until now, but I see what you mean. As a reviewer, I’d tend to go easy on a first-time author and maybe even get behind the book and recommend it around if something good about the idea or a character helped to balance out the writing flaws. But an experienced author who choses to write below his or her skill level just to crank more books out or save time and energy — that’s always going to be detected and resented by the readers, no question.

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