A good 'what if' book about the period when 18-yr-old William Shakespeare comes to London to begin his career as an actor/playwright, and the incredib...moreA good 'what if' book about the period when 18-yr-old William Shakespeare comes to London to begin his career as an actor/playwright, and the incredible young woman who could have been his muse.
The Informationist has one of the most daring and distinctive heroines I've personally read about. Vanessa Michael Monroe is practically a force of na...moreThe Informationist has one of the most daring and distinctive heroines I've personally read about. Vanessa Michael Monroe is practically a force of nature. Her personality is hard to pin down, even if you know her very well, which few people do. And she makes a very bad enemy. While some characters might go to Africa to run away from their past or to define a new life for themselves, Monroe is the opposite. She was born in Africa and raised there. Although she is Caucasian American descent, Africa flows in her veins and helped to make her who she was, and not all in good ways.
Monroe doesn't let fear define her, instead she walks in defiance of it. Being afraid is not her problem. It's the rage and anger she keeps under lock and key. She struggles against demons from her past that simmer in her blood and make her heart beat fast with the tribal beat of war. Control is a way of life when she knows just what she's capable of. Yet, she is unafraid to go into dangerous places when others would shirk such a responsibility. When Emily Burbank's adoptive father contacts her to find out what happened to his daughter in Africa four years ago, she is going to have to go back to the place she was born and face her ugly past.
I love to read about heroines who are tough and resourceful. Who can kick butt just like the action heroes. Monroe is definitely one of those kinds of heroines. I like that she is very adaptable and clever about thinking through situations. While she has other weapons, she uses the one between her ears very well. Her personality is really abrasive and she's not what I would consider a typical "likable" heroine. And yet, there is something about her that resonates with me. I like that she is such a survivor. I mean, who could go through what she did and still be 100% sane and free of scars? She actually is quite sane, although I think deep down, she fears what lurks in the abyss she keeps locked away inside. She's sort of the opposite of Kurtz in The Heart of Darkness. She's been there and she walked away. It holds no appeal for her.
I liked the complex relationship that Monroe has with Francisco. I didn't expect it, yet when it happened, I thought, "Of course." I knew that Monroe would have to come full circle and get closure about Africa in order to heal. That process was ugly and painful, but necessary. I also liked her relationship with Miles. Each encounter helped to shape her in different ways, as relationship with others should do.
While I didn't like everything about the narrative, I did like how the author builds tension and unfolds the story, and keeps me guessing what's going to happen next. While one could easily draw conclusions about what happened in Equatorial Guinea, it's different from what I thought, and complicated. I think this is a book that lends itself well to audio, because some of the written facts about Emily's disappearance and the various places she went/the stonewalling she encounters, and Monroe's search in those places might be a bit dry on paper. I also think that some of the action scenes could have been more suspenseful and intensely written. There was a sense of risk, but it was a bit muted at times. As far as the narrator, I liked her voice a lot. She captures who Michael aka Monroe very well.
This is one of those books that doesn't build up one's faith in humanity. Corruption runs so deep and twisted in this world, and some places are built on this foundation. And while some of us who are lucky to live in a more lawful country, those same individuals go to other places in the world and make things worse in their conquest for power and money because they can get away with that in some places in the world, where life is cheap. Like some of my other thriller/suspense/action hero favorites, Monroe is there to teach them a lesson, but in her case, that lesson is a costly one for her as well.
I couldn't imagine living the life that Vanessa Michael Monroe has lived. One of the things I love about fiction is that I can go on a journey with a distinctive heroine like Monroe and see life through her lenses. I can feel her pain and her anger and experience the victories and defeats she has, and it helps me to understand that life is a complicated thing, but we can make it through things we never imagined possible.
This book might not work for everyone, but I found it interesting and thought-provoking. It felt unique and Monroe is an unforgettable heroine. She's kind of lawless in some ways, but deep down, she has a code that she won't stray from. She's a complicated women. Readers who enjoy this kind of heroine or a reader looking for something different might enjoy The Informationist.(less)
Mauranie Wells is breaking her back working to keep her family ranch in New Mexico, and living day to day in the shadow of her younger, more b...moreSynopsis
Mauranie Wells is breaking her back working to keep her family ranch in New Mexico, and living day to day in the shadow of her younger, more beautiful sister, Tennyson. Tennyson is constantly angry and demanding more money, when there is little money available. Especially when Mauranie finds out from the bank manager that her father's investments failed since his death and their inheritance is gone. Next she finds out that the mortgage is about to go into default for non-payment.
Mauranie is working to breed and train horses to turn her family ranch into a productive enterprise, but that takes time she doesn't have to meet their overdue mortgage payment. She doesn't have much hope to get through the day until handsome, well-dressed cowboy Stemson Arroyo Smith comes to their ranch. Instant chemistry ignites between her and Stemson, and Mauranie is shocked that he overlooks her more feminine, well-dressed sister to give her the time of day. Mauranie is self-conscious about her hearing disability, which she compensates for, although it makes it difficult to be around other people. Stemson is the new banker in the nearby town of Aqua Gulch. He came to look at her property in order to find a place to stable his horses and genuinely seems to like Mauranie, but Tennyson plants seeds of doubt in Mauranie's mind that he could truly care about her; that he's out to steal their ranch instead.
Mauranie is troubled by the tensions of trying to keep her sister satisfied, and heartsick at the growing distance between the sisters. Can she remain true to her vision for the family ranch, and keep her sister happy? Is a future possible with Stemson, or is that just a distant dream, far removed from the ugly reality of trying to keep their ranch afloat with little help from her sister?
Breaking Point is as much about family as it is a romance. Mauranie has made incredible sacrifices for her sister since her parents died. And her sister seems increasingly ungrateful. Love has made her bend over backwards for her sister. She hates that her sister is always angry and unhappy with her. I felt Mauranie's anguish at the growing gap between the sisters, her desire to succeed at turning their ranch around, and her hope that she could find a man of her own and a family.
I very much appreciated the manner in which Ms. Beggs incorporates Mauranie's hearing issues into the story. Mauranie works hard to live as normal a life as possible, and doesn't allow those hearing issues to get in the way of living a productive life. Mauranie is a great heroine. She is strong, but also loving. Her heart is very good, and she truly cares about others. I hated the way Tennyson treated Mauranie, always demanding and never thanking her for all the sacrifices she made. I was glad that Mauranie did stay true and consistent in her love for her sister; although I wish that she didn't let the younger woman walk all over her the way she did, and would force her to share more of the burdens of running the ranch.
Stemson is an intriguing character. He's a dapper cowboy businessman with a caring, down to earth heart. It spoke highly to me that he could appreciate Mauranie for her unspoiled, unpolished goodness and inner and outer beauty. He also struggles with demons from his family life, although the author focuses less on these overall. The tension between them resides in the trust and self-esteem issues they both have, and in the process of learning to open up to each other. Their loving bond and romantic chemistry kept me reading. I wanted things to work out for Mauranie and Stemson to be together, and I appreciated how the story unfolds on this front as well as with Mauranie's problems with her sister.
Ms. Beggs packs a lot of emotional impact into this short novel. She has a descriptive and emotional writing style that drew me into the story. Her imagery of historical ranch life spoke to the western lover in me. I felt for the characters and rooted for a positive resolution for them all. This was a well-written, enjoyable novella, although I wish it had been full-length; I feel that Ms. Beggs could have explored the issues presented more deeply. I would love to continue reading this series to revisit the characters and see what happens in the future with them.
We often have ideas of what we want in life, but they aren’t necessarily what we need. Such was the case with Michael Bowen. He asked the Lord to send...moreWe often have ideas of what we want in life, but they aren’t necessarily what we need. Such was the case with Michael Bowen. He asked the Lord to send him a bride, a genteel, elegant Southern lady. The Lord sent him Selina instead. Of course, he took one look at the rough and tumble, trouser-wearing , but very beautiful young woman, and thought he’d been cheated. It turns out that Selina had her friend write those letters, unaware of the embellishments her friends had made. Nevertheless, Michael was a man who took his vows seriously, and he’d married her, even if she wasn’t the woman he’d fallen in love with via the letters they had exchanged. He would make the best of this marriage, but he didn’t believe he’d ever love her. He was afraid to love the wrong kind of woman after what his eldest brother went through with his first wife.
Selina fell in love with Michael via the letters he’d sent her. She came to Idaho from Kentucky in good faith, determined to be a good wife to her new husband. She was perfectly happy with him, with his good looks, and his honorable personality, and she was happy to have a safe home and plenty of food, and an accepting family of in-laws. However, it was heart breaking knowing that she wasn’t enough for her husband, what he wanted. That he didn’t love her for who she was. Regardless, she too had made vows and she’d keep them. They both prayed that God would make the best of their marriage, and give them the hearts for being a good husband and wife to each other.
Debra Ullrick charmed me with this novel. Her writing is crisp and lively. Her prose nicely descriptive and full of imagery. I found Selina utterly delightful. She is comfortable in her own skin. She’s a giving, generous person who is highly capable of many things, even if that list doesn’t include reading and writing, speaking genteelly, and wearing dresses. She wants to improve things about her that need improving, but she doesn’t want to fit into anyone’s box for her. She believes that God made everyone and everything unique, and that’s the way she wants to stay. I like that she stands up for herself with Michael when he tries to do the bossy husband bit. Like her, I don’t believe being a good wife means being a doormat to one’s husband. She’s perfectly willing to honor and cherish her husband, but she’s not going to let him control her. I loved how she inspired Michael to look at the small things one typically takes for granted, the ever-present beauty of the world around him. To stop and smell the roses. She continually surprised him, and showed him that God knew exactly what he needed in a wife. I loved Selina because she was easy to love. I wanted Michael to feel the same. It took him a while, but ultimately he realized just what a good woman God had brought him. Michael was a good man. I didn’t like some of his tendencies to be narrow-minded about what he thought his life and his wife should be. I liked that he was a man of faith who truly wanted to do what was right. He was afraid that he couldn’t love his wife, but his actions showed love in that he treated her with respect, took care of her, stood up for her, and opened his life to Selina. He honored his vows, and he showed what he didn’t believe he could feel. Love is about what you do, not what you say. And I could see love in Michael’s actions towards Selina, long before he owned up or acknowledged it.
I am so glad that I read this book, because I enjoyed the story and the messages about the Christian walk in it. Along with a beautiful romance, it made for a very fulfilling read. I liked that even though this is a clean romance, Ms. Ullrick did a good job of conveying the chemistry between Selina and Michael, through their thoughts, their interactions, and their kisses, both gentle and passionate. There’s no question that they have a true love match.
The only reason I didn’t give this five stars is because Michael’s fixation on not being able to love Selina, and her efforts to change herself to make herself worthy of his life, along with the aspects about God giving him the power to love her seemed a bit unromantic. I do believe God shows us what love is, and I think that a Christian marriage should definitely involve God in the process of relating to one’s spouse, but I wanted Michael to realize that he loves Selina out of his own heart. He did come to this conclusion eventually, and realized how he wasn’t doing right by Selina trying to make her something she wasn’t. So that was good.
That issue aside, this was an infectiously readable, wonderful book. I would recommend The Unlikely Wife to any historical romance readers open to a book with an obvious Christian message. I will be reading more by this author.
Nearly a Lady is beautiful in its simplicity as a historical romance. It's about two people getting to know each other and falling in love. There is n...moreNearly a Lady is beautiful in its simplicity as a historical romance. It's about two people getting to know each other and falling in love. There is no need for madcap adventures, a cruel villain, an extraneous mystery plot, chandelier-swinging sex scenes, or convoluted excuses for the couple to spend time together. Instead, this story is organic in its development. And I appreciated that. The characters are those who you might have seen before in Regency romance, but they seem more authentic here, stripped of their pretensions, and more like real people.
Winnefred has issues with her self-worth, and who could blame her? With a father who barely noticed her (shoving her off on governesses who had no idea what to do with her), and a long-dead mother. Her father asked his friend to watch out for her as an afterthought on his deathbed. This friend wasn't exactly thrilled to be saddled with the care of a young girl, but felt honor-bound to keep his promise. He too banished her out of his mind to far away Scotland, and through his inattention, allowed his wife to cheat Winnefred out of most of her allowance so that she only had five pounds a year to live off of. So it's understandable that she isn't predisposed to trust Gideon, her erstwhile guardian's son, when he shows up at Murdoch House, claiming to be there for her assistance. However, Gideon shows how tried and true he is, that he's worthy of her trust, her friendship, and her heart.
Gideon is not without issues. In a way, his issues are probably more damaging. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after a tragic battle on the ship which he captained in the Royal Navy. He lost several members of his crew, and takes personal responsibility for their deaths. To the degree that he deeply fears being responsible for anyone. His plan is to escort Winnefred and her companion, Lily, to London, see them taken care of until his brother, the Marquess of Engsly returns, and to go on to his relatively responsibility-free life. He doesn't expect this refreshingly genuine and unpretentious young woman to carve a place in his heart and his life. He doesn't want the responsibility of a wife, but soon he can't imagine life without Winnefred in it, to stay.
I can see why this book is highly rated. The writing is very good, and the relationship between Winnefred and Gideon is so rich and honest, infectiously so. You can see their love blossom as they go from strangers to friends, and fall in love before the journey is over. And on that path to love, they struggle with each other's emotional walls in a way that resonated with me. I found their emotional journey very enjoyable to read about.
Nearly a Lady is a book for readers who want something real, with a bond between the couple that is deep and emotional; for readers looking for the opportunity to see that love relationship grow from a tiny seed to a rich, full bloom over the course of the novel. I would recommend this to historical romance readers jaded with all the shenanigans and devices that can often be overused in the genre. It's easy to get tired of the 'same old thing' because it doesn't deliver, and forget why you read a genre in the first place. When it comes to romance, the joy is watching the process of a couple falling in love, and the wonderful little moments along that path. This book delivers that joy.
**spoiler alert** This was a slow-starter that threw me a curve ball, as I ended up getting fairly engrossed in the story. I started this as a quick i...more**spoiler alert** This was a slow-starter that threw me a curve ball, as I ended up getting fairly engrossed in the story. I started this as a quick in-between book as I knocked out my review books, and the next thing I knew, I was fully engaged.
Characters: I really liked Eleanor’s spunk and her unbeatable, strong nature. She’d faced so much in her young life, despite its idyllic start. Her mother married a depraved, abusive man who drove her into an early grave, after her father lost his head when he was implicated in a plot to usurp Queen Mary’s (Mary I, known as Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I’s older sister, a devout Catholic who persecuted and had many Protestant English subjects killed) reign. Now she was facing molestation at the hands of her stepfather if she didn’t flee from his house. She was strong enough to take care of herself and make decisions on her own future, even if it caused her to dress as a man and seek safe passage with her enemy. Even though Eleanor could have come off as bratty, she never did. I could understand her dislike for William, considering that she believed he turned in her father in the plot against Queen Mary to save his skin. I could also understand her reasons for resisting her feelings for William and later marrying another man. She wasn’t one to go off on a tangent with little information. She processed the situation to the best of her understanding, and made rational decisions. I ended up liking Eleanor a lot, and admired her early on in this story.
William started out as a hero who seemed a bit on the harsh, arrogant, bracing side. As the book progresses, I saw that he had a caring, loving heart. He didn’t want to fall for Eleanor, but she found a way into his heart, and he remained steadfast to her. I admit I liked his determined, possessive feelings for her. He took her sudden marriage in stride, and didn’t let that stand in his way for long.
For the brevity of the focus spent on the secondary characters, I did find them interesting, and their motives captured the period well, illustrating the intrigues and the dangers of the English Monarchs' courtlife. I especially liked Godfrey, William's close friend. He was captivating enough to be the hero in his own book!
Plot: I saw Eleanor’s marriage to another man coming and I was really worried. I really dislike adultery in romance novels. I have to admit that the handling of it wasn’t as obnoxious as I feared. Eleanor’s marriage to Martin was a beard relationship (It turns out Martin is 100% gay and most people know it, and she actually got tricked and pressured into it). I liked that she took it seriously though, and didn’t lightly enter into an adulterous relationship with William. And I was glad that it didn’t stay adulterous for long.
I feel that the adventure/intrigue plot could have been more strongly developed . The culprit behind William’s being transported/shanghaied, who had betrayed Eleanor’s father was revealed in a way that was a bit anticlimactic, and so was the final confrontation scene. And sadly, he was an interesting character. I think it would have made for a very intense climax if executed differently. But the romance aspect of the relationship made up for that short-coming. I found Eleanor and William’s romance captivating, and you could see that their love was strong, not just based on outward attractiveness and lust, but a true respect and kinship. They were both survivors with strong instincts of family and honor, and saw that in each other.
Setting: This book was a bit odd for an Elizabethan. I thought some of the descriptions was a bit on the generic side, and the dialogue didn’t always ring true for me. Overall, the author captured the period well, but I felt that she could have made the novel more authentic in that regard. Queen Elizabeth shows up in the background, but the book doesn’t show Eleanor interacting with her at all. In one scene, William greets and pays court to the Queen, but that’s as much as we actually see Elizabeth in the story. The focus is more of the other aspects of court life. I find Elizabeth an interesting historical figure. Although I’m not much of an historical fiction reader, I do enjoy reading romance books where she plays a role. I was disappointed that she wasn’t in this book more. It seemed like a wasted opportunity for me.
Overall Thoughts: I didn’t have high expectations for this one initially, but it turned out to be an entertaining read. I liked the characters, and I enjoyed the Elizabethan setting, although I think it could have been more fleshed out. I think some readers would enjoy this one, especially for the romance aspects. It was pretty good, but not a book that would give four stars to. Thus, the 3.75/5.0 star rating. (less)
It's very true that if you do something well, people will notice. That's how I feel about this book. Zoe Archer did a fine job with Warrior. If I were...moreIt's very true that if you do something well, people will notice. That's how I feel about this book. Zoe Archer did a fine job with Warrior. If I were to imagine a dream book based on my favorite historical action/adventure movies, with the romance ramped up, then this is a very good example.
Warrior has a couple that I totally loved. Gabriel is a man's man, and I adored him for it. He's not macho and overbearing. Nope. He's just a rough and tumble guy who's spent his life as a soldier, and it's made one heck of a man of him. He worries about his lack of social polish--but his worries are groundless as far as I am concerned, and Thalia too. I adored him. I liked his confidence as a warrior, his ease with dealing with very hostile situations, his deep sense of honor. I liked how he committed himself to protecting Thalia and seeing her fulfill her mission. He was willing to stand up for a cause that didn't even make sense to him. And he showed a remarkable ability to adapt and to react to the very strange situations he found himself in. I loved how he adored Thalia for who she was, and didn't feel the need to change her into the average Englishman's ideal woman. She was his ideal, instead. Gabriel might consider himself rough and unpolished, but he definitely knew how to take care of his woman.
Thalia was an awesome heroine. I liked that she wasn't the typical English rose. She'd been raised in Outer Mongolia, and was a woman of that world. She'd yearned most of her life to take up her father's work with the Blades, and when she got her chance to prove herself, she was determined to do so. Thalia respected Gabriel for who he was, admired his strength, and the innate essence of him. She realized that he was the man she'd been waiting for, but couldn't believe that he'd want her and not a perfect English lady. Seeing their love affair unfurl like a blooming flower was such a pleasure. This book is very steamy, and wildly romantic. A perfect combination. There are many sigh-worthy scenes between Gabriel and Thalia. I was very invested in this couple, and I was cheering for their happy ending together.
On top of the great romance, this is a fantastic historical adventure. I loved the setting and the way that it was as much an integral part of this story as the romance. I think Ms. Archer did a great job of bringing this rollicking, good old-fashioned (in the vein of Indiana Jones and Stephen Sommers' the Mummy movies) story to life. Ms. Archer showed a respect for the Mongolian culture and its people. Before this book ended, it felt so familiar to me, I could have been on the Mongolian steppes myself.
The action and adventure aspects were fantastic. There is a sense of risk throughout this story, right from the beginning. I loved the fact that although Gabriel was a formidable warrior, he was not blood-thirsty. He respected life, but was more than willing to fight and kill for a worthy cause. Conversely, he went out of his way to save others. (Sigh break required) I liked the fact that Thalia could more than defend herself. I loved how things unfolded in the final confrontation in this book. Thalia didn't get shut out of the action, just because she was a woman. In fact, she plays an integral role in fighting the Heirs.
I think that Ms. Archer handled the multi-cultural aspects deftly. There is no preachiness here, but she addresses the imperialistic drives of the British Empire, using it as a backdrop in which there is a struggle between two groups who differ in their attitudes about how the British Empire will succeed. One group, The Heirs, wants to use the magical treasures of various cultures around the world to expand Britain's influence. The Blades of the Rose want to protect the cultural heirlooms and preserve the heritages of the various countries. I loved the fact that there were major players of various ethnicities in this story, and none stereotypically portrayed. I am already enamored of Catullus Graves, who is the intellectual giant of the Blades, constantly inventing nifty instruments to assist them in their endeavors. And the best part is he's black (and very British). I love to see the breaking of cultural stereotypes that portray people of color as intellecutally inferior (when the truth is that people of black heritage have been responsible for many scientific advancements in society although they typically remain unacknowledged for it). I remember talking to Ms. Archer on an Amazon forum about multicultural characters in urban fantasy. She posted about Catullus having a book of his own, and I put this series on my wish list right away, not just for that reason, but because I love historical adventure, especially with fantasy elements. She is my heroine!
The magic was very grand in this novel. There were some very novel elements, and I loved how the magic of the Sources was such an intrinsic, naturalistic force, tied to the people and their lands. It was beautiful. Ms. Archer has a great imagination, and she put it to very good use in this book.
I must say that the praise for this new series is well-earned. I had to think long and hard about what I was going to say in this review, because I hate being repetitive. I want my words to count here. A great book deserves a well-written review. It's the best tribute to an exceptional author and her work. I am a huge fan of Ms. Archer now, and I cannot wait to read more of her books. (less)
This was a pleasant surprise for me, as a reader. Emma Darcy is hit and miss for me, when it comes to Harlequin Presents. I often find myself alienate...moreThis was a pleasant surprise for me, as a reader. Emma Darcy is hit and miss for me, when it comes to Harlequin Presents. I often find myself alienated by a romance story that is too modern and overtly sophisticated, and doesn't touch me, when I read her stories. But, that is not the case with The Outback Bridal Rescue.
I like the prominent male point of view with Johnny's character. Johnny was an orphan, who never knew his father, and lost his mother at a very young age. He was abused as a foster child, and learned to keep people happy by turning on the charm. He got himself into trouble at the age of sixteen. As a result, he and two other boys were sent to Patrick Maguire's sheep station in the Outback. This turned out to be a life-changing event for Johnny, as he found a mentor, and honorary father in Patrick. He never forgot what Patrick did for him, and considered the sheep station a home away from home. When he gets word that Patrick died, he's devasted. It turns out that Patrick has left 49% of the financially-ailing sheep station to him in his will. The remaining 51% was left to Megan, Patrick's daughter, who despises him, for all intents and purposes. Yet, Johnny cannot allow that to stop him from doing his part to see that Patrick's legacy doesn't fade. He's determined to get Megan to accept his help, and to work with him to save the sheep station.
Megan fell deeply in love with Johnny as a very young girl. When he fails to be there for a very important moment in her life, she starts to believe that she doesn't matter to him, and the caring treatment she received from him was nothing personal, just part of his usual charm. She grows quite bitter towards him in the intervening years. When she finds out that her father left almost half the station to him, she feels betrayed. She's determined to do what she can to limit his involvement in the station.
This couple butt head initially, but they come to an understanding because of their mutual love for Megan's father and the station. They decide to be friends and to work together. But the night of Patrick's funeral, they ended up being more than that. As a result, Megan ends up pregnant, and Johnny insists on marriage. From this point, the story is about Megan coming to terms with her insecurity about herself and how she can fit in the life of the international celebrity and singer that Johnny has become. Johnny enjoys the fruits of his successes, but he never forgot the lessons that Patrick taught him. Deep down, family is the number one thing for him. He's torn, because he can see how the celebrity life aspects torture Megan, and he's ready to give it all up, for her. I liked that Megan showed some maturity, and was able to get past her insecurities, to encourage Johnny in his career.
As I said above, this was a deep story, with a lot to offer, emotionally. I liked both characters, finding them to be sympathetic. I felt bad for Megan that she was feeling so unwanted and inadequate, although Johnny never saw her as being either. I sympathized with Johnny in his feelings that Megan hated him, but he wasn't sure what he had done to cause her dislike. I wanted them to come to an accord, and to see if they could make things work between them. This story did touch me, and I liked the aspects of Johnny trying to integrate his professional persona with his life with Megan on the sheep station. In the end, he was really trying to find himself, and by the end of the story, he is able to do that. I also liked that Megan came to terms with her insecurity and was able to focus on being the supportive wife that Johnny needed, meeting him halfway, and accepting the love he had for her. This book had a good message about family and finding what you felt you could never have, and about love giving us the ability to compromise for the greater good.
What's a man to do when he can't keep a nanny who doesn't want to seduce her way into his bed? Well, marry his neighbor, that's what. Josh is a grievi...moreWhat's a man to do when he can't keep a nanny who doesn't want to seduce her way into his bed? Well, marry his neighbor, that's what. Josh is a grieving widower with a young daughter who needs stability, and he's got a ranch to run. He's pulling his hair out. And then he considers his steadfast, capable neighbor, Mattie. She's running her father's ranch and doing a fantastic job at it. How about approaching her with a marriage proposition, strictly platonic, and he'll pay off her father's debts, and pay for her to go to law school? She can leave after a year, or it will be even more lucrative if she stays five years. And this strong, determined man is not going to take no for an answer.
Mattie has been doing ranch work since she was a young girl, always at her father's side. She always felt unattractive because of her unusual height. Even her father thought she wouldn't marry. But deep down, she wants a life away from the ranch, and a career as a lawyer. Her sexy neighbor makes an offer she can't refuse. But what if she ends up falling in love with him? But sometimes, a girl has to take a chance, right?
This a very pleasant, fun read. I loved Josh and Mattie, and I was rooting for these special people to fall in love. Josh was buried in his grief for his wife, but he had to move on. He has a sweet little daughter to care for, and a ranch to run. He struggled with these emerging feelings for his new wife, a heady mix of desire and affection, rapidly turning into something more profound. How could he love her if he still loved his wife? But he underestimated how much room there is in the heart for loving. And Mattie and him have a connection he didn't share with his wife. He can talk to her about what's important to him, the ranch and being a simple man. Mattie can meet him on his level, and she is so good with little Elizabeth. Before Josh knows it, he's in deep for his convenient wife. Mattie's got problems of her own. She's very attracted to Josh, and falls in love with him, and Elizabeth, even though she cautioned herself against doing exactly that. She never thought she'd be mom material, but she finds that she loves taking care of Elizabeth.
Her Temporary, Torrid Marriage really captures what I love about category romance. A good one will give a good story where a man and a woman come together under circumstances that aren't necessarily about falling in love, but love finds them all the same, and I get to enjoy the journey down the path to happy ever after. This was a great book. Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars .(less)