stars. This is the second book I’ve read by Jodi Thomas and I loved it!
If you’ve read the back-of-the-book-synopsis, you know this is also the seco★★★★ ½ stars. This is the second book I’ve read by Jodi Thomas and I loved it!
If you’ve read the back-of-the-book-synopsis, you know this is also the second book in the Wife Lottery series; Sam has previously paid Sarah’s fine to get her out of a Texas jail cell only to whisk her off with nary a word. It opens with the Gatlins on their rainy wedding night. Oh, and Sarah, confessed murderer, has taken one of his guns and hidden from him under the shabby hotel bed. As a bounty hunter, Sam has suffered being an outcast from society. Still suffers. When he leaves her to go to the saloon, he is stabbed. (On a return visit to town he is shot.) You can see why Sarah wonders who she has married.
Sarah has been filled with a want for love all her life. First as an orphan left on an abusive woman’s doorstep, then raised from the age of six by an impoverished grandmotherly woman who only showed her love by giving her what little there was left to eat. And then married to…well, I don’t want to ruin the story, but (view spoiler)[her first husband was still grieving for his wife and apologized to Sarah after every hurried copulation; and I don’t think it was from the speed of the act. (hide spoiler)] Consequently, I felt her ache.
Still, this story is happier in tone than The Texan’s Wager and interspersed with great dialogues. While I only laughed out loud a few times, I did find myself chuckling softly many times. And therein lays its one small flaw. Sarah has recently lost her newborn; nevertheless, when confronted by small children, the reader is given no remembrance of her pain. Oh, it’s mentioned earlier, certainly, but the introduction of Sam’s supposed children should trigger some remark, if not a thought, from her. Same as later, when they both talk of wanting children from this marriage. Her pain has to be a given, and would have been an opportunity to forge a closer bond.
However, it is only a very small complaint, and I truly loved the bantering that goes on between Sam and Sarah. There are so many different, delicious tones to each one. Some yelling, some incredulous, some gentle. There is a funny misunderstanding where they both think the other is crazy and imagining things. Sam has a brief period of anemia following his stabbing; as a nurse, this is believable to me as I’ve seen this happen to patients. The Gatlins have great “pillow talk” (though there isn’t a pillow around for miles in the open Texas range) that brought smiles to my lips. Like Bailee, in the first book – The Texan's Wager – Sarah has rules; yet, Ms. Thomas has created a completely different character here. For all her having been married, Sarah has “gaps” in her education of what goes on between a man and a woman.
”You know, the rules for sleeping beside you. All men have them.”
He let out a long breath, guessing the “all men” totaled one former husband. “I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “The few times I’ve had a woman in my bed, we didn’t sleep.”
Sarah leaned up and placed her elbow back on his chest as she stared down at him. “You never slept with a woman? Truly?”
For the first time in more years than he could remember, a blush warmed his weather-tanned cheeks. Sarah acted as if he’d just told her he was a virgin. In truth, for a man who spent most of his time alone, never staying in one place long enough to get to know anyone, he probably was as close to a virgin as a man his age gets.
He watched firelight dance in her hair and tried to figure out how to explain. “The women I took to my bed worked nights and didn’t have all that much time.”
“Oh,” she said. “Poor things. Granny Vee sometimes had to deliver a baby in the middle of the night. I always helped, and then it would take me days to get caught up on my sleep.”
Sam fought to keep from laughing. “Well, I gave them a little extra money to help them out.”
Sarah propped her chin on her hand. “That was nice of you. You see, Sam, about the time I think you are all bad, you surprise me and tell me something nice.”
There are wonderful secondary characters that are nicely developed in this story and I only wished the author had time to develop a few of the others. There is a great since of time and place; I could almost smell the sagebrush. The intimate scenes are steamy, and the kissing goes on as if there’s no hurry. Nice. I saw the ending coming a mile away, but I didn’t care – I went along for the enjoyable, bumpy, rain-soaked ride.
Highly recommended. I’m looking forward to the next in the series, A Texan's Luck. Now, where it I put it? ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This almost made 4 stars except for the ending. I must have read it before; I saw the twists and conclusions coming a mile away. (view spoiler)[The “ This almost made 4½ stars except for the ending. I must have read it before; I saw the twists and conclusions coming a mile away. (view spoiler)[The “Big Misunderstanding” is not between the H/h but between our hero and his ex-best-friend. Cleared up at the end with just a talk? Really? But before that he saves them only to threaten murder? Nah. Didn’t work for me. (hide spoiler)] Learned more about mining than I was in the mood for, but it was incredibly realistic and obviously well researched. The best part of the book was the relationship between Gypsy Earl, Nicholas Davies, and shy, but determined schoolteacher, Clare Morgan, who were both perfect as written; I could find no fault in them and loved their developing relationship. Loved swimming with penguins, of course. That right there, makes it worth the read!["br"]>...more
Rating: 4 stars (I was tempted to give it 4 stars, since I smiled and laughed much more than I thought I would.)
Review: I thought there would be nothiRating: 4 stars (I was tempted to give it 4½ stars, since I smiled and laughed much more than I thought I would.)
Review: I thought there would be nothing new here, but it was a really nice surprise to find a nice story-line - and fun, too - and few grammatical/spelling/editing errors.
At first I thought the H/h got together too soon, but (as my mother shocked me one day by saying), "There was a war going on!" (WWII, if you're wondering...) Also, hooking up so soon is pivotal to the story, and it is in the prologue.
I liked both the hero and heroine, and I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of the family in this series.
I am actually re-reading this book again (which I find myself doing more and more with my bookshelf due to the econoOriginally reviewed January, 2011.
I am actually re-reading this book again (which I find myself doing more and more with my bookshelf due to the economy) and am enjoying it. A Woman Scorned is considered a prequel to the Lorimer Family series and it is a very good beginning. Update: I finished this book, by one of my favorite authors, and found that Cole is one of my beloved heroes by Ms. Carlyle. I’m not really into blonds, but he is an exception. He is dashing and moral and has a sense of humor. The love scenes with him were sensual.
I disagree with some critiques of Jonet as a shrew. I tried to imagine myself in her situation and believe she was, with good reason, terribly frightened. Okay, yes, she has a temper. But I have to ask myself, "What would I have done, if my children were at risk?"
The suspense is just right in this historical romance book, and the villain is a nice surprise. Knowing the villain, having read the book, I actually felt the scenes, in which the antihero was dialoguing, were filled with a different tension of which I was not previously aware. Well done!
Some GR reviewers wrote that Jonet should have told Cole about her secret...but it was not hers to tell and I respect that. In the end, I could believe the H&H could have their HEA.
I don't usually like cliffhangers, and especially epilogues that are dedicated solely mostly to the characters that are to be the focus of the next book in the series. I don't mind if an author puts the first chapter, or even the second chapter, of their new book at the end of the book I’m enjoying. Believe me, I'll read it! However, please don't ruin a perfectly good epilogue trying to get me to purchase only setting up the next book. I want to know what’s happening to the central characters I fell in love with.
That said, I do not really think the epilogue in this book qualifies as a cliffhanger, as some have complained. Not a true cliffhanger, anyway. I mean, Cole is a "man of the cloth" and it made me laugh that David was interrupting at such an "inconvenient" time, in the desperate need of a minister. Why on earth? To find out why, one would have to pick up the first in the Lorimer Family series, A Woman of Virtue.
I do love Ms. Anderson’s storylines and have rated a lot of her books five stars; I have tagged and shelved her as an “auto-buy-author”. So, why onlI do love Ms. Anderson’s storylines and have rated a lot of her books five stars; I have tagged and shelved her as an “auto-buy-author”. So, why only three stars?
I should tell you up front, I’m not a big fan of the rape theme; however, she’s one of the few authors who could (note use of past tense here) incorporate this horrible, devastating event into a beautiful story as she did in Annie's Song and Seventh Heaven. That said, sometimes she seems to do the rape, rape, rape theme too much (IMHO).
The Rocky Mountains
In this one the murderous outlaws capture the heroine and hold her hostage while they molest and abuse her for days on end. (view spoiler)[Oh, they keep her “technically pure” b/c they plan on selling her as a virgin south of the border (Mexico). (hide spoiler)] This goes on for a while, the hero is helpless to intervene, and it just got to be too much for me. While I liked some of the interactions between the hero and heroine, Matthew and Eden, and I like stories about trekking through the mountains*, there were parts that were just too boring even for me; I found myself skimming parts of a CA’s book for the first time ever. In addition, some parts were repetitive.
I liked Eden; though she had more than her share of Paxton stubbornness, she is not a whiner and she definitely is not a TSTL heroine. And Mathew Coulter is a perfect tormented hero. They become friends long before they become lovers. Their scenes together are quite lovely. Here is one that takes place soon after he recues her:
“Mr. Coulter!” she cried.
He drew Smokey to a stop and whirled in the saddle to look at her. Eden was about to admonish him for his callous disregard of the beauty around them when she realized she was looking down the barrel of a Colt revolver. He’d drawn the weapon with such speed that she hadn’t seen his hand move.
“What?” he asked, scanning the trail behind her. “Did you see something?”
Eden moistened her lips and tried to swallow. Her throat had gone as dry as parchment paper. If he wanted to destroy every wildflower in his path, who was she to argue? Had she learned nothing during her time with the Sebastians? The trick to surviving was to do as she was told and keep her mouth shut.
“Nothing, I saw nothing,” she managed to push out weakly.
“Nothing? You scared the holy hell out of me.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just –”
He holstered the weapon and reined Smoky around to face her. “Just what?”
Eden glanced at the clematis bells that his gelding’s back hooves were brutalizing. “Nothing. It was nothing.”
“You screamed my name. You must have had a reason.”
“I didn’t scream.” Why was it so infernally difficult for her to keep quiet? Joseph often said her tongue was tied in the middle and loose at both ends, and Eden couldn’t rightly argue the point. “I just want to warn you–” She broke off and tried to swallow again. “You, um, were about to let Smoky trample the clematis.”
“Trample the what?”
Eden inclined her head at the beautiful flowers behind him. “The sugarbowl clematis. They’re so beautiful, like little church bells, and you were about to ruin them.” He glanced over his shoulder and stared at the flowers for a long, tension-packed moment. Then, meeting her gaze, he rubbed a callused hand over his face and blinked as if he hoped the picture might change once his vision came back into focus. “Are you saying that you screeched like that to save some flowers? Sweet Christ, lady, I could’ve shot you!”
In this story Ms. Anderson has backed off on becoming a bit preachy on the religious overtones she definitely had in Morning Light. Still, CA latest books seem to be going more and more toward “one-foot-on-the floor” love scenes. That is fine with me, as I sometimes read and enjoy (if they’re not unnecessarily moralistic) Harlequin’s Love Inspired romances that contain no mention of sex at all and are often about men or women of faith. While I sometimes like a little delay in the sexual culmination of an earlier declared love, this was a bit “too little too late”. Just because CA is headed toward PG-13, that doesn’t necessarily mean she has to let go of the S.T.E.A.M.; you can read love scenes from some of her earlier work, such as the delightful Simply Love, to know that.
Over all, I was a bit disappointed; however, a three star rating is still good!
*Recommendations of excellent trekking through the mountain stories, by other authors, I’ve read this year: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, but not recently. I wanted to see if it still held its appeal, since my tastes have changed over th ★★★★½ I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, but not recently. I wanted to see if it still held its appeal, since my tastes have changed over the years. Though just a smidgen dated, Caroline and the Raider is the third, last, and best (IMHO) of the Orphan Train trilogy, by Ms. Miller written in 1992. Goddess, I wished she still wrote like this. Her books have changed over the years, and I still pick them up, but I liked her “voice” better back then. Or maybe it is because it is a historical romance, with the added bonus of being a western; combined, these two make for my favorite genre. Plus, it has a wonderful dog named “Tob” who likes his whisky too much; it's fun guessing what that acronym means.
Caroline Chalmers is one determined schoolmistress, convinced her fiancé, Seaton Flynn, is innocent of a stagecoach robbery and murder; she seeks out Guthrie Hayes at the Hellfire and Spit Saloon (I just love that name, LOL!) and has the audacity to ask him to break her intended out of jail. Though it is more than a decade after the Civil War, Guthrie would just as soon everyone not know he broke a group of prisoners out of a desolate Yankee prison. I like that Guthrie gives in gradually to Caroline, first saying “No!” outright to the prim little dynamo, then that he’ll interview the witnesses, and so on down the line – to his eventual capitulation.
When Caroline states she wants to go with him, again he takes a firm stand, and can’t hold it when she follows along behind, creating another favorite of mine: road trip! They travel some rugged Wyoming terrain, have some narrow escapes, and end up making love in some unusual places: from rolling in the hay of an abandon barn, to boulders and tree branches (!) – these are two stubborn people who refuse to admit their love. Guthrie is determined to hold on to his dream of Adabelle Rogers, a woman with whom he has a “particular promise”. I sometimes felt he was a hare’s breath from hanging onto this ideal too long, was pretty bossy and chauvinistic toward Caroline, and directed the course of their relationship too much; but, then I remembered Caroline is just as single-minded in her belief of her betrothed – and most everything else she decides to do. What can I say? **shrugs shoulders** It worked for me. ...more
My second star rating, but it wasn’t quite at 4 and I wanted to let some people know that it is well worth the read and might be a candidate for th
★★★★¼ My second ¼ star rating, but it wasn’t quite at 4½ and I wanted to let some people know that it is well worth the read and might be a candidate for their “favorites shelf”. A fun book with a wonderful hero and heroine, plus many secondary characters, all set in exotic Egypt. I really put off reading this one for too long, ladies. Looking forward to the next in the series.
What a delightful read! I was wondering if Ms. Thomas was going to turn this one around from its disastrous beginning, and she did! Making it worthy ★★★★✩What a delightful read! I was wondering if Ms. Thomas was going to turn this one around from its disastrous beginning, and she did! Making it worthy of its place in the Wife Lottery saga, one of the best western series I’ve read.
Lacy Larson is the youngest of the brides, the one wearing rose-colored glasses; so it is no surprise that she is confronted with the harsh realities of frontier life, some at her own insistence. But she can put up with anything, as long as she knows when it will end.
Captain Walker Larson is a cool, in control, career army man who follows the rules – the perfect solider – with no need for a wife, let alone one he believes to be a jail bird his misguided father rescued. Called back to Cedar Point, a small Texas town he long ago left behind, in order to be Lacy’s unwanted bodyguard, Walker swears he will be leaving in a month.
I love how these two go from dislike and distrust to finally trying to be “just friends”. But, in this author’s deft hand we see love blossom, even in the snowy dead of winter.
“You don’t mind this?” He moved his hand over her flesh.
“No,” she answered, closing her eyes and letting the pure pleasure of his touch wash over her.
“Because I’m your husband?”
“Because it feels good to have you touch me like this,” she answered.
“Me, or would any man do?” He watched her as if testing the waters.
“Well, the doctor’s too thin, the ranger’s too dirty, and the sheriff’s too old. I guess that only leaves my husband. You.”
And, the epilogue to this one was the perfect topping on any dessert, cold or not! Thanks goodness there is one more left in this wonderful series.
A bittersweet read. If you want to read about a English rogue who finally finds something worth loving - Texas and a young widow with three young chilA bittersweet read. If you want to read about a English rogue who finally finds something worth loving - Texas and a young widow with three young children, this is the read for you....more
(This is a review of the audiobook.) I loved this one, narrated by Susan Duerden, who does an excellent job. I’ll be looking for more of her work. Sh
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I loved this one, narrated by Susan Duerden, who does an excellent job. I’ll be looking for more of her work. She is so good with the male (not easy) and female voices and the accents, regardless of the country or the social class. Ms. Duerden is very good at making me forget the book is even being narrated, instead drawing me into the story.
Speaking of the story…granted, there are a few things for which I really should mark off on my star rating; however, I just couldn’t because it was such a joy to listen to. In the opening, the plotting and rationalizations by the heroine’s father and aunt were almost too ridiculous for me to get over. I was rolling my eyes. All they had to do was dress Linnet, the heroine, in a form-fitting outfit and the rumors would be reduced by half. (view spoiler)[The whole go to the prince or a brothel and get pregnant tonight? When she is supposed to be five months along? Huh? (hide spoiler)] The author also throws in some modern day expressions, such as “What happens in Wales, stays in Wales” and “It’s not me, it’s you. No, it’s not you, it’s me…” Ms. James even admits in the author’s note that the hero was inspired by the irascible doctor on TV’s House.
Still, the upshot of it all was just too tongue-in-cheek to resist; I found myself laughing, smiling, and enjoying the tale – a lot!
Plus, I really adored the way the heroine handled the hero, Piers, without resorting to snipping; Linnet used charm, wit, and inner beauty to tame her beast.
Fairy Tales Series ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more