Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath Sub-genre: Historical Romance Book #1 in the Texas Trilogy 4 Stars
Synopsis: Emotionally and physically scarred from the ci...moreTexas Destiny by Lorraine Heath Sub-genre: Historical Romance Book #1 in the Texas Trilogy 4 Stars
Synopsis: Emotionally and physically scarred from the civil war, Houston Leigh wants nothing to do with his brother's mail order bride, Amelia Carson. Thrown together on the journey home, this mismatched pair of traveller’s must come together to survive and to fight the passion that consumes them against their wills…
Review: This is a heartwarming romance and a definite two tissue read. Houston is a wonderful character in that despite his tortured past he has an amazing capacity for love. Amelia’s courage and spirit makes here extremely easy to identify with. The first half of the book where Houston and Amelia work together to overcome the hardships of the trail, get to know each other and fall in love is better than the second half after they arrive at their destination. I felt that the book lacked a certain amount of tension and I can't make up my mind whether or not Dallas is a likeable character. Some of his actions are questionable to my mind and I will read the next book to see if these can be resolved. Recommendation: A cute read that I encourage fans of western and historical romance to read.(less)
Synopsis: Following the murder of her abusive husband, Sarah Allen returns to her home town in Wyoming to start afresh. Unfortun...moreAgainst the Wind 2 Stars
Synopsis: Following the murder of her abusive husband, Sarah Allen returns to her home town in Wyoming to start afresh. Unfortunately, trouble seems to follow, first when she rents a cottage from Jackson Raines, the man she rejected and humiliated in high school, and then when her husband’s enemies become convinced that she has something they want and are not above kidnapping Sarah’s daughter to get it.
Review: Starts out really well but becomes exceedingly far-fetched as the book progresses. There are just too many individual storylines. In addition to the main plot, in which the heroine has not one but four men out to get her for different reasons, there are another two side stories. The first involves a tiresome romance between Sarah’s friend and Jackson’s foreman and the second centers on illegal logging, which is completely irrelevant and unrelated to the main story. Two of these various plot threads remain unresolved at the conclusion. Maybe they will come to an end in the next installment but quite frankly I’m not interested enough to find out.
The main characters are well fleshed out and have an intense chemistry but I did not feel the romance. While Jackson’s caring and sensitivity make him an especially appealing character, Sarah is annoying and distant. I found her need to keep secrets and her inability to trust Jackson with the truth irritating, and actually felt that he deserved better. I also thought that his initial resentment toward her for the way she treated him in high school was resolved far too easily with a rather weak apology.
In general, the book is well written but the flashback scenes in which Sarah remembers what happened to her husband are extremely repetitive, in fact, the author just copies them word for word each time with a few details added. There is also very little build-up of tension and suspense, and I kept waiting for the something significant to happen.
Overall, a very disappointing read and one of the few books that get my 2 star rating. I may not be reading any more in the series. (less)
Synopsis: Shamelessly traded for land and water rights by her father, Cordelia McQueen is thrust into an unfamiliar world as the br...moreTexas Glory 4.5 Stars
Synopsis: Shamelessly traded for land and water rights by her father, Cordelia McQueen is thrust into an unfamiliar world as the bride of Dallas Leigh, a hard man who cares about nothing but having a son. As she learns the ropes of her new life, Cordelia comes to love and trust Dallas, but will he ever feel the same way about her?
Review: The characterization is excellent and the story is heartwarming and heart wrenching in equal measure.
To be honest, Dallas rubbed me the wrong way in Texas Destiny, and I wasn’t so keen on reading his book but I’m glad that I did because he redeems himself completely. Dallas is one of the loneliest heroes I’ve ever encountered and he hides his emotional isolation behind an authoritarian façade that makes everyone fear him. Nevertheless, he has an amazing gentle side that is slowly revealed throughout the book.
Dee is also an endearing character. Even though my preference is for strong willed heroines with a more defined backbone, Dee has an appealing strength of spirit, and it is wonderful seeing her come of out her shell and become more confident and self-assured.
Another highlight is the recurring characters from the first book, Houston, Amelia and Austin, each of whom have their own parallel stories, which contribute to the engaging atmosphere of the book. Even though the suspense subplot is predictable, the villains are suitably evil and obnoxious.
In sum, this is a wonderfully sweet romance and even though Texas Glory is not a tearjerker, it had me crying in places, especially the last ¾ of the story. (less)
Synopsis: Elizabeth Coyote will lose her ranch and everything she has worked for unless she marries. Asa MacIntyre wants nothing...morePromises Linger 4 Stars
Synopsis: Elizabeth Coyote will lose her ranch and everything she has worked for unless she marries. Asa MacIntyre wants nothing more than land of his own and a lady for his wife. Are they a perfect match or a disaster waiting to happen?
Review: Steamy historical romance (erotica) with an amazingly sexy and stunningly sweet hero and a feisty heroine. The sex scenes are explicit but contribute to the construction of the relationship between the characters and to the overall storyline.
Elizabeth and Asa have fantastic chemistry. Asa is charming, loveable and has the patience of a saint. Elizabeth is more of an amalgamation of opposites. She initially comes across as strong willed and spirited but has moments in which she is completely naïve and innocent, and this is annoying at times.
The plot is engaging with 75% revolving around Elizabeth coming to terms with her trust issues and learning to love Asa, and the other 25% focusing on the question of who is sabotaging Elizabeth’s ranch. The suspense aspect of the story is a little lacking and the identity of the villain is obvious.
The story is well written with some very entertaining and amusing moments but the dialogue could have been better. The conversations are often stilted and consist of monosyllabic responses, and some readers may find the vocabulary vulgar and offensive (keep in mind that this is an erotica book after all). Moreover, there is a mix of period accurate and modern language that can be confusing.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story and the interaction between the characters and look forward to reading the next one. (less)
Synopsis: Gracie Marsh worshipped her stepbrother Jason while growing up but now her feelings for him have evolved into something more i...moreHeartless 1 Star
Synopsis: Gracie Marsh worshipped her stepbrother Jason while growing up but now her feelings for him have evolved into something more intense. The feeling seems to be mutual but Gracie has a secret that makes her deathly afraid of love. Stung by her rejection, Jason leaves and sets in motion events that may change their lives forever.
Review: OK, here goes my first and, hopefully, my last really negative review.
This book is awful but it is not the borderline incest that turned me off. Rather the characters are one dimensional and vapid, and the story is ridiculous.
Gracie’s characterization makes absolutely no sense. There is an inconsistency between her supposed mental deficiencies and her obvious social skills. Also, she becomes a teacher even though she apparently has a severe learning disability – weird. In addition, she is a perfectly sweet doormat and for too accepting of Jason's rejection and snide attitude. It is a pity that she didn’t put him in his place when he came home with Kittie the cow. Her reason for keeping her past secret from Jason is also inexplicable – there is nothing shameful about it, and depicting it as such belittles women who have suffered from abuse.
Speaking of Kittie, Jason’s engagement to her is a completely idiotic plot device. First, her bitchiness is way overdone and is obviously meant to contrast against Gracie's almost angelic status. Second, Jason’s reasoning for becoming engaged lacks credibility.
Jason is an obnoxious hero and borderline abusive. The scene in which he sets up an employee to be humiliated is a case in point as is his allowing Kittie to treat his family so badly.
The preposterous kidnapping subplots only add insult to injury. An honorable, sensitive kidnapper who just happens to be trying to save his country from a dictator and needs to kidnap people to fund his coup? The fact that there is not one, but two kidnappings? Perhaps this is an allowance for gender equality as there is one for the heroine and one for the hero?
I could go on and on but I’ll stop now as I’m sure my point is made. This is definitely my first and only Diana Palmer book.(less)