Review: Into The Fire by Anne Stuart

Format: E-bookintothefire
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Mira
Hero: Dillon Gaynor
Heroine: Jamie Kincaid
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2003
Started On: August 31, 2010
Finished On: August 31, 2010

My first Anne Stuart certainly didn’t disappoint. I have always wanted to try out one of her books since all her fans rave about the fact that she writes about the most cold heroes ever. Since I am a big fan of cold, aloof and tortured heroes I have been meaning to give her Ice series a try. I did start reading Anne Stuart’s To Love a Dark Lord, a book that seemed to be getting rave reviews but turned out I was bored after the first couple of pages. But this book managed to hook me from the very beginning and I just had to finish it or most probably I would have stayed up all night to do so.

Jamie Kincaid, the adopted daughter of Isobel and Victor Kincaid has always known that when it comes to the affections of her mother whom she loves dearly, she has always come at a weak second place to Nate Kincaid, Isobel’s nephew whom she had taken under her care when Nate’s parents had died a tragic death in a fire when Nate was 10 years old. Everyone had loved the charming feckless Nate with his glorious good looks and easy charm. For Jamie, the arrival of Nate had been a godsend. She had adored Nate and believed that he could do no wrong and had looked up to him like the older brother she would never have.

When Nate befriends Dillon Gaynor, the bad boy from the wrong side of town, no one approves of their wild ways and their relationship. Dillon who had been abandoned by his mother when he was 8 years old to a drunken father had dropped out of high school right before graduation had always had a wild streak in him a mile wide. Getting into fights, getting drunk and high on weed and the women that flocked around him who craved getting into bed with the dangerous looking bad boy he is, Dillon was every innocent girls wildest fantasy. Jamie wasn’t immune to Dillon’s dangerous charm and though she tried to stay away from Dillon, somehow she always ended up craving his attention.

And then one fateful night, on Jamie’s prom night, she gets a taste of what Dillon can offer in his arms right after which she is raped brutally by Paul Jameson, quarterback of the football team and president of the student council. Jamie doesn’t know that Dillon served 18 months of his life in jail for beating Paul up within an inch of his life. Now twelve years later, Nate has been murdered and the police had really done nothing to find out what had happened. With Isobel going deeper into depression everyday, Jamie was finally forced to seek out Dillon, the man she wants to avoid at all costs to get some answers and to get closure for all their sakes.

Dillon lives in a run down part of Wisconsin and Jamie’s first impression that although Dillon had become more handsome and rugged the past couple of years, nothing had really changed. Though Jamie helplessly responds to Dillon on a level that she has found impossible to connect with another man, Jamie doesn’t trust Dillon within an inch of her life. But when she is stranded with her car requiring repairs, her purse containing her identification lost, Jamie has no choice but to reside at the dismal lodgings that Dillon calls home.

Right from the beginning, Jamie feels an evil presence watching and waiting in the derelict building that served to be the deathbed of Nate. Though Dillon wants nothing to do with Jamie with whom he had been obsessed with since forever, and though he believes that he would never be good enough for Jamie, the invisible connection that seems to grow stronger with every minute they spend together finally culminates in Dillon having the best sex of his life. Dillon wanted nothing more than to bed Jamie and send her packing, but the best laid plans always have a way of getting screwed up.

Things start going awry right from the very beginning and though neither Dillon nor Jamie believes in ghosts, it feels as if they are being haunted and hunted by a ghostly presence who nearly manages to kill the one woman who means the world to Dillon. Like all reviewers have mentioned, this book certainly has a dark edge to it that I just loved. I loved the fact that Dillon though reformed somewhat, essentially remained the bad boy he was which made him real appealing as the hero. And Jamie though she does start out as a scared and witless woman, the way she fights for the man she loves won her my wholehearted approval in the end.

Needless to say I loved the book and will definitely be going back for more of Anne Stuart’s fabulous books.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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Review: Just a Taste by Deirdre Martin

Format: E-bookJust a taste
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: New York Blades, Book 7
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Anthony Dante
Heroine: Vivi Robitaille
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: January 2, 2008
Started On: August 30, 2010
Finished On: August 31, 2010

I have been collecting up and reading books of the theme where the hero has been previously married, but the wife is dead, and circumstances force the hero to get married again, against his better judgment. Sometimes the hero has been betrayed by his wife and has vowed never to love or feel again, other times the hero has adored his previous wife and has set her on a pedestal that is difficult to reach for anyone else. Needless to say, such instances create great stories and if the author is particularly talented you get wonderful stories like Sunset Embrace by Sandra Brown, Night in Eden by Candice Proctor etc. This book was recommended on a thread on Amazon and since I was able get an e-version of the book, I decided to give this a go since it sounded like a fun read regardless of the fact that I had never tried out any books by Deirdre Martin before.

This is the 7th book in the New York Blades series and though the New York Blades is supposedly a hockey team, there is very little hockey involved in the book. Anthony Dante is the handsome head chef and half-owner of the Dante’s restaurant that has been in the Dante family for generations. A place that had started out as a pizza parlor, Dante’s was now an upscale restaurant that served homey Italian cuisine to a wide range of clientele. Anthony was still grieving for the untimely death of his Angie who had been a cop killed during duty. A year on, Anthony still visits his wife’s grave every Sunday morning and talks to her about everything that had happened during the past week. Still stubbornly holding onto his wedding ring, Anthony is not ready to move on to greener pastures and start living again. The only thing that stirs his passion is his restaurant and the magic that he can create inside his spotless kitchen.

When stunning French chef Vivi Robitaille moves across Dante’s and starts sprucing up the place to open up a new Bistro, Anthony with the typical egoistic nature of most chefs knows that none can beat Dante’s. Vivi has no intention of competing with Dante’s or any place else. Leaving France and coming to America was supposed to be Vivi and her half sister Natalie’s chance of starting over. Vivi was tired of the fact that in France cooking was considered to be a profession for the men and Vivi wants success on her own terms and the move to America was off to a good start if she may say so. Vivi and Natalie has a strange relationship as Vivi was the daughter of the mistress of Natalie’s father. Their father had left the major share of his wealth to his legitimate daughter and Vivi had to depend on Natalie for the funds required for opening up the bistro.

When Vivi meets the handsome and brusque Anthony, Vivi knows right on that the happy neighborly feel that she had been striving for would totally be lost on the genius who resents the fact that Vivi was changing things around the neighborhood. Though Anthony’s brother and half owner of Dante’s Micheal Dante who had just retired from his career at New York Blades and was struggling to adjust to being a stay at home dad adores Vivi on sight, Anthony bristles at the mere thought that Vivi has the audacity to challenge him in his kitchen. It’s not long before the sparks between Vivi and Anthony fly, and it is with amusement that Micheal watches from the sidelines and encourages his brother to make a go for it.

Ultimately, Vivi and Anthony hit the sheets and are pretty confident of making their relationship work when remnants of the fear that resides in Anthony as a result of his wife’s death rear its ugly head. When Vivi refuses to be understanding about what happened even when Anthony professes that he loves her and that he has moved on from his dead wife, Vivi gives him the stupid reason of it not being the right time for her to start a relationship with problems brewing up between Natalie and herself regarding the finances required for the bistro. I felt like giving Vivi a swift kick for hurting Anthony like that! Still feel like it!!

In the end, Vivi and Natalie manage to work out their differences, find a solution for the financial havoc that Natalie created and successfully open up the bistro. Towards the end, it is Natalie who convinces Vivi to go for the man she loves and is miserable without, when Natalie was dead set against Vivi’s relationship with Anthony in the  beginning. I found it a bit unbelievable when Natalie who has a pretty strong personality and fights for everything she wants and believes in just gave up on Anthony and then needed a nudge from her sister to finally find the courage to embrace true love and acknowledge the fact that it wasn’t Anthony who hadn’t been ready to let go of Angie but herself.

Ms. Martin has created a wonderful set of characters with the Dante family and it was wonderful and engaging to read their interactions. It was especially endearing to read about how Anthony had to step in between his brother Micheal and his son little Anthony who actually wanted to cook rather than play hockey as his father wanted him to. Though I did not like how Vivi acted out, this book was still a pretty good read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

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Review: The Brides of Prairie Gold by Maggie Osborne

Format: E-bookbrides
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Warner Books Inc
Hero: Cody Snow
Heroine: Perrin Waverly
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 1, 1996
Started On: August 28, 2010
Finished On: August 29, 2010

The Brides of Prairie Gold center around the twelve woman who travel to Clampet Falls, Oregon from Missouri as mail-order brides. Wagon master Cody Snow has no idea how he ended up with agreeing to take these brides to their destination. This being the last trip that Cody was going to take, he was also carrying a stash of weapons and whiskey unknown to the brides on board to sell. A journey that was to take a period of around 6 months of their lives through rough terrain and weather, Cody doesn’t know how he is going to survive the incessant problems that seems to crop up amongst his travelers. Accompanying him as his scout is  the enigmatic half-Indian Webb Coate who makes for a pretty interesting character as well.

When Cody lays his eyes on the beautiful Perrin Waverly, the red-hot attraction that flares between them is instantaneous and unwelcome at best. Cody whose dead wife Ellen had betrayed him and got pregnant with another man’s child and died giving birth had left a bitter taste in Cody’s mouth where women are concerned. Cody had vowed that no woman would ever have that kind of power over him and his heart and he had resigned himself to settling down on his own. Perrin was a woman who had made a lot of mistakes in the past. Perrin viewed men as users of women, who always took and never gave anything back. Widowed quite unexpectedly from her jealous husband Gavin Waverly who had left her no means to fend for herself, Perrin had been at the end of her wits as to what to do when Joseph Boyd, Chastity’s wealthy banker had befriended her. In the end, Perrin had offered herself to him as his mistress, an act that had tainted her forever in the eyes of the citizens of Chastity. This journey towards a new life and a new husband was supposed to be her second chance. But life and its unexpected twists had thrown Augusta Boyd, Joseph’s proud daughter who doesn’t want anything to do with the woman who in her opinion had ruined her father which in the end had prompted him to commit suicide.

Needless to say, the journey doesn’t start off well for Perrin or Augusta. Augusta is a character that brings out all sorts of emotions from the reader. She is spoiled to the core, demanding and pretty much thinks of herself to be above everyone else who was performing the journey along with her. Augusta hires Cora to do her bidding, and whilst Cody had ordered that everyone who was traveling with him had to do their share of work, Augusta refuses to lift a finger to do work she deems to  be beneath her. With only 40 dollars to see her through the journey since her father had been completely ruined financially, a fact Augusta had managed to keep a lid on till now, Augusta is scared of not making it through the journey.

Cody as the wagon master has always opted that his travelers select a representative from their group to bring their problems to, so that Cody can only attend to those problems that are deemed unsolvable by the representative. When Perrin draws the paper marked X which effectively makes her the group’s representative, none of the group members are enthusiastic about the fact. They all know of Perrin’s reputation and were doing their hardest to ignore Perrin and not associate with a woman who had fallen from grace.

Cody curses and thanks the fact that being the womenfolk’s representative undeniably put Cody and Perrin into a situation where they could no longer avoid each other. Sparks fly and the atmosphere pretty much crackles with tension whenever Cody and Perrin are together. Though they try to deny the combustive attraction between them, it is inevitable as the rising sun that these two would come together in an explosive manner that pretty much obliterates everything else. When Perrin realizes that Cody has no intention of ever marrying again, but wants to continue their relationship, Perrin knows that she won’t ruin her second chance at respectability even if it means saying no to the man who had effectively captured her heart forever.

I don’t think I can effectively describe what goes through during this tough journey that these brides take to reach their futures and their husbands. The rough and tough journey inevitably toughens them up. There are losses, deaths, squabbles and disease that occur during the space of the journey. Making the journey doubly dangerous is a long term enemy of Cody, who is hell bent on killing Cody and stealing the arms and whiskey that Cody was transporting. And amongst the women is a bride who has an unhealthy obsession with Cody, who thinks that she is the bride meant for Cody who in the end nearly kills the woman Cody loves with everything in his being.

This book is a pretty great read which enriches the reader with the perils of traveling during the 1800’s. Life was tough and hard and people had to toughen up and face life head on if they wanted to survive. The most remarkable change comes out in Augusta, who finally gets what she deserves and a bit more, and in the end this makes her into a better woman, who but in the end loses the man she loves, because she was too proud to think that a half Indian was beneath her.

The story of how Mem, a 28 year old spinster and Webb Coate find each other was pretty interesting as well. Webb who at first smolders at the mere thought of touching the hauntingly beautiful Augusta Boyd, finally finds everything he had been searching for and more in the arms of Mem, the woman who completes him in every way.

I recommend Maggie Osborne novels for those romance readers who require something more than just a man and woman getting together and falling in love. If you want a romance with a bite of adventure, a little bit of mystery and enough passion to knock your socks off, this is a must read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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Review: The Bride of Willow Creek by Maggie Osborne

Format: E-bookbride
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ivy Books
Hero: Sam Holland
Heroine: Angie Bartoli
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 2, 2001
Started On: August 27, 2010
Finished On: August 28, 2010

This is certainly an unusual story, as are most of the novels by Ms. Osborne. This was the book that I chose to read right after falling in love with Ms. Osborne’s writing style after reading Silver Lining. However, for some reason I read a couple of pages and found my interest straying towards some other book and I had all but forgotten about it until my pile of to-be read Ms. Osborne novels have shrunk into 1 or 2 books. And finally after reading this book, I for the world of me cannot understand why I put this book away because yes, this book is really good.

Ten years have passed since Angie Bartolli then sixteen years old had married Sam Holland. Angie with a formidable father had not been ready to defy him and leave with her then husband for whom her father felt nothing but loathing saying right to his face that Sam would never be able to make anything for himself. Both Sam and Angie had been young, both expecting things from the other that they had not been mature enough to understand or give. Thus Angie had stayed behind, a married innocent, whilst her husband Sam made his way to the West swearing that he would make something of himself by prospecting for gold and silver.

Now Angie’s parents have passed away and left her broke with nothing to live on. Angie wants her life to start and yearns to actually live as a married woman. Practically designated the position of a wallflower after being deserted by her husband, Angie had always been on the outside looking in, until Peter De Groot shows an interest in her and wants to start a life with her. Wanting the divorce that she should have obtained long back, without any funds to achieve what she wanted, Angie makes her way to Sam hoping that he would pay all the expenses for the year long period that she would have to wait for the divorce to come through.

The Sam that she encounters is a grown up, more vital and more handsome version of the man that she fell so swiftly in love with. Old resentments that they both thought they had buried long ago come rising to the surface, both blaming the other for a marriage that never in reality began. When Sam realizes that Angie has nowhere else to go and that he is in no financial situation to pay for the divorce that the both of them wants, the only solution is for Angie to take residence at his small place.

At Sam’s place Angie encounters Lucy and Daisy, the adorable daughters of Sam, which shock Angie more than anything else. The immense feeling of betrayal she feels when she hears that Sam had been living with Laura, the mother of his daughters until she had died of pneumonia, Angie doesn’t know whether to start crying or to start screaming. The one thing Sam regrets more than anything else is the fact that he was never able to offer his name and respectability to Laura, a fact that he, Laura and her parents only knew. But the arrival of his wife, which Sam resents with everything he is, definitely stirs up the story which makes Sam’s resentment to the forced arrangement grow.

Upon meeting Daisy, the youngest of the two girls, Angie realizes why Sam has other priorities at the moment. Born with club foot, the surgery required to correct the defect cost the earth and Sam was determined that this time as soon as he got enough money Daisy would be his number 1 priority. And with the courts having sentenced Sam that if during the 1 year period he is unable to get the surgery done on Daisy he would have to give up both his daughters to their grandparents, who loathe Sam for “seducing” their daughter into an immoral life with him.

Angie who doesn’t know squat about caring for children, slowly learns what it is like to lose your heart to two beautiful girls who could try your patience until you no longer have any left. With Lucy fighting Angie and her affections every step of the way, life is a constant battle for Angie. And feelings she had never come across before start to haunt and taunt her with her alluring husband so close by. Intimacies that develop over living in a small space contribute towards the raging inferno that is ignited inside Angie, and suddenly every waking thought and dream she has is full of Sam and the way he could make her lose herself in desire she had no right feeling now.

Sam thought that anything he had felt for Angie 10 years back had long since being buried. But the woman that Angie has grown into is more alluring than he can resist. With her fiery spirit and courage, and her affection towards his two girls Sam slowly starts to fall in love with Angie all over again.

However, trust and belief in the other that has always been the problem between the two nearly breaks them apart once again. This was a heartwarming read on how Angie comes to care for the two girls who adorable and equally headstrong, how Angie tries to save and scrape whatever Sam earns so that Daisy could have the surgery she needs before custody would be awarded to their grandparents. I definitely loved Angie as the heroine and needless to say I wouldn’t mind a Sam Holland of my own! *winks*

Beautifully done, this is a marvelous read any true romantic would love.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

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Review: Forbidden Fruit by Charlotte Lamb

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1584
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Giles Kent
Heroine: Leonie
Sensuality: 2.8
Date of Publication: August 1, 1993
Started On: August 27, 2010
Finished On: August 27, 2010

My first novel by Charlotte Lamb certainly had me reading this short novel in one sitting. Though I can’t say I fully enjoyed every minute of the battle of wills between Giles and Leonie, I did enjoy Ms. Lamb’s writing style and might pick up a novel or two of hers  to read in the future.

Leonie is engaged to marry Malcolm Kent, younger brother of the impressive and forbidding Giles Kent. Leonie had grown up with her grandmother after her father had died and her mother hadn’t wanted the responsibility of rearing up a child on her own. When Leonie meets Malcolm’s family for the first time comprising of Malcolm’s mother and Giles and a sister she meets later on, Leonie knows that she is not what  they would have chosen as a bride for Malcolm. That doesn’t deter her from being convinced that Malcolm and she are meant to be together. And she more than senses the turbulent emotions that come to surface whenever Malcolm’s stern brother is around with a mocking smile to grace his lips and she knows that Giles hates her and wishes that he could break her and Malcolm apart.

Tragedy strikes when days before the wedding Malcolm who is on a business trip to Switzerland meets a skiing accident which effectively ends his life. Giles comes as the bearer of the bad news and its a testament to just how devastated that Leonie is by the news that she sheds the wedding dress that her friend Angela was fitting on her just moments ago, not giving a thought to who was with her. Needless to say, Leonie completely breaks down and she is surprised at the empathy and kindness that Giles shows her during those few moments.

Things take a turn when two months later, Leonie finds that she is pregnant with Malcolm’s child. Though her friend Angela urges her to contact the Kents since they do have a responsibility towards Malcolm’s child, Leonie is determined that she wouldn’t touch a penny from the Kents since they never wanted her for Malcolm in the first place. However, Leonie’s mother takes matters into her own hands and contacts Giles who turns up at her doorstep and later forces her into marriage with him.

I found the contact between Giles and Leonie a bit too scarce in the novel. The first half of the novel goes by with just sporadic  meetings between the two. It is only when Giles forces Leonie to marry him under the pretense that he would fight for the custody rights of the child that confrontations between the two really start to take place. Even when Leonie realizes that she has fallen in love with Giles, she doesn’t act as someone who has fallen in love, but rather fights to the bitter end thinking Giles to be ruthless enough to use her and discard her when he has no more use for her.

I don’t know why, but there was a certain element missing in the novel which just didn’t make the cut to make the book a favorite read. Whilst reading this book, I found myself remembering a favorite Harlequin of the same theme, Bride in Blue by Miranda Lee. Now that was a good book! Maybe I should hunt it down and read it once again!

Anyhow, till my next review comes up!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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Review: Foxfire Bride by Maggie Osborne

Format: E-bookfoxfire
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ivy Books
Hero: Matthew Tanner Jennings
Heroine: Eugenia Foxworth
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 23, 2004
Started On: August 25, 2010
Finished On: August 27, 2010

If you want to read about heroines who are feisty, independent and live on the fringes of the society having to make do with what they have and are all the more strong for it, Maggie Osborne is always the author to look for. Fox is a heroine as feisty and independent as they come. Born into the rich affluent society in San Francisco, her mother who has a substantial inheritance re-marries when her father dies while Fox is quite young. Her new husband Hobbs Jennings steals the inheritance that is due Fox when her mother dies, leaving Jennings as Fox’s guardian. Since Fox was quite young, around 6 years old, she has no inkling of what is going on when she is bundled up and lands at the home of an aunt who has several kids of her own to look after. Fox ends up being more of a servant at their home and it is at her aunts place that she meets Peaches, a black man who changes her life.

Peaches and Fox strike up an unusual friendship during a time period where black people were merely tolerated. Peaches helps her get educated to the extent he is able to and teaches her everything that she knows. When Fox grows up, she and Peaches run away from their aunt’s place together and make do with whatever work they can get on their way. When Fox reads about Jennings and how he came into an inheritance when his wife and daughter died, it is then Fox realizes just how immensely Fox had been cheated and betrayed. Swearing vengeance on the man who was the reason for the hardships that Fox had had to endure, Fox promises that she would kill Jennings even if it is the last thing she does.

Fox does manage to make her way to San Fransisco and Jennings. But the world Jennings resides in makes Fox wary and she flees back to Peaches and makes a life for her and him in the West. It is there that Fox builds up a reputation as one of the most sought after scout west of the Rockies where she has led numerous folks through wild unexplored terrain until a gunshot wound ends her guiding career. Resigned to living a more sedate life, it is years later that a handsome stranger comes riding through, looking for the notorious guide Fox and encounters the woman who would change his life forever.

When Matthew Tanner, who works as an engineer in the mines of Hobbs Jennings, receives word that his father has been kidnapped and the kidnappers wanted ransom delivered to Denver in less than 3 months, he has no choice but to seek out the services of the best guide in the area. When he comes across Fox, thinking Fox to be a man, he is surprised to find the willful and defiant woman who seems more than capable of leading the cargo that would hold the ransom gold. Though Fox drives a mean bargain, Tanner knows that she is the best available and hires two men who would guard the money throughout the journey.

Fox feels her stomach tighten and hot all over every time she meets Tanner’s eyes. Suddenly Fox longs to be beautiful, demure and all those things she never had a chance to be just so Tanner would want her. Fox knows that the divide between her and Tanner is far too wide. Whereas education and ingrained culture seethes from every pore of Tanner’s body, Fox knows that as Peaches points out, her manners are uncouth at the best.

Tanner cannot understand for the world why he is drawn to the woman who leads him on the dangerous journey towards Denver. What Tanner does know is that he has never wanted a woman like he wants Fox, and though he knows that he has nothing to give to Fox, except a casual affair until they reach Denver, when Fox states that she wants the affair, Tanner knows he has no choice but to give in.

As usual in Osborne novels, the tension between the hero and heroine is what makes the book so delicious. The constant awareness between Tanner and Fox kept at a simmering high makes you sigh and wish for a tall, hard man like Tanner for your own.

Fox knows that life for her would end upon reaching Denver, because she aims to finish the job which she couldn’t complete before. Fox wants to enjoy whatever life can throw her way before submitting herself to the hangman noose, which she knows would swiftly follow when she kills Jennings. Peaches, who accompany them on the journey, who is so sick that he can barely make it through, tries to sway Fox’s mind from killing Jennings.

The journey is one filled with danger, betrayals and the death of Peaches which was heartbreaking to read about. But the biggest shock of all comes when the reader finds out who Tanner’s father actually is, and when the time comes for Fox to decide whether she is going to let her hatred for a man triumph over the love she feels for another.

I felt a teeny tiny bit cheated that Jennings in the end was portrayed not as the villain that I would have wanted, but I guess forgiveness is always better than seeking revenge, since it is that much harder always to forgive someone than to go on hating them forever.

I guess I have only one or two Maggie Osborne novels left. I am going to miss reading these wonderful novels penned by a brilliant author who makes reading romance that much more enjoyable.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

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Review: Wildfire Encounter by Helen Bianchin

Format: E-bookFront
Read with: Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #527
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Rafael Savalje
Heroine: Sara Adams
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: September 1982
Started On: August 24, 2010
Finished On: August 25, 2010

This was a book I saved onto my Kindle long before I read my first Helen Bianchin novel. Ms. Bianchin started writing in the 1970’s, way long before I was even born. But even back then, her stories pack a punch with her larger than life heroes and willful to the point of being irritating heroines.

Blair Adams, Sara’s father, borrows money from richer than sin Rafael Savalje, makes a couple of bad investments and ends up debt ridden up to his neck. Next thing Sara knows, her father has committed suicide, leaving her and her mother at the mercy of the hateful Rafael for whom Sara feels  nothing but contempt, loathing and hatred blaming him unjustly for her father’s suicide.

With no way out of their debt-ridden situation, Sara has no choice but to agree to marrying Rafael. Rafael proposes marriage stating that he wanted a motherly influence for his young daughter Ana whose mother had died shortly after prematurely delivering Ana. Ana was already pretty taken with Sara who was a  teacher who actually cared about her students.

Within less than a week, Sara finds herself wedded to the man she despises more than anything on this Earth. Sara who is a pretty willful character, finds herself always at odds with the virile enigmatic man that she married. I found myself often irritated with Sara because no matter how well Rafael tried to treat Sara, she always ended up verbally or physically attacking Rafael which in the end left a bad taste in my mouth.

Though Sara finally does admit to herself that she loves Rafael and that she cannot live without him, I didn’t feel that Sara was really worthy of the kindness and love that Rafael continued to shower on her although Rafael tended to face life with cynicism that was apparent in his drawl and his mannerisms. I felt like shouting out at Sara “Are you fricking dumb or something?”. Anyhow, I made it through the novel, a novel filled with Sara’s childish tantrums and Rafael’s childlike treatment of his bride, which I say is what she deserves! Ugh!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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