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Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ivy Books
Hero: Sam Holland
Heroine: Angie Bartoli
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.
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