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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: American Romance, #573
Heroine: Carlie Forrest aka Sister Maria Carlos
Date of Publication: February 1, 1995
Started On: August 31, 2010
Finished On: September 1, 2010
I found this book when I was searching for recommendations on titles where the hero and heroine are forced to come together under circumstances and endure an adventure together being one with the nature. These types of books have a certain appeal for me and I bet for most romance readers because the plot line tends to create a unique set of circumstances that bring out the best and worst in each of the characters involved, and if the writer is especially good, you get awesome tension and romance to go along with hair raising adventure trying to escape from mean bad asses.
Reilly, a retired soldier who lived a solitary life up on the mountains in Colorado owes his army buddy Billy Morrisey more than his life. When his buddy had been killed by renegade soldiers in San Pablo requesting that he take back his wife and new born child from the war torn country of San Pablo in Central America, its the least that Reilly could do. Though the stories that he had heard about Billy’s wife Caterina were less than flattering, he owed his buddy and he would push his personal feelings aside and get the job done and trek through the swamp forests in San Pablo one last time to get her and the baby to safety. Tall, whipcord lean with long hair, a mean looking gun strapped to his waist and handsome enough to take a woman’s breathe away, Reilly was a force to be reckoned with under any circumstances.
Carlie Forrest had spent the first 10 years of her life in California where her parents had ministered to migrant workers. The next 7 years had been spent in a variety of places and she had always waited on the sidelines so that her parents would notice her and remember her existence when their lives always seemed so full of the people they wanted to help. Their ending had been brutal and bloody whilst Carlie had watched on shocked and unable to do anything whilst the entire village with her parents had been gunned down by rebels. Relief workers who had discovered her had taken her to the convent Our Lady of Repose where Mother Ignacia and the other sisters had worked their soothing magic on her. Now 9 years later, Carlie was convinced that she was destined to be Sister Maria Carlos for life though Mother Ignacia kept stalling and asking her to reconsider whether being a nun for life was what Carlie really wanted or whether it was escape from something else that she craved.
With the army and rebels tearing through the country, all the sisters had fled to Brazil. Carlie had stayed behind because one of the sisters was too sick to be moved and Caterina Rosaria Morrisey de Mendino was too far along in her pregnancy, almost ready to give birth and couldn’t travel. Being the only person with any medical training, Carlie had stayed behind to see to the two patients. When the sister had died and Caterina also died right after childbirth extracting the promise from Carlie that she would take care of little Timothy Morrisey for her until her husband came looking for him, Carlie is at a loss to what to do. Being in a war torn country presented enough danger as it is to a woman who was alone with no weapons to protect her. On top of that Timothy was the grandson of the notorious Hector Mendino, deposed and executed dictator of San Pablo which made Timothy a target from both sides participating in the war.
When Carlie lays her eyes on Reilly he knows that he is not Caterina’s husband though Reilly assumes that the woman who just stepped out of the shower looking delectably sinful was the famous Caterina who had fled from her husband because their marriage had hit a rough patch and when things had gone sour in San Pablo had wanted her husband to come to her rescue. Though her flashing blue eyes and protective nature towards the baby puts her at odds with what Reilly knows about her, he is more than convinced that she is Caterina.
Carlie goes along with the plan on making Reilly think that she is Timothy’s mother. Suddenly Carlie who had led nothing more than a sedate peaceful life for the past 9 years feels all extremities of emotions in the presence of the larger than life Reilly. The way he makes her blood heat with a single look or touch makes Carlie question for the first time whether being a nun is what she really wants in life.
With danger from the rebels closing in on them at every turn they take, Carlie has no choice but to rely and trust Reilly who truly had the power to bring her to her knees. When Reilly realizes that Carlie is not what he had assumed her to be, and that he had nearly defiled a woman of God, he is more than furious to say the least. However he cannot help his desire for the willful woman who so courageously treks right alongside of him and coos nonsense to the baby she holds in her arms. And right in the midst of the war torn San Pablo, Reilly who had never ever loved, falls head over heels in love with the one woman he cannot have.
This was a good read with enough tension between Reilly and Carlie plus good adventure to keep the pages turning. I sometimes felt like knocking on Carlie’s head a time or two for her stubborn willfulness but then again, Carlie’s life hadn’t really prepared her for the shock of one of the finest specimens of the male species wreaking havoc on her senses.
“One man’s democracy is another man’s fascism”
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