Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Western Ladies, Book 2
Hero: Lucas Cochran
Heroine: Dee Swann
Date of Publication: January 1, 1998
Started On: October 9, 2010
Finished On: October 14, 2010
Surprisingly, this is one book by Linda Howard that I do not remember ever reading. I do however remember reading the first book in the Western Ladies series, A Lady of the West which I have the mind to re-read again sometime.
This story takes place in the town of Proper in Colorado. Lucas Cochran upon the death of his father is the new owner of the Big Double C ranch which he has high hopes and big dreams of turning into an empire one day. One of the things that stands in his way and one of his many contentions with his father when he had been alive had been the issue of buying the land through which Angel Creek the most abundant source of water that ran through the surrounding mountains into the valleys. Lucas, a hard man who does not budge once he has made a decision has mapped out his life to the extent that he has decided on the woman whom he would marry, Olivia Milican, the daughter of the town’s only banker in order to take his life along the path he had chosen. What Lucas hadn’t counted on is the desire to claim and posses that unfurls and rages out of control as soon as he meets the Dee Swann, the feisty owner of the land through which Angel Creek runs.
Dee, whose parents had moved to Prosper when she had been a fourteen year old school girl had only known of Lucas in passing. Eight years older than Dee, Lucas had already been a grown man and had left Prosper shortly after she and her family had arrived and settled down. Life had thrown its fair share of tragedies at Dee when Dee’s mother who had been a school teacher had died when she had been at the age of sixteen closely followed by the death of her father when she had barely turned eighteen. At first the sheer aloneness which she had found herself in had frightened her to no end. But Dee, a passionate and strong woman had quickly learnt to safeguard what’s hers and take care of herself by growing a garden of vegetables which saw her through the year. Men turning up with offers to buy out her land wasn’t something new for Dee, but the strong tug she feels towards blue-eyed Lucas Cochran is something she had never ever felt before.
With two people who are as strong-minded as these two, coming together is an explosion that is waiting to happen which Linda Howard as always handles superbly. I swear, Linda Howard writes the hottest love scenes, sometimes much racier than the most explicit erotica, racier in the sense that you feel more whilst reading these scenes than you feel when reading erotica that is done not so tastefully.
Dee falls head over heels in love from the moment Lucas claims her as his though Lucas takes a bit of time to identify that what he feels for Dee is not something that he would find with just any woman. But Angel Creek and the deep abiding love that Dee feels for the land that surrounds her and brings her peace unlike anything else is a source of contention amongst the two until another party who showed his interest in the land suddenly decides to take matters into his own hands when drought threatens to take away everything he has built from scratch.
With rage and fear coursing through Lucas at Dee nearly been snatched away from his life because of the dreaded land, Lucas presumes to know what would keep Dee safe above everything else which nearly drives them apart in the end. There are two side stories that go hand in hand with Lucas and Dee’s story, both equally interesting in their own rights. And as usual, being the sucker for epilogues that I am, I loved reading about how all the couples fared in the end knowing that each found true love and happiness with their life partners in the end. There’s nothing more a true romance reader could ever hope for!
There were several things I loved about Dee. She is headstrong, not your meek average heroine who would grate on your nerves. Rather, she is the sort of woman who knows what she wants and works hard to achieve what it is that she desires. When true love does strike, Dee doesn’t strive to change who she is so that she can fit into Lucas’s plans. Rather she takes whatever time she has with the man she loves, consequences be damned! Lucas sometimes made want to hit him a time or two on the head, but he is a man who is in love and lust with the woman who is made for him. And I am always a sucker for a hard man who can treat a woman gently enough and goes crazy enough to lose their iron clad control. So all in all, a great read though I took my own sweet time in finishing up. You all can blame my busy work schedule for that!