Read with: Paperback
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Book 1, Untitled Series
Publisher: Zebra Books
Hero: Thaddeus Buchanan
Heroine: Mercy Clarke
Date of Publication: January 1, 2005
Started On: January 24, 2011
Finished On: January 25, 2011
Hanging out at bookstores is one of my favorite ways of passing the time. Take me to a mall, show me a huge bookstore with loads of books to salivate over and I promise you wouldn’t find anyone else happier than myself at that very moment. Since Maldives is such a drag for book lovers like myself, coming to India where bookstores are as frequent as their chai (tea) stalls, needless to say I am in book heaven at the moment. So when I stumbled across this book cover at a used bookstore, I picked it up on a whim, based on its cover alone and because the back synopsis promised this book to deliver a good American-Western romance.
27 year old Mercy Clarke is one of those determined heroines who love their independence, who has had a bad marriage with her now deceased husband Nate and wishes to remain single and shoulder all the responsibilities of her family’s cattle ranching business in Colorado. Six feet tall Mercy always feels as if she were a giraffe in a menagerie and refuses to open up her heart to the possibility of love. Mercy still sports her wedding ring two years on after her husband’s death and is still haunted by the memory of how things ended up with him before his death. With a father who has been disabled from the accident that killed her husband and a younger sister to take care of, Mercy is a woman who takes her responsibilities very seriously and is determined that she would keep the family ranch no matter how much it costs her to do so.
23 year old Thaddeus Buchanan (Thad) is an ex-veteran who served in the civil war, who had his whole family taken from him in a war that has made little sense to him always. His only living relative is his sister Clarisse who lives up in Colorado and Thad is determined to reach her and make a home for himself up in the Colorado mountains. Easy going and charming, Thad is more than 6 feel tall, broad shouldered, blond haired with azure eyes and has a killer dimple in his right cheek when he smiles.
It is Thad’s determination that he reach Colorado that ends him up in the company of the prickly as a thorn Mercy Clarke in the town of Albiene where Mercy travels to auction off her cattle to pay off the debt on her ranch. From the first encounter between Thad and Mercy, Thad is totally captivated by Mercy and her independent nature. Though Mercy would rather cut off an arm than admit that the handsome and charming Thad gets to her more than any man ever had in her life, Mercy is determined that nothing come out of her inconvenient attraction to a man who seems too easygoing to her. But things take a turn when Mercy realizes that Thad is in reality her best friend Clarisse’s younger brother and that alone makes her enter into an agreement to take Thad along for the ride.
It is during this journey that these two make to Colorado that feelings Mercy had thought that she would never ever feel again crop to the surface and makes her give in to the heady desire she feels for a man that she knows is totally not for her. Thad who wants marriage and a family of his own knows that Mercy doesn’t want that role in her life nevertheless finds himself at the mercy of his feelings for her. Amidst danger from men who are after the money that Mercy had made in the auction, these two discover within one another their better halves but a lot of internal battles are waged within themselves to finally conclude that their lives would not be complete without the other.
I am someone who always loves a good American-Western romance. However, I felt that this one didn’t deliver what I was looking for. Thad was a hero I could have liked, hell I could have loved him to bits if he were a bit more assertive and if he could have just stood up for what he felt half the time. I love an independent heroine as much as the next girl but Mercy tended to get on my nerves a bit during the first half of the story and later on redeemed herself by following up on what she felt for Thad. I loved the fact that this was a romance between an older heroine and a younger hero but that didn’t factor into much of the story. This could have been a really great story if it had hit all those spots which you crave to be petted and stroked as a reader. All in all not a bad read though I wouldn’t recommend anyone to sit and read through this book except if you like myself want to discover whether the underlying does justice to a drool-worthy cover.
As sure as roses will have thorns, love will bring you pain.