Review: Sweet Lullaby by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-booksweetlullaby
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Homespun, #21
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Jake Burnett
Heroine: Rebecca Anderson
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publications: March 1994
Started On: July 1, 2010
Finished On: July 1, 2010

When I first started off this book last night I was a bit apprehensive because at first the story didn’t seem to be so interesting. Maybe it was because I was too sleepy and tired to give any real thought to the story unfolding but somehow the thought of reading through a story where right from the beginning the hero is in love with the heroine didn’t seem to be that exciting. But boy am I glad I was wrong. This book has got to feature one of the most endearing heroes I have ever come across.

Jake Burnett is a man who has been wronged so much in his life. A mother who sold her body to keep a roof above their heads and a father who never acknowledged his bastard child until his mother passed away when Jake was about 10 years old or so, Jake never knew any happiness or joy in his life even when he was brought home to live with his father. Bearing the brunt of his father’s many beatings and punishments and being made to live in the barn seeking the warmth of the animals to keep him from freezing to death at night with an his elder brother Ethan who continuously found ways to make him more miserable, there didn’t seem to be any end to Jake’s suffering until his father died leaving him with all his property.

At first wanting nothing to do with the property, Jake travels around and works for Rebecca’s father at his ranch. From the very first moment that Jake encounters Rebecca, he falls deeply in love with her. Rebecca is a beauty whilst nobody would call Jake a handsome man. Jake wears the marks of all the hardships that he went through to become the man he is on his body and face.But Jake doesn’t fall in love with Rebecca because she is just a pretty face but because for the first time  in his life, a woman makes him feel welcome and not soon afterwards a deep and lasting friendship is formed between the two.

Jake never dreams of the possibility that one day he may have everything his heart desires. But when Rebecca gets pregnant after sharing a night of passion with the love of her life Brett Meier who has left without knowing that he has fathered a child, Rebecca never envisions that her father who had loved her and spoiled her till now would reject the very idea of the child growing within her.

John Anderson’s, Rebecca’s father’s solution is to get her married to Jake and thus avoid the scandal that would follow if his daughter were to give birth out of wedlock. Jake proposes marriage to Rebecca on his own terms and Rebecca knowing that there wouldn’t be any other man around whom she would feel comfortable with as Jake accepts his proposal and decides to leave with Jake to Texas to make a life of their own which drives John into a fit of anger and disown her the very next day after they get married.

Marriage to Rebecca is a bittersweet experience for Jake who wants nothing more in life than to keep a smile on Rebecca’s face forever. The partnership that forges between the couple and the friendship that grows between them is heartwarming and at times filled my eyes with unshed tears.

As the story slowly unfolds, Rebecca begins to learn of the true feelings her husband holds for her but never being able to return the feelings because she still holds the handsome Brett close to her heart. With Ethan hellbent on vengeance and getting back the land he believes is rightfully his, life on the ranch that Jake and Rebecca build from the grounds up is not one without hardships.

Through the birth of their child Jacob and all the patience and love that Jake bestows on Rebecca, intimacy of another kind starts to unfold between the two, and Jake finally starts to feel happy in his life when Brett comes along and proclaims that he wants Rebecca back in his life. Everything Jake has worked for seems to crash and burn right in front of his eyes when he sees the desolation in his wife’s eyes and the distance that seems to crop up between the two.

It literally broke my heart into pieces to read about how Jake lets Rebecca and their son Jacob that he had come to love and adore leave so that Rebecca would find true happiness with the man she loves. I felt like howling when the pages seeped with the pain and anguish in Jake’s heart at his immense sacrifice.

However, once Rebecca leaves to start a life with Brett, she starts to realize that even though she doesn’t know it, she has come to love her brown eyed husband who stirs a slow simmering fire deep within her every time they come together. I was prepared to hate Rebecca for the pain she causes Jake when she readily leaves with Brett but the pain and loneliness that she goes through during the separation and the fact that she refuses to give her body to Brett until her divorce from Jake is final redeemed her in front of my eyes.

This book brings a whole new meaning to the saying, if you love something let it go and if it comes back its yours. I don’t think I would be able to put into words just how wonderful a book this has been and if you really want a romance that can play with your emotions and make you cry and laugh this is a must read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Parting Gifts by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-bookpartinggifts
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Homespun, #30
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Jesse Lawson
Heroine: Maddie Sherwood
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: December 1994
Started On: June 29, 2010
Finished On: June 30, 2010

Even as I write this review, I still feel the remnants of the kaleidoscope of emotions that coursed through me as I finished this book. With a degree in psychology in hand, Lorraine Heath creates the most beautiful and realistic characters that have such depth that you can’t help but feel for them and relate with them. Though this is the first time I am reviewing a book by the author, I have previously read a lot of books by her and loved each story as it worked is magic over me.

This story is no different and right from the very start, Maddie Sherwood, who is at the very end of her wits as to what to do for survival finally succumbs to offering her body in return for shelter and food clutches at your heart. Rescue from the fate to which she had resigned herself to comes in the form of Charles Lawson who bids a hopping 1000 dollars to be the man who would initiate her & take her virginity.

However Maddie soon realizes that ravishing her is the furthest thing on Charles mind and before she knows it, she has agreed to marry him and care for his three children Taylor, Hannah and Aaron who settle deep within your heart from the very first encounter. And when Maddie first tumbles into the arms of Jesse Lawson, Charles’s older brother, Maddie realizes just how much she has agreed to sacrifice and forgo in the marriage of convenience to which she has entered with Charles.

From the very first moment Jesse looks into Maddie’s whiskey brown eyes he is a goner. Though he tries to fight the immense awareness he feels for someone he should not, you truly understand the meaning of the term “the heart wants what it wants regardless of the consequences” when you feel the cascading emotions that passes between Jesse and Maddie as the story progresses. While Maddie too yearns for the strength of Jesse’s embrace, she knows that deep within her heart she could never be disloyal to the man who had given her his family and affection.

What Maddie has no inkling of is the fact that Charles is a man who is near death, and the fact that he wanted his motherless children to know the warm and loving embrace of a mother was the reason why he had married Maddie in the first place. And Maddie holds close to her heart a secret which could destroy what she has come to love and hold dear to her heart.

Its hard to put into words how reading this story made me feel. Jesse’s loyalty towards his brother and towards doing what’s right made me admire him and fall in love with him along with Maddie. And Maddie’s courage in resisting the temptation of embracing the man she loved with every fiber of her being and being faithful to her husband made me realize the strength in her which Charles saw the night he rescued her from a life of prostitution. And Charles, the man who was insightful enough to know what his brother wanted and needed more than anything in the world and being man enough to leave Maddie to him made my throat tighten with emotion.

This is a book that packs an intense wallop of emotion and a page turner at that. I would advice to keep a box of tissues ready because towards the ending, its all you can do to keep from crying at turns with sadness, hope, happiness and ultimate joy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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