Wow. This was an absolutely beautiful book. Definitely one of the best romances I have ever read.
Fall in love with the first book in the Blood Rose trilogy-a romance of the Old West by a phenomenal new talent
On a stagecoach traveling through New Mexico Territory, Jessica Thornton is a long way from the cool mists and lush gardens of her native England. An authoress and milliner, she carries the weight of a scandalous secret-a horrible shame that has brought her to the West on a desperate search for the only family she can trust: her brother.
No one prepared Jessica for the heat and the hardships. And no one prepared her for a man like Brady Wilkins. For, despite the rancher's rough-hewn appearance and her own misgivings, Jessica must put her life in his hands after their stagecoach crashes. And she begins to see the man behind the callused hands and caustic wit. A man strong enough to carve out a home in the wilderness, brave enough to fight for his own, and passionate enough to restore her faith in herself-and in her heart.
I called this book beautiful and here's why:
- The love story between Jessica and Brady. They complement each other perfectly - she's uptight and prissy and he spends all day getting dirty and loves to provoke her. They have both suffered tragedies and misery but are still strong - for each other. Something I was happy to see was the absence of stubborn pride. So many romances have this hurdle to jump because one or both parties is just too damn stubborn to get over themselves. This book didn't have this per se but a variation instead. (I'm trying to be better about spoilers so I'm not telling.) I can deal with that.
- The setting. What a juxtaposition (I'm pulling out the big words for this one!) - damp, chilly England and hot, almost barren New Mexico territory. Metaphor for the differences in the lovers, perhaps? Beautiful sunsets and bright, shining stars at night in the desert or mildewy gloom? Hmm. Which one should I pick? Let's not forget about hard, endless days filled with heat and manual labor or gentility-glazed pampered existence? You'd really have to love where you live, not to mention who you're with.
- It's not perfect. Brady is a fool at the end (duh). The main villain, while evil, is vanquished almost too easily. Same for the minor one. But it's funny with some great dialogue that made me laugh out loud. Heartbreaking and tear-inducing too.
I am now chomping at the bit HARD for the next book in this series, Open Country, out on June 1st. Open Country is Hank's story, the middle brother. OK, Daylight Savings Time started today and Spring's about to start so June can't take too long to get here, right?