“I enjoyed the emotional intensity of this book. At first, you really don't have a handle on Carson. He was very remote and calculating. I wanted Lara to walk out on him and never look back. Then, I was glad that she didn't get to leave him. Carson was a very sad person. I think about what his...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I enjoyed the emotional intensity of this book. At first, you really don't have a handle on Carson. He was very remote and calculating. I wanted Lara to walk out on him and never look back. Then, I was glad that she didn't get to leave him. Carson was a very sad person. I think about what his parents did to him, to each other, to Lara's mother, and to Lara's grandfather, and it makes me sad. I have a problematic family, but we love each other, for all the strife. Poor Carson never had anyone love him, until Lara. And he couldn't believe that she loved him at first, because love didn't exist. Because of the pain that had destroyed his ability to feel, he hurt Lara very badly. But he actually did the right thing walking away from her the time she was about to give herself to him. In fact, he showed a lot more honor than his adopted father did with Lara's mother. In fact, I think Larry's lucky that Lara's grandfather didn't grab his shotgun and turn the business end towards his sorry butt.
This book deals with choices. We always have them. If we make the wrong choice, we still get more. We can move on and do the right thing for ourselves the next time, or we can languish in our misery and feel sorry for ourselves, take our pain out on others. That's definitely what Carson's adopted mother and father did, and they hurt other people very much in the process. Very sad. I thought Lara was a pretty strong person, for all her gentleness. She tried to live her life the best way she could, despite being a known but not acknowledged illegitimate offspring of Carson's adopted father, and having a mother who was this man's adulterous mistress for thirteen years of her life. Her heart and her sensuality was damaged by Carson's rejection. However, she did try to move on with her life as much as she could. When she came back, she was determined to avoid Carson. But his gentle wooing, breaks down her defenses, and she gives her love freely to him. When his betrayal is revealed, she does react emotionally, at first. But she uses her analytical brain to sort through and to realize that Carson's love for her is true, despite his obvious betrayal. I did admire her for that.
I think that this was not a five star book for me because some of the descriptions were too drawn out, a bit too flowery. I really liked the intense emotions in the book. I felt the anguish, and the pain that Lara suffered, and Carson in his need/love for Lara. His fear that she would walk away if she found out that he lied to her. I felt really bad for Carson, because his parents set him up for an awful life. They were made miserable by the choices they made, and instead of being grownups, they made each other and their adopted son miserable, even after death. That was really sad to me. I don't let Carson off the hook, but I can see why he behaved the way he did. Truly, he had the choice to walk away from the ranch, but what else was there? In his mind, he has nothing but the ranch, because he doesn't think he can have it and Lara. Well, he eventually realizes that Lara is his home and what he needs.
This is an older book, so you have a lot of the older school elements in it. But one thing I love about the old school romances is here. They really bring on the emotional intensity. I was surprised at how sensual this book was. It's from 1987, and I was like, wow! It's not Blaze-level, but pretty sexy for what I think was a category romance.
If you are a fan of Elizabeth Lowell, Diana Palmer, or Susan Fox, or want to read something that's a little vintage, and really intense. Or if you like western-set contemporaries, you would probably enjoy this book.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.”