This is a book, that made me sigh. I turned the last page and sighed.
Why? Because they don't write books like this anymore.
The gentle way the romance was portrayed in this book.......you just don't see it anymore in new authors. There was passion, without a doubt. But the softness, the tenderness, this is the old-school romance that made you feel warm in your heart. The writers of this new romance era like to shock readers with their crude and blatant sexual language to show us passion in the right-in-your-face way. This book has passion in the old-fashioned sense, the sex scenes are explicit but new writers, please take a lesson here for class. The sex scenes are actually there for a reason, not just to entice readers but to actually serve a purpose in the story. I am all for a good romp. But honestly, I am looking for some kind of a connection that does not largely depend on sex in my romances. Heath did that with Luke and Catherine. They were strangers who unknowingly to each other, shared a mutual attraction, then they were partners in "crime", helping each other to achieve goals which did not involve each other, then they were friends, coming to care for each other and wanting to help just because, then they were lovers, who shared passion knowing that it could only live for as long (or short) as a few days, then they were strangers again. Luke left Catherine alone because he did not know his own heart (still thinking that he wanted to marry his childhood friend Frannie) and because he wanted to preserve whatever reputation she had left. Catherine buried herself with taking care of her ailing father, chose to let Luke pursue his "happiness" with a woman he had loved since he was a boy, even hid her pregnancy from Luke knowing that Luke would choose to marry her to do right by her.
Then came the happily ever after when the idiotic (and I say this with a loving voice) Luke finally realized his love for Frannie was a love of the youth, comfortable and familar, the kind that one grew out of as one matured, whereas his love for Catherine was all-encompassingly desperate and foreign, and the kind that one married for.
It should be obvious that I loved Luke and Catherine as a couple. My favorite types of characters, hands down. I especially loved Catherine. This is one "tough" heroine. Please God save us all from those fake-tough heroines who throw a hissy fit when things don't go their way. Look to Catherine Mabry for a dignified and strong woman in love.
Luke's "adoration" for his childhood friend Frannie, man, I wanted to throw up whenever Frannie was mentioned. I suppose you could love 2 people at the same time. I know this to be true. But I should hope it is day-and-night clear who you are "in love with". You can love a lot of people but "to be in love with someone", it should be singular, not plural. I think, if you do not know who you are in love with, then you are not in love with anybody. And Heath had this Frannie thing going on for the entire book and Luke was so blind about how he felt about Frannie, it was very frustrating. I know Frannie is supposed to be paired with Catherine's older brother Sterling. And I have long decided that I will not read the story of Sterling Mabry and Frannie Darling. And that is way before I read Luke and Catherine's story. I just did not like Frannie as a character for reasons I cannot explain. This "all her male friends doting on her" thing annoys me. I don't know what is so special about her that everyone of Feagan's boys must devote his life to protecting her. And after I read this book, I suffered from too much frustrationg in this book with her to want to see her happily ever after.
This book may not be the hit of the month or as original as those overly sexual new romances popping out every month. But it is a gentle love story of 2 great characters, which I gratefully read with a soft smile.