A fine example of a retro romance whose main purpose seems to be that it shows just how wonderful most modern females heroines really are.
The story features an evil female relative of the heroine, Allie. As a reader it gets just a little annoying that 90% of relatives featured in many romances are just so all-fired supportive of one another. Is it too much to ask that a couple of the wives of the BDB or the Breed might not like one another? It seems the answer is yes. (One of the many reason why I stopped reading both series ages ago.) Anyway, Olivia, the selfish sister in this story is a truly nasty piece of work. Why, she’s willing to get an innocent man hanged rather than see the heroine, Allie, happy. Boo!
Unfortunately. The story also features a device which I am glad to say most authors have abandoned. Although all relations are consensual, I couldn’t rid myself of the suspicion that what Allie experiences is a form of transference, or even gratitude. She is generally living such a dry life where for years she has sublimated all her emotions that really, anyone could have come along, shown her some affection, and she would probably have ‘fallen in love’ with him. Allie basically goes from being her sister’s go-for to being a housewife for her husband. Not that the husband isn’t a very nice hero indeed. But I wasn’t too sure that when times get tough, Jeff lacks some backbone. Whilst Allie, on the other hand is a person who delivers 200% when it matters most.
I quite enjoyed this romance. Not least because neither the hero nor heroine are hypocrites which is so often the case with historical romances. Not much hotness though.
…if this novel had been written in 2009, what would have happened is that Jeff would have been entranced by Olivia, leaving Allie free to pack up her carpet bag and head for the nearest big city where she would have become a successful shop-keeper, then fallen in love and married a mining tycoon’s drunk wayward son who’s feeling guilty because he thinks he caused a cave-in where miners died.
But that wouldn’t have made this romance any better though.