“Were you watching me through the window?”
How on earth did Dallas respond to that question? And something in Rowena’s expression said she knew he was squirming. He could say he’d been in the habit of checking Bell River while it was unoccupied. He could say… But he hadn’t ever been very good at lying. “We got a call, at the department. Somebody reported seeing…something irregular.” “Wicked and wanton, as the Wright family is known to be? You should know. You remember how we are, don’t you?” He must have made an involuntary motion, because Rowena’s smile broadened, now looking both evil and sexy as hell. “Did you come out here to see if you could get a look at these wicked goings-on, or maybe even get a piece of the action?” Garwood, wake up, he commanded himself. This is now…not fifteen years ago. Stop acting like such a stupid puppet. You know what a mistake it is to let her manipulate you…. Yet, even after that stern warning, he still let her take his hand, and tug him toward the shadowed corner.
She is Rowena. A girl with a cruel past. A past that includes a brutal father and a murdered mother. A past that includes her boyfriend being shot by her father. A past that includes abandoning her sisters, for which one of the sisters never forgave her. But she came out of all these with great determination and grit.
Back at the homestead where it all began, she had to fight for her reputation, vandalism and above all the love of her life. Known as a drifter, would she be able to make her family and her love realize that she has changed and would do anything to keep her roots grounded.
He is Dallas, the Sheriff of the town. A complete contrast to the wild Rowena. Left to raise his son Alec, by a wife who had abandoned them, he knows Rowena is bad news. His mind told him to marry a docile lady with lots of motherly feelings, in other words all that was lacking in Rowena. But his heart always pulled him towards Rowena. He knew behind all the grit was frightened, timid girl but was he strong enough to protect her from only only anti social elements but also from herself?
The Love Story…
Rowena knew that she and Dallas did not belong together. In her high school days she had gone all out of the way to seduce him, only to have him shot at by her father. He had survived the attack and had become a Sheriff of the town when she returned to claim her homestead. He was sober where as she was wild. He enjoyed permanency, whereas she was a bohemian.
When Rowena saw Dallas after so many years, she found him as attractive as ever. But she knew that she could not make any commitment. On the other hand, Dallas’s son Alec was trying to get a girlfriend for his father, and when he saw the high spirited Rowena, he thought it would be fun to play the matchmaker. But too many ghosts in the past were haunting both of them. Moreover, Rowena had to prove that she could stick to a commitment in a long run. She had a dream, to open a dude ranch. But for that she needed her sisters to agree but her younger sisters had lost their faith in her when she had run away from her aunt’s place, after leaving her younger sister behind.
Sometimes due to fate and sometimes due to Alec’s intrusion, they both found themselves in awkward situations. Their attraction for each other pulled them towards each other until one fateful rainy night………
What I liked….
Rowena’s character came out very strong. Spunky, full of life battling with her inner demons. Whereas she was projected an ‘I don’t care…” attitude kind of girl on the other hand she was sensitive to a motherless boy’s feelings. A very contrasting character who takes on the burden of this story on her shoulder.
What I did not like…
Strangely, because of Rowena, Dallas came out as a weakling. Okay that is too strong a word, but I really did find him a tad weak, who waited on the outskirts for the action to take place. True, he always helped Rowena, but even if he did not arrive she would have taken care of herself. Sorry Dallas, a bit more macho maybe.
Rating: 4/5 DIAMONDS
I found the story too long and would have given it a 3 had it not been for Alec. No actually the story has some nice folds and each layer holds another story. Whether the relationship between the sisters or Alec and Dallas, the relation of Mitch and Alec or Mitch and Bonnie, all the characters are well played… except for Dallas. [Sorry I did find him a bit intimidated by Rowena…..]
Reviewed by: Rubina
Meet the author…
Kathleen wrote her first book in the first grade. It was a shameless derivative story about Dick and Jane, and was at least seven pages long. Her mother loved it. Her first grade teacher, Sister Anna Mary, loved it. But it would be almost three decades before Kathleen attempted another novel.
In the meantime, though, she never stopped writing. She wrote some awful poetry in high school, working through the typical hormonal overreaction to having her heart broken by "the wrong boy."
After college, she took a newspaper job, and she eventually worked her way up to the position of television critic before throwing it all over to follow her heart, and her husband, a fellow journalist, to make a home in Miami.
When her first child was born, and her life began to consist of cleaning up after small creatures who didn't understand indoor plumbing, she decided she had to go back to writing. But she couldn't bear to leave her amazing little girl, so she turned once again to novels. And because she was a born sentimentalist, and a great believer in romance, she decided to try to write for Harlequin.