Synopsis: The two older men would have been Abby Clark’s stepbrothers had her mother and their father not died in a car accident days before the wedding. They took Abby in as their ward, but five years later she soon will no longer be in their custody. Abby may be planning on moving out, but she doesn’t actually want to leave as she had fallen for the younger of the two brothers, Calhoun. The only problem is, Calhoun says he intends to never marry. Can Abby show him how to love?
Author: Diana Palmer is the pen name of Susan Spaeth Kyle. She has written over a hundred books since she started in 1979, both contemporary and historical. Diana started writing as a newspaper reporter, but is now one of the leading romance writers in America.
Point of View: The story is told in third person, but it is predominately from Abby’s perspective. It occasionally shows Calhoun’s frame of mind, but rather than starting a new section from his perspective it uses a transitional word or phrase. The transition prevents a stop in the storytelling, which can be good, but as it is a writing style I’ve rarely seen therefore it causes disruption anyways.
Romance: The love story is something that I’ve seen more frequently in regencies than a more contemporary novel. Abby’s love is both fervent and innocent, having been protected her entire life; Calhoun’s attraction is that of a playboy trying not to admit that he has finally found the one woman he could care about.
Pondering: I kind of question Abby’s behavior of always being terrified Calhoun will notice just how much she loves him. He already knows that she does love him, so why is she frightened to the point she does not want to be in the same room as him for fear he will see her vulnerability? Is that realistic? Or does it just seem unlikely to me because attitudes have changed in the past twenty years?
Note to the Reader: This is probably a good book for a newbie to the romance genre. While it still has some hot scenes, there is nothing explicitly detailed that will shock.
Quote: “I can’t believe you really wanted to pay money to watch a bunch of boys take their clothes off,” he muttered. “It beats having boys try to take mine off,” she returned.
The Verdict: It is a very sweet romance novel, and well worth the time spent to read it. There is a reason that Harlequin has made it a part of their The Essential Collection.