Thursday, October 20, 2005

Series can indeed sometimes be a very good thing

I just love discovering new authors and I hit the jackpot with Wendy Lindstrom. Not to long ago I mentioned how utterly charmed I was with Lips that Touch Mine. In fact, I was so taken with it, I had to read her backlist and enlisted the help of fellow romance readers to help me find them. Thankfully they came through and I got my hands on copies of her first two books. This brings us to the fourth book – Kissing in the Dark. Do you ever read a series and when you come to the final book you almost don’t want to read the last chapter because then you know that will be it? Well, that’s what it was like reading this book. I didn’t want it to end since this is the story of Duke, the fourth brother and the last one of the family.
All four of the Grayson brothers are wonderfully interwoven through out the stories and so we have already gotten to know Duke a bit. He is the third oldest out of four and although the other three brothers, Radford (Shades of Honor), Kyle (The Longing) and Boyd (Lips that Touch Mine) all work for the family lumber mill, Duke is the sheriff for the town of Fredonia and the surrounding area. He does still help out his brothers a bit, but his main focus is on the law. As the sheriff, he catches a very young man stealing something and escorts him home. There he meets Faith, a widow, her young daughter Cora and her aunts who have all just moved to Fredonia to start what we would call a wellness clinic today. He is instantly smitten with both Faith and Cora and begins courting the young and beautiful widow. He knows there is more than meets the eye with Faith; why is there no similarity between all the aunts for example, what is Faith hiding and why does she seem so sad, but add in a heavy case of lust and the yearning to have a wife and family like all his other brothers and he overlooks his concerns. Faith, for her part has many secrets and to say anything would be giving too much away.
This is another wonderful book by a writer with a real flair for writing exactly the kind of books I love to read. Both Faith and Duke are wonderful characters. Duke has always lived in a world of rules and laws. He sees things in black and white and when he uncovers Faith’s secrets, his whole world is turned upside down when he realizes there are a lot of shades of gray in life. Faith, by accepting Duke’s courtship, knows she is wrong in not telling him everything, but feels she has no choice. I could see both their sides when the truth comes out. I can’t possibly write this book without mentioning a secondary character who just leaps off the pages. Adam, the younger brother of Faith is probably one of the best secondary characters I’ve read since Cat in the Windflower. As a young man he is desperately looking for someone too look up too and he finds that role model in Duke. My heart hurt for him in his suffering and longing. I’m not sure whether the author has a book for him somewhere down the road or not, part of me hopes fervently so but by the end of the book Adam has found his peace and I don’t want to see him suffer anymore.

Grade: 5 out of 5

I have adored this series. I have my favourite – Lips That Touch Mine and the one which didn’t touch me as much as the others, The Longing, but taken as a whole, reading about these four brothers has been a wonderful experience. If I had to come up with a word to describe it best, it would be a decency they all have about them. They have their problems come up between them; problems that could split them apart but they overcome them. After making a major life change, Duke describes it best:

Radford had tried being a soldeir. Kyle had
once wanted to be a lawyer. Boyd had been a bar owner. Duke spent
years as a sherriff. But those occupations had only defined a small part
of who they were as men. They were brothers, sons, fathers, and
husbands. They would defend their families as fiercely as they would
defend their country. They would disagree at times, but they would always
stand united when it counted.

I love the setting, a small town in New York not too long after the civil war. I love the covers, the first two don’t have people on them and the second two do – but hero/heroine in a good way. I wasn’t afraid to plunk down money for either. I just loved the books! The last two are in the stores and the first two are worth tracking down. I just wish there were more books written outside of regency England like these ones.

For the whole series – an A and a hearty thumbs up.

This is the first one and is Radford's story. After the war in which he suffered torment, Radford returns home with his little daughter. He rediscovers and begins to fall in love with Evelyn, his brother's fiance.

This is Kyle's story. Because he blames himself for the death of her father and they are caught in a compromising position, Kyle offers to marry Amelia, the daughter of an old friend. But he's discovers she's not exactly what he thought.

This is my favourite of the four and the first book of hers I read. Her is what I had to say about it earlier. Rats! I couldn't link it - but it's April 22 and I gave it a 5 out of 5

And finally there is Kissing in the Dark.

In one of those very odd coincidences, just as I was finishing KITD – reluctantly because I didn’t want it to end, and figuring out in my head what I wanted to say about the book and about the series, I received an email from the author. When I saw who it was from and before I opened it, I thought this is just too weird. In a very kind and thoughtful way she was responding to my post on author websites and how important it can be that authors keep them updated. She told me she agreed and in light of that, had decided not to use a webmaster any longer but to learn how to design it herself. As one who has struggled along with just a regular old blog, I admire that!
So check it out. I’m might impressed.


Megan Frampton said...

These sound great, I'm going to put them on my wish list. Thanks for the rec!

ReneeW said...

You will be responsible for my TBR exploding someday, I swear! These sound so good and I have never heard of Lindstrom. Fortunately, my library has the last two so I'm going to give them a try. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
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